Are You Ready To Focus on Your Professional Development?

The global pandemic has had many of us rethinking our careers, chasing new dreams, and focusing on ways to make ourselves more marketable to potential employers. For many people, professional development has been one way to ensure they stay employable in an uncertain market. If you’re interested in ways you can keep your resume fresh and plan for the next steps in your career with professional development, read on.

Attending Graduate School

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Since the pandemic began, graduate schools have seen an increase in admissions applications. Both new and seasoned undergrad graduates have turned to graduate school admissions counseling as a way to shine up resumes and put their best foot forward when it comes to getting accepted. From work on personal statements to how to interview with an admissions committee, graduate school admissions training centers have been working overtime to help students prepare for the application process of the graduate program of their choice.

One reason for this shift is the uncertain job market. Many of the recent college graduates who might otherwise be looking for jobs are, instead, using student loan deferral periods and shutdowns are reasons to pursue more education. Their hope is to be even more prepared to enter the job market when the economy in the United States fully opens back up.

Clinical or Post Grad Supervision

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Others are turning restriction and social distancing guidelines into opportunities to finish up supervised clinical trainings for licenses in fields that require supervised clinical hours. Therapy students, for example, are using this time for supervised telehealth meetings for one on one client contact hour time as mandated by licensing boards. Doing this now means they’ll be more prepared to see clients when therapy clinics open again after the pandemic.

Whether it’s present-day applications for supervised learning or working overtime on studying for bar and board tests, another way people are working toward personal development is in typing up loose ends. The real estate field, for example, has seen a rise in students requesting to take their broker tests. A silver lining to a horrible pandemic, professionals from nearly every field are using this time to further their future careers.

Dressing for Success

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Professional development only begins with paperwork, degrees, and licensing. To be successful, it’s important to give a good first impression. For those applying for new jobs, it’s been as important as ever that they dress for success—even during the Zoom era. Just because it’s a digital or virtual interview, it doesn’t mean job applicants with stiff competition aren’t logging in wearing petite work dresses, business suits and ties. In fact, the opposite is true. Now, as the market gets more competitive, people are paying more attention than ever to how they present themselves online.

Whether it’s through new live marketing efforts on social media or board room meetings over the internet, a major challenge has been standing out from the crowd in the new virtual work environment. For those who hope to get and stay ahead, attention to detail is key.

Continuing Education

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Attending digital conferences, taking extra courses, and keeping up with those licensing and continuing education requirements are all great ways to not only stimulate the human brain but keep your skills sharp as jobs and career plans change. Even if your overall career goals haven’t changed, the pandemic has certainly impacted most industries. For this reason, more and more employees are brushing up on their technology skills and, in many cases, taking on more than ever. Courses in unsupervised learning techniques, the collection and storage of transactional data, how to run virtual marketing campaigns, and ways to store additional information are all first steps people are taking for ultimate career optimization.

Whether your goal is to collect letters of recommendation for the top graduate schools or to learn more about employee retention, taking the first step in working on your professional development is never a bad idea. Eventually, the pandemic will be over and your career may look different than you ever expected but that could be a positive thing. Use this time to make the most of your future opportunities. You’ll thank yourself for your progress now later.