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Take Charge of Your Professional Development

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takechargeIt’s easy to get complacent about professional development when you’re employed. If you already have a job, why should you go above and beyond to improve your skills, especially if it’s not required by your company?

But making an effort to help yourself grow professionally will help you succeed, both in the short term and in the long term. And if you don’t learn new skills and acquire new knowledge and experience, you’re likely to fall behind your peers, which could be detrimental when you look to change positions.

“Companies have less resources to do professional development because as they’ve cut back, everybody’s down to muscle and bone,” says Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at Glassdoor.com, a website that offers insight into careers and companies. “You have to take control of your own development e opportunity to master leadership skills you might not have the chance to practice otherwise.” And, she adds, “you’ll be doing it in a real-world environment, which makes the experience better than if you, for example, took coursework or training seminars.”

4. Master an online tool: Even those of us who organize our lives via digital tools don’t always make the most of them. The Web is full of free video tutorials on how to use networks like LinkedIn and Google+, as well as tips on organizing your Gmail life. Think about how you can increase your efficiency, and scour the Internet for resources to help you accomplish that.

5. Seek out people who are on the career path you aspire to: Ask them how they got to where they are. With a little effort on social media, Rueff says, you can easily find out who holds a certain position—or who used to hold it—and reach out to them. Especially if you stroke their ego a bit, people are often happy to talk about the path they took in their career, as well as what worked and what didn’t. Learn from their successes and mistakes.

January 22, 2015 |

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