Fall is my favorite time of the year, for many reasons. One in particular involves heading back to school. As the youngest of ten kids, everything I had was a hand-me-down, with the exception of new school supplies. Crisp and clean white pages of a new notebook, never touched crayons exploding with color, a shiny set of pens and freshly sharpened pencils, a full bottle of glue with no messy residue around the tip yet, and a fun new school bag with which to carry it all around. Pristine supplies, the crisp fall air, and the sense of new possibilities cultivated a visceral response and general eagerness enticing me back to the pursuit of a formal education.
As adults, we don’t necessarily have the same right of passage as the start of a new school year. And most of us don’t have a structure or discipline for expanding our professional development, particularly as we become more seasoned pros. Yet that’s exactly what many of us need to provide a fresh lens to the work we do.
With the start of a new school year, I challenge you to build your own professional development plan to support your career growth, and maybe expand outside of it as well.