Dust Off Your Backpack for Back to School
When you were a kid, did you dread going back to school or did you count the days, eagerly awaiting seeing your friends? When you finally graduated, were you happy to be done or do you view life as a ongoing learning adventure? The most successful professionals realize life-long learning is key to personal and professional development.
As a self-employed mom of two young kids, I know how hard it can be to find time for yourself – much less professional development. Most days I’m lucky if I have enough energy left to watch a show on Netflix.
But here’s the kicker.
Every time I carve out even a few minutes in a day to read, watch a TED talk, or take an online course I feel inspired. Inspired that my new learnings will help me either grow my business or better manage my time.
Here are some tips on how to improve your skills in just a few minutes a day.
- Start small. Focus on bite-size learning. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the information, but rather focus on learning one skill at a time. No learning is too small. Over time the small learnings will result in big changes.
- Immediate results. What are the skills that are easiest to learn that you can implement immediately? Maybe it’s learning a new template to simplify work flow. Sometimes we need instant gratification to increase our confidence.
- Work at your own pace. Be realistic about how much time you can dedicate in a week to professional development. Like an exercise routine, make sure you try and stick to this time so it becomes a habit and part of your routine.
- Focus on the long game. What skills are you wanting to learn? How will they benefit you? Think about your three, five and 10 year personal and professional development plans. I’m a big fan of learning skills that benefit both areas of your life.
- Be part of a community. Most online businesses have Facebook groups you can join. This will give you a place to ask questions and get some free advice or tips.
- Ask for help. If you are struggling to learn a new skill, reach out and ask an expert. You will be pleasantly surprised at how willing they are to help.
I’m a big believer that if you aren’t amplifying you’re weakening. To amplify your voice and message you need to create content that connects with your audience in a meaningful way. I know for me, it took years of professional development to figure out how to get clear on not only my message, but learn how to engage my audience in a way that interested them, not me.
Through the help of personal and professional development, I’ve been able to have confidence in myself as a communicator, and am able to tell engaging stories. I won’t say there weren’t bumps in the road, and times I took a break from professional development. But I’m committed to life-long learning as I’ve seen how it has transformed me as a professional and a person.
Back to School
As summer vacation wraps up and the kids are getting ready to go back to school, I encourage you to look at your own professional development. What skills do you want, or need, to learn? What is your learning style – online or in-person? How much time are you prepared to commit each week?
I’d love to hear how you’re doing on your professional development journey. And I’m happy to answer any questions you have about the importance of improving your communications skills.
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