Professional Development: whose responsibility is it?

So many organizations are ripe with employer-driven personal and professional development opportunities that are supported, encouraged and often even funded by the company. I often tell my students to get a job with their Bachelors degree and find an organization to work for that will pay for the Masters. These organizations are the kind to keep on your radar, for sure, and these opportunities should be considered when making job choices.

But what if you work for an organization that really doesn’t do anything for their employees’ personal or professional development? Some of us do work for these types of companies and often end up there – stuck – for long periods of time. Maybe the money is good and you have a family at home, and your life just requires stability right now. So even though the organization is not supportingyour forward momentum in your career, you stay to keep the bills paid and roof over your head.

Understandable.

Respectable.

But there has to be a way to move forward in your career without loss of the current financial situation.

This is where the responsibility comes in. Some of us are lucky to have the responsibly built into our vocations via licensure and CPEs. But those of us who aren’t still have a lot of opportunities to grow, albeit on our own dimes and time.

Here are just a handful of the ways anyone in really any profession can ensure personal and professional development:

  • Join your occupation’s professional development organization. This opens access to special events, dinners, and even job opportunities through membership and the networking possibilities.
  • Attend seminars, conferences, and workshops in your field of expertise. These events are often posted in publications by the professional organizations, magazines, and all over the internet social media.
  • Take a class on a topic that you need to improve. A business owner friend is mine is taking a Quickbooks class at the local community college to get to know the system better.
  • Read books about the latest and greatest of the field. Some may know that yours truly needs a push too sometimes, but it really is an excellent way to keep you informed about developments in your area of expertise.
  • Follow bloggers that keep you thinking and that have the same career interests as you. We have choices who to follow or unfollow. Raise your hand if you ever got caught up in the negative trap of tweets. (All hands in the air.) Yep. Take control. Unfollow. At some point, we all need to clean up shop.

So Professional Development: whose responsibility is it? YOURS!🎉

I love this stuff. It is my passion to find ways to make people’s lives and careers better. Let’s all make sure that we are doing the best for ourselves and take charge of our professional selves❤

I’d love your comments, thoughts, and certainly, follows! I’m suddenly on a mission, so I’ll be posting much more from now on. Introduce yourself and let’s have a dialogue! (That’s for you, Art! 😉)

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That itching, nagging thought or idea

We all know we have that one ounce of extra something in us that could truly drive us to our personal limits. That itching, nagging thought or idea that just excites your mind, making your blood pump and your palms sweat, that idea that is going to change the world! (Imagine a guy with his white dress shirt top couple buttons unbuttoned, megaphone in hand exclaiming those last three words. That’s what I picture.)  So, why don’t more people have their success story? Why do so many people tell that itching, nagging thought or idea to just go away?

Could it be that really we’re afraid of becoming successful?  Could it be that although it is just such a great and respectable goal it would require us to change?

A new schedule.  New commute routes to learn. New contacts to create. Starting from the bottom yet again. These are scary and daunting truths about change,  at least in your career.

I bet if I asked for a show of hands in a random audience of who’s self-sabotaged an opportunity or experience because of the fear of change that the number of hands raised would far underrepresent the minds of those chewing on something they’d rather keep to themselves.

What if even one of those people could become inspired enough to take the plunge and answer that itching, nagging idea or thought? Maybe the answer to the plastic grocery bag problem? Or, perhaps the training to become the world’s happiest flight attendant and travel the world? Or even the response to a call for a theological life?

Do you have a story to share?  Was your hand raised or did you keep it to yourself? Did you listen to that itching, nagging thought or idea and have success? Or even a flop? (They say the journey is just as important as the destination.)

We’re BAAAAACK!!!

We’re BAAAAACK!!!.

