Building your skill set is crucial to being a highly sought-after professional, but technical skills are just the beginning. The ability to speak in public, both as an expert and as a trainer, can greatly improve your career and advance your goals. Learning to network is also critical to becoming prominent in the business community.
Once you’re on your way in your chosen field, the learning never stops. Not only can you continue to advance your skills in the programs and platforms you already know, but new products are constantly entering the marketplace, requiring you to grow. We all want to make improvements in our lives and move further up in our careers, so when it comes to getting further education, it’s important to choose the right MBA program for you and your needs. Luckily, there are many programs built around the hours that those in the workforce need, so classes and assignments can be managed on the weekends or in the evening. The availability of online classes also makes it possible for you to study when it works best for your schedule.
Your expertise is critical to your success in the workplace, but so is learning to connect with other professionals in your field. Friendly competition can turn to field collaboration when you learn to network. For example, if you have a client who is having a problem with a program or software that you aren’t familiar with and they need help fast, a networking contact may be able to assist you. This connection can make you look like a well-connected professional. Throw some business to your networking connection, and save your client a great deal of time and frustration. You become both more knowledgeable and trusted in the community when you operate in this way.
If you want to expand your reach as a professional and grow as a leader, learn to speak in public. Join a speaking group such as Toastmasters. You’ll discover a great deal about yourself. You’ll also get to connect with professionals outside your field and develop friendships with contacts you might not have met otherwise. Having a great business is critical, but when you can present your vision to a group as well as speaking one on one, you’ll greatly increase your ability to spread your message.
While you’re in the business of making money, there are many worthy causes that could use your expertise, even if they can’t afford you. To get your name and that of your business into the community, consider volunteering your skills to a cause you care about. This may be helping a nonprofit build a promotional database or update their employee management software. Leaders of these organizations often have professional connections in the for-profit world. You can both help out a cause you care about and get your name before community leaders.
Your professional life can grow exponentially if you put yourself out there both as an expert and as someone who’s willing to pitch in and help. Attend networking events, and try to find common connections. Seek out causes you care about and participate in the life of your community.
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