Not every organization provides employees options for professional development But employees can still increase their knowledge and build new skills in such organizations. Here are 4 ways to take control of your own professional development – building skills and increasing your knowledge to take on the next opportunity to achieve your career goals:
- Take on additional responsibilities or projects. Ask to be assigned to projects that would enable you to utilize your current skills but also stretch you to learn new skills, get new experiences to build knowledge and work with others in the organization. Most managers will allow employees to work on projects outside their own department. Just be sure to let your manager know you’ll continue to do your own job too!
- Read books, articles, subscribe to blogs. There are any number of books to enable you to develop your skills – there are books on time management, emotional intelligence, how to be an effective leader. The list goes on and on! Visit your public library or check out Amazon or your local bookstore for books that will enable you to build skills and knowledge. Similarly, there are many blogs and articles available via the internet. Do a search on Google for a skill you want to learn more about and you’ll find a ton of resources.
- Take a college course for free. Check out MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses.) MOOC List is a directory of Massive Open Online Courses offered by a variety of providers. Additionally, some local community colleges enable individuals to take college courses, without credit, at a reduced cost.
- Attend a conference or industry event. See if the organization enables for funding for employees to attend conferences or industry events, or ask your manager for permission to attend a conference. Be sure to make the business case as to why you should attend! What is the benefit to the organization, your team, your department and to you? Why should the company invest the money?
These are just a few ways to take control of your own professional development.