That trade show or seminar might not be for a few months,but if you know it is coming, then you can put it in your calendar with the deadline for registry. Your career depends on being current, right? So plan for it. Very often, the notification for registry gets lost in the shuffle of daily tasks or the dates get filled with other things that could have been scheduled differently. January is a good time to pencil things in and make sure you allow time for them.
It’s a good idea to look over all the possible events in your field and evaluate them in the light of your career plans. When the time comes to move into another position, the fact that you have taken the initiative to seek out pertinent knowledge is in your favor. Trade shows, seminars, and the like are excellent ways to do this:
see what the industry is trending toward
network with others in your professional sphere
evaluate your skills
get ideas for improving those skills
Maybe your field has so many trade shows and seminars you’d be spending half your time attending. That just gives you a broader range of choices, doesn’t it? If you attended one last year that didn’t impress you, look for an alternative that has more promise. It’s too late to have many choices if you wait for registry deadlines because the good ones fill up fast.
Events like these are a help in defining your career objective. Your job is usually a small slice of a very big possible career, and attending these events can give you a much larger perspective on the possibilities available to you. But you have to get them on your calendar first.
Employers like to hire people who keep their skills up to date. The best way to do this is to become a life-long learner. The Education resume section shouldn’t just begin and end with your university degrees. Keep on learning. Take classes, view webinars, participate in association chat and conference sessions, anything that will increase your knowledge and expertise in life and your job. There are a variety of places to look for life-long learning opportunities. You can start with Continuing Education through your professional association or college. Many PBS television stations carry some form of adult learning classes. Take the seminars that are offered through your job. Checkout online videos or webinars that showcase college lectures. Search for higher education institutions that allow you to take online classes. Some classes are free while others have a charge for earning credit. Scan your local paper for museums, institutes and other public places that offer classes. Classes for credit are good because you are tested and held accountable to learn what is being taught. But even classes that do not offer credit or that are not taken for credit will still add to your skill sets and knowledge base. These learning opportunities make you more valuable to employers. Employers are so interested in finding life-long learners as employees that some companies will offer educational opportunities to their employees on a regular basis. It may be in the form of company-sponsored computer classes, tuition reimbursement or even professional conferences. While you may be required to make a presentation on what you learned when you return from a conference, the knowledge gained and the increased skill sets on your resume may be worth it.