5 Professional Development Tips to Make 2020 The Best Year Of Your Career
By Kara Page
The start of a new year provides the perfect opportunity to reflect on new goals and past accomplishments. Our team has created a list of five recommendations for helping you have the best year of your career. Make 2020 the year for meaningful professional development.
1. Join a Professional Organization
Professional networking organizations are a fantastic way to meet like-minded professionals facing similar workplace challenges and opportunities. Hundreds of organizations exist with opportunities to connect locally, nationally, or internationally. Benefits of joining professional organizations include:
- Educational Opportunities – Learn from inspiring speakers, access organization-specific resources, attend workshops, and more
- Give Back to the Community – Volunteer with your organization and engage in philanthropic pursuits
- Enhance Your Network – Meet and make meaningful connections with professionals, access organization-specific job postings, and build leadership skills by taking an active role in the organization
- Improve Your Resume – Maintaining an active role in a professional organization can positively impact your job search
Unsure where to start? Try searching for a professional organization using this tool, ask friends and colleagues for suggestions, or see what’s happening in your area by reviewing upcoming meetings posted on Meetup.com.
2. Learn Something New
There are endless opportunities for you to learn new skills that will enable you to pursue a new passion, develop in-demand skills, and discover new talents. From formal education to free resources online, there are seemingly endless opportunities for you to learn. If you’re interested in pursuing a graduate degree, both the University of Florida and Michigan State University offer highly regarded online master’s programs designed to give students the flexibility they need to accommodate a busy life and the rigor they need to be able to succeed.
If you’re interested in a more informal educational environment, you can learn from experts on YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, MasterClass, and more.
Never stop learning and evolving as the curious mind is often the most successful.
3. Attend a Conference
Attending a professional conference is an excellent opportunity to learn about emerging industry trends, attend inspiring educational sessions, network with leaders, engage in dynamic conversations fueled by a shared passion, and more. Conferences are a great way to connect with talented professionals who you wouldn’t have otherwise met.
Join our team at StratCommWorld in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of June. StratCommWorld is not your typical conference. It’s your connection to networking with globally-minded experts and strategic communication strategies that challenge the status quo. Unlike other conferences that are focused on quantity over quality, StratCommWorld strives to ensure high-quality engagement with expert speakers and valuable networking with peers. This is a strategic communication conference fueled by passion and driven by professional growth.
4. Refine Your Networking Skills
Networking can be intimidating, so we recommend starting with your closest connections first. Build meaningful friendships with your inner circle before expanding outward. Networking is more than a business card exchange. To be an effective networker, you need to approach new connections as if they’re potential new friends. Bond over shared experiences, discuss similar interests, and show that you care about the person. Being an engaged communicator can help you establish more meaningful connections in 2020.
5. Set Goals
Make a list of concrete professional goals you want to achieve during 2020. How many conferences do you want to attend? What skills do you want to learn? How many new connections do you want to make? Setting tangible goals and deadlines helps to hold yourself accountable. Write down what you want to achieve and check in with your list regularly to see how you’re progressing towards your goals.
We hope 2020 is filled with new opportunities, meaningful connections, and endless professional growth.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kara Page is communications director for StratCommWorld. She is owner of Rewritten Page, LLC, a marketing and communication company dedicated to helping brands, entrepreneurs, and businesses tell compelling stories through strategic, digital communication.