What makes us at AU special to potential employers? Exposure to The Voice Magazine articles promotes our personal and professional development. At my former brick-and-mortar university, many of its newspaper articles did not groom me for professional or even personal growth. However, The Voice Magazine‘s articles delve into ways to improve our well-being and discover opportunities. And in this article, I will reveal some professional development secrets I almost held back on discussing—some of which were given to me by a director who earned nearly half a million a year.
Become a leader at a professional association. I’m a private person, so I wouldn’t do this. But if we want a list of relevant professional organizations, we can ask ChatGPT. (I use Ask AI for my ChatGPT phone app). For instance, we can join the Calgary Marketing Association or the American Marketing Association if we’re into marketing. I want to sit remotely on a board for an international marketing association once I acquire more designations. Any association or organization with which we develop a leadership role can greatly impact our career potential.
Learn how to use career-relevant software. If we work for a company, software producers are chomping to give us free demonstrations on how to use their software. And they’ll also provide lots of free training opportunities. Lynda.com and Udemy.com are two great ways to learn software quickly. And what better way to find which software to learn than to search job portals like Indeed.com or Monster.ca to see the software that the best-paying jobs require. So getting a head start on learning those softwares could give a leap start on our career potential.
Develop our communication skills. I’ve been taking courses from SocialSelf, although other options exist to learn communication and social skills, such as Udemy or Lynda.com. After taking my class, I interact wonderfully with everybody I encounter. And today, Canada Day, a merchant gave me free food because we got along so great. And I had a wonderful conversation with a woman in the Subway lineup. My confidence in social situations is skyrocketing. It’s quite profound how learning simple communication skills can benefit our world. And the implications of rapport-building for professional development are powerful.
Read books that benefit professional development. I read the book Mindset by Carol S. Dweck, Atomic Habits by James Clear, and Drive by Daniel H. Pink. These are all great for professional development. But some classics exist online, including Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson. We could listen to the audiobooks while we work. After all, knowledge is power.
Develop a personal brand. I have branded myself on my deepest value: love. To brand ourselves, analyze what makes us shine–and everybody shines uniquely. It might be our hobby, familial bonds, or other traits. We could post this on a blog, on LinkedIn, or through Help A Reporter Out (HARO). If we use the free HARO, I recommend pitching ideas to the Authority Magazine for branding purposes. Pick a topic they feature that fits our interests. And then submit a pitch. They send us interview questions; we write and submit the interview responses. It’s important to edit the write-ups before the final submission. And it’s great for personal and professional branding.
Map out measurable career goals. Ever since I discovered the value of the Canada Job Grant, I’ve committed to investing in education and credentials year-round. I’m in the second level of a critical thinking and problem-solving course, and I love it. My goals include raising my income through course production and affiliate marketing. Great plans for us may include developing soft skills and leadership abilities or acquiring certifications and expertise. And once we are in the workforce, invest in our education non-stop! That alone will give us AU students value beyond our degrees for any organization. So, set professional goals every chance we get.
Develop our writing skills. My writing could have been better when I started writing for The Voice Magazine. But writing two articles every week, especially while living a busy life, can quickly amp up writing abilities. And many vocations require a level of competence with writing. I recommend using Grammarly’s free version for editing purposes. And a trick to get our articles noticed is using a free keyword tool for SEO called Keyword Tool. And, of course, becoming a fellow Voice Writer is an excellent option, too.
So, those are some ideas for professional development. I gave away a few secrets for success, some of which my brother, who was the Global Finance Director of an international company—and made a killing, gave me. But that’s what makes us at AU powerful. We don’t let limitations stop us from achieving greatness. Or else, why would we be in academia? And professional development is one route to realizing our unlimited, amazing potential.