Find Your Muse: Professional Development Outside the Office
We’ve launched a more formalized professional development program here at INK – hello, INK University! In this process I’ve realized that not all workplaces offer INK U-like opportunities to employees, so I thought I’d share some of my personal tips on how to take your professional education to the next level outside the office.
Go To Meetups
Head over to www.meetup.com, see what types of meetups are in your area, and then start going to them! They make it easy to network since you already have a mutual interest with the other attendees. Plus, there is a meetup for everything. (Seriously.) I recently went to AIGA Austin’s Creative Mass meetup, grabbed a beer and snacks, met some folks, rekindled professional relationships, and signed up for some upcoming workshops and events.
Take Online Courses
I am a sucker for online courses these days. I would recommend checking out sites like Udemy, Lynda and Skillshare to start. The courses on these sites are engaging, easy to navigate, and even a little addicting.
Use Social Media
Follow your career idols and fellow professionals on social media channels. See what they talk about, read their posts, look at their photos, watch their videos and engage with them when you can. This is an easy way to learn from the best and get inspired, while also networking in the digital space.
Try a Workshop
What better way to learn about something than to get hands on with it at a workshop? See what kinds of workshops and classes are in your area, from writing to drawing to public speaking. Then dive in. Immerse yourself in a workshop – whether it lasts two hours or two weeks – and you will walk away with new skills, new friends and likely newfound confidence.
Listen to Podcasts
Lately I have been listening to podcasts geared toward creative professionals (like the seanwes podcast) while going on long walks. The combination of professional development and revving up the endorphins is truly inspiring, and it motivates me to get going with a project like crafting or blogging as soon as I get home. I would recommend that you find a podcast that speaks to you and listen to it while exercising, sitting in traffic or even getting ready in the morning.
Moral of the story: professional development doesn’t have to bog down your to-do list. You can get creative with how you approach your career growth! Just figure out which methods work best for you and try to work them into your daily life.