Want More Career Development? Look Outside Of The Office

July 11, 2019 Catherine Tacopina

Throughout your career, there may be times when you’ll feel that your growth has stagnated. While you may feel a little stuck, know that you aren’t alone! Most professionals have the same concern, and in an effort to address it, many employers are implementing new career development programs.

While it’s becoming more common for employers to provide career development opportunities to upskill their staff and improve retention, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to take some initiative when it comes to your career. To develop your skills, accomplish your goals, and build experience, development should be a joint effort between employers and employees. As a result, you should also look for professional development opportunities outside of the office to supplement what you are learning at work. By doing so, you’ll make yourself an even more valued member of your team than you already are!

Here are five ways you can pursue career development opportunities out of the office:

Review your resume

When’s the last time you looked at your resume? If your answer is the last time you applied for a job, you’re probably in the same boat as most other professionals. However, your resume is a great starting point when it comes to your own career development! If you haven’t recently reviewed your resume, take some time to look it over. How have you grown since the last time you applied for a job? What areas do you think you can still work on? Being able to analyze your current capabilities will give you a better picture of how and what you should do in order to grow.

Sign up for classes

Some companies will provide opportunities for their employees to receive certifications that can help them advance their careers. If your company does not provide this, however, you should consider signing up for classes that will aid you in your career development. By strengthening valuable technical skills with outside courses, you can ultimately put yourself in a better position for new opportunities. For example, an accountant who pursues classes in order to obtain their CPA may increase their professional marketability for future job opportunities.

Attend networking events + conferences

Networking events can be intimidating for many professionals, but it’s possibly the best way to strengthen the soft skills many employers are looking for. In fact, some employers will prioritize employees who demonstrate exceptional soft skills over those with the necessary technical skills for a job. While career development tends to focus on your technical capabilities, it’s important to think about it from a soft skills perspective as well. Additionally, if you’re looking to expand your industry-specific knowledge, attending conferences can help you gain insight and knowledge from leading professionals within your field!

Find a mentor outside of the office

Every professional will need to seek out advice throughout their career. Because of this, it’s important to have a professional mentor you can easily turn to. While it can certainly be beneficial to have a mentor at work, it’s also good to develop a relationship with a mentor outside your organization. This person should be someone whose career you admire and would potentially like to emulate. They can also serve as an impartial third party when it comes to workplace issues and challenges, as well as your job search.

Read more: 4 Reasons Why You Need A Professional Mentor

Become a volunteer

Volunteering with a charitable organization is another way to pursue career development opportunities outside of the office! As a volunteer, you can choose to work on projects that leverage your current skills, as well as help you build new ones. If you have strong sales experience, for example, you can leverage the skills you have to advocate for an organization you’re passionate about, while improving on something like public speaking skills.

Are you an employer looking to expand your career development offerings to staff? Check out our latest eBook for tips on how to do so!

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