If you’re familiar with that occasional slump that comes from working at capacity and managing increased workload with limited resources, consider breaking your routine long enough to take in a learning or networking opportunity.
When schedules and budgets are tight, we often move professional development down on the priority list, unless an urgency to renew a certification looms. It’s understandable though– in a profession focused on caring for others, balancing busy lifestyles with work, family and personal demands– those elective breaks for professional development and networking opportunities can get sidelined, and can even seem indulgent at times.
What if you allow yourself to become reacquainted with that unique energy that comes from connecting with your professional community? You can sharpen your sense of leadership and agility through on-the-job experience, coupled with continuous learning.
Renew your passion
Regular exposure to colleagues in the professional community stimulates ideas, creativity, and ignites renewed passion for your field. Allow yourself regular opportunities to recharge through professional development. This can lead to breakthrough ideas and solutions for common challenges that you face in the workplace.
Initiate career growth
Today’s work environment is more diverse than ever, and thanks to technology, our approach to work is always changing. Leadership skills and behaviors are increasingly important and have value at various staff levels. Whether we are leading a project, a team, or an entrepreneurial business, pursuing job-related skills is important for continued growth and a sense of professional engagement.
“Leadership and learning are
indispensable to each other”
-John F. Kennedy
Broaden your perspective
Participating in thought leadership events is an effective way to break your routine and change your perspective, while inviting external viewpoints and sources of information into your overall context. Face-to-face interactions bring an exchange of energy that motivates and affirms your professional expertise, while providing meaning and direction.
Tap into your social circles
Not sure where to start? Consider joining your Local Networking Group or a Community of Interest through AADE. Industry roundtable sessions are excellent resources for managers, where information sharing and business leads can prove invaluable to solving on-the-job challenges. Attend focus groups and panel discussions, and participate at a level that’s comfortable for you, whether that’s listening or asking questions. If you’re so inclined, sitting on a board can also be remarkably rewarding. Getting started is as easy as reaching out and tapping into your social networks. One way to start is to look at postings in your community’s occupational listings for topics or events you’re interested in or are relevant to your profession.
Find the right avenue
The key to continuing your professional development is finding the right avenue and evaluating your individual needs and capacity for extra-curriculars. Determine the level of participation, exposure or fellowship that offers a means of refueling your intellectual and emotional tank. Be mindful though -and take care not to over-commit or inadvertently leave yourself on “E” for empty.