As we ease into the final few months of 2020, there’s no getting around the fact that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to impact our lives and livelihoods. This Career Development Month, if you need a little inspiration to look beyond the new normal and focus on 2021 and beyond, here are a few ways you can nurture your professional growth:
- Expand your network. Join local professional organizations to develop relationships for personal and professional growth as well as for references and job leads.
- Be a mentor and a mentee. Make an effort to pass along your wisdom and life lessons to others. But how about finding a mentor of your own? Challenge yourself to both receive and deliver career advice to others.
- Prioritize professional development. Seek out PD opportunities to increase your subject matter knowledge or sharpen your technical skills. Would a certification or degree put you in a better position to advance?
- Do your homework. Follow social media channels and read blogs, magazines, and trade publications relevant to your field to improve your knowledge and stay current on best practices and trends.
- Check your social media presence. What does your online persona say about you? Run a social media audit on yourself. Are you making a good impression, or a bad one? Is your LinkedIn profile up to date? If not, fill in any holes so it’s a positive reflection of your potential and an accurate summary of your work history, experience, and skills.
- Evaluate your personal brand. Do you have an elevator speech prepared for your next job interview or performance review? A good place to start is by writing yourself a mission statement or manifesto.
- Volunteer. If you feel like you’re missing something, find opportunities to make a difference in your community. Volunteering gives you the chance to add transferrable skills to your resume and gain experience that can enhance your marketability.
- Set new goals. People who record their goals and progress are far more effective in achieving them. Use a goal-setting app or a journal to keep yourself accountable.