My cousin Jen is raising a living and breathing miracle! Her son was born very premature,  and his brother went to Jesus after just a few short days with his mom and dad. Jacob has been handed a boatload of mental and physical challenges but Jen and her husband Bryan are working to knock them out of the way. They f I understand a place called IAHP, the Institute for Human Potential,  and this little boy is not only seeing when he was previously considered blind, but he’s even reading upwards of 100 words!

 

Check out Jen’s blog about their journey of miracles. If you can, please consider donating so they can continue the important work to help Jacob live a regular life.

 

Conflict: Type A versus Type C: From theory to reality

Conflict when dealing with employees,  teams, or families is something that is inevitable. Conflict is what allows innovation to occur. Ideas and the status quo have to be challenged in order to continue to meet the demanding needs of the world today. Type A conflict, however, is what usually gets people in trouble. It’s the type of conflict when it becomes personal when instead of challenging an idea the individual holding that idea is insulted. Many a brainstorming session has been ruined by people attacking the individual who shares an off the wall idea, many of which actually become something huge. Type C conflict, on the other hand, is the type of conflict that we want to foster in our workplaces and even in our families. This is where we challenge the idea, working along with the owner of the thought through dialogue.

So my story begins. I created a little bit of Facebook drama the other day, unintentionally, of course, by stating my opinion on a particular issue of parenting. I am NOT going to rehash the entire argument, there’s no need to go there again, but I do want to discuss the lesson that I learned. My strong opinion may have gotten a little personal. That’s when everything went awry. I really insulted somebody, actually a lot of somebodies. My opinion is clearly different than the majority, and I’m okay with that. My intention was to create a dialogue about something I find important. However, my choice of words turned it into something else. The power of words, it’s very real. So much of what we call bullying these days is all designed through words.

I intended to challenge an idea, by using Type C conflict, but with a choice of words it turned ugly and it became Type A conflict. It just goes to show how important it is to pay attention to what we do and say. While I certainly stand by my thoughts,  next time I want to voice my opinion, I’ll think a bit more before I open my mouth, or in this case, my status box.

The Difference Between 20 and 30.

Great post!

Suzie Speaks

GrowingOldIsToday I found a grey hair. Now, this sounds ridiculous, as I’ve had random grey eyebrows for years, but when I found it I genuinely felt quite sad. That single grey hair confirmed everything I’d been noticing recently… I’m getting older. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I’m old in the slightest, but I’ve noticed that my opinions of life and how I live it has changed since I turned 30. For example:

1. Staying out until three in the morning is almost impossible, and if I do I’m guaranteed to not be able to move from the hangover the next day even if I’ve only had a small amount of alcohol. In my 20’s I could go out all night wearing six inch heels and an outfit the size of a tea-towel and feel reasonably fine the next day. I don’t want to go out to nightclubs anymore. Instead…

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Thinking – Do we even do this anymore?

This was the summary for my LinkedIn profile for quite some time, and it’s time to update. However, I don’t want to lose these thoughts forever to the delete button, so here it is:

Thinking sometimes seems to be a lost art. We live in a world in which the easiest, cheapest, fastest way is the consistent goal, and our ability to view other perspectives gets swallowed up into a frenzy of convenience and habit. How do we get people to stop and actually think on a deeper level about the choices they make, about the long-term ramifications of certain decisions?

My answer is one person at a time. I choose to start with myself. Now in my fifth semester teaching Principles of Management and Creative Leadership at the community college where I work, I find a necessity to challenge my students more, to get them to think “outside the box”, to give them opportunities to problem solve and develop their team skills. Many nights, I stare at the wall, thinking, researching what others do, and then something just hits me. Helping my students to become thinkers is reciprocal, as I continue to develop my own skills along the way.

I want to keep going with this idea. I seek the opportunity to be a part of a wide-reaching solution in stale thought processes. From my own experiences so far, I’ve realized that to think outside the box, we must first break out of it. How to do that on a societal level in a way that brings about positive change for all is the root of my cause.

 

I welcome your thoughts on this topic as well! How can we bring back the lost art of thinking?