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How to Own Your Professional Development

own your

This time of year, when you’re feeling in a slump at work and you’re beginning to reminisce about your first weeks back at school, you might be subconsciously looking for a little push in your career. Now may be a good time to leverage your longing for knowledge and inspiration into some serious career development actions. In order to keep you from daydreaming all day, we’ve gathered a few ways you can take charge of your own professional destiny.

Take a Class or Two

With online classes popping up left and right as well as pop-up continuing education courses in just about every college, professional development classes have never been more accessible than they are today. So why not take advantage? Adobe people, check out by LinkedIn)’s expansive list of classes on every CS product. Check with your employer to see if your Adobe license came with free Lynda training.

Project Managers, is a Registered Education Provider for PMI, so you can take classes with confidence that they work in in cahoots with PMI standards. Other great online class powerhouses are Coursera (just announced Coursera for Business in August), CodeSchool, and Udemy. So give some of these great resources a try! If nothing else, you owe it to your mom’s generation who were pretty much limited to the library for any professional development needs.

Join a Professional Organization

Believe it or not, there is knowledge to be gained from those after-work happy hours a few of your over-achieving friends are attending all the time. Professional organizations can be catalysts for a career change, either by facilitating connections with people outside of your organization, or by passively broadening your understanding of other careers through topics covered by guest speakers. Similar to non-profit organizations, there’s a professional organization out there for everyone. Find out what you are passionate about (or what a friend is passionate about) and go from there.

Soak Up the Experience

Sure, you were hired because you have a knack for the job you are performing every day, but if all you do is perform that same work, day in and day out, you have done yourself a disservice in the professional development department. Breaking down the walls of your own position and experimenting with neighboring departments and new ideas will certainly teach you a few things you don’t already know.

Your job might not be business development, but it couldn’t hurt to learn from the sales expert that sits four steps away from you, and knowing a bit about it can come in handy during your next job interview. According to Steve Tobak’s article, The Best Professional Development Advice Ever, “Personal improvement and professional development don’t come from classes, books, blogs, TED videos, or feel-good inspirational stories, quotes, parables, and platitudes. It comes from experience.”

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Looking for some more of that experience? We’ve got a few open positions that should do the trick.

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