Professional Development for the Millennial
For many millennials, the professional world is a scary place, especially for those looking to fit into their new job after spending the last several years rolling out of bed to run off to class without even checking the mirror. Lucky for us, there are many opportunities available to guide us on our journey through professional development. The professional world is quite different from Biology II or American Politics. Professional development courses and tools are there to help you grow as an individual in your work place.
As someone who mentored students for two years, I took advantage of every professional development opportunity that presented itself. Learning as much as possible about leadership and skill development played an invaluable role in gaining a clear perspective and becoming a strong mentor. Regardless of the route you take in life, taking time to develop yourself will always be rewarding.
Drawing from personal experience, I have developed four tips to encourage everyone on the road toward personal and professional development.
- Take advantage of FREE development courses
There are hundreds of courses, workshops and seminars available online many of which are available for free. These are a great way to develop your professional skills as well as to learn a little bit more about the work you enjoy. For a small financial investment, you can find countless books and courses that have been designed with the sole purpose of guiding you on a path to personal and professional growth. Resources are available for all budgets. If you’re interested in finding out more about such courses and workshops, you can check out our previous blog post on the many social media and digital marketing workshops available online and in your area.
- Network, Network, NETWORK!
Take advantage of every opportunity to network because as the saying goes: “it’s not what you know, it’s WHO you know.” If you are still in school, be sure to take advantage of the many networking opportunities available on your college campus as well as the many chances you are given to connect with other future—and current!—professionals in your classes.
If you find yourself a few years out of school, many cities have industry specific professional organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America(PRSA) and the American Marketing Association(AMA) that offer networking opportunities. Networking can open many doors, you just have to find those opportunities and utilize them!
- Hit the books!
One of my personal favorite professional help books is “Who Says It’s a Man’s World” by Emily Bennington. This book acts as a guide to help you accomplish your goals and succeed in the professional world complete with helpful activities to guide you along your way. Other books that come highly recommended from professionals in the industry include: “The Lean Start-Up” by Eric Reis for the budding entrepreneur and “The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results” by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan which focuses on becoming more productive in all aspects of your life.
If none of these fit the bill, try doing your own Google search and see where the world takes you!
- Share your experience!
Similar to networking, it is important to surround yourself with those who share your interests. While it is always great to have friends that share different experiences, it will benefit you in the long run to surround yourself with those who are also looking to gain more experience and improve themselves. As the old cliché goes: two heads are better than one. You will discover you can both learn from and challenge one another in ways you cannot do on your own.