I just had an extraordinary opportunity (for me). Now that I’m in my first truly professional position (office, desk, and shirt/slacks daily), I’ve been placed in a position to travel for work. For the past five days, I’ve been in Nashville, Tennessee for a conference and, though the conference was focused on development, the branding sessions I went to were spectacular. Honestly, I think I learned as much about how to follow my entrepreneurship dreams as I did about how to be a great development professional. So, I advise you to find ways that you can leverage your position at whatever organization you’re with to get a free education. I took notes that can never be taken from me. I made contacts that will, be in my possession forever. I brought my wife along for the ride since it was Valentine’s Day weekend. I enjoyed time with family that I rarely see. I had a great time and saw a city that I’d never seen. And, arguably best of all, I’m getting reimbursed for it all. So, I advise you to find conferences that will help you grow and develop as a young professional, pitch the conference to your company, and see if they’ll foot the bill for it. Investing in professional development is something that can be beneficial to both you and your organization. But, if you don’t push for it, they may not either, and you won’t be in a position to advocate for yourself when it’s time to discuss increased compensation.
To get to the point, learn all you can while you can, especially if it’s free.
Make professional development a priority.