Stir crazy is a phrase that’s been coming up in many of my conversations. Have you found the same?
Indeed, these are challenging times. It’s tempting to plop in front of Tiger King on Netflix and binge watch seven episodes. (If that helps you manage through this time, I say go for it.)
But, don’t forget professional development as another thing you can do to manage through
How often have we all said, “If only I had time, I’d learn how to…”
If you’re like me, you’ve said that phrase often. There are many things I’ve put off learning until “the time is right.” (Insider scoop: SEO is at the top of my list.)
Now that we’re at home more, we all have time to tackle our professional development lists.
But how do you choose what professional development to engage in right now?
Just over a year ago, I answered that question when I talked with Ed Gandia about the importance of professional development. (Listen to the full podcast here.)
What I shared during our conversation applies now more than ever. Right now, while you have “the gift of time,” pull out that list of skills you want to learn or professional development challenges you want to conquer.
Review the list. Add anything new that’s come up based on current circumstances.
Then assess different development activities to determine which one is a fit. I recommend assessing each development activity against these three qualifiers:
If you’re going to work on a particular skill, do some investigating. You want to be sure that whatever resource you use—a coach, course, book, or other content—is in alignment with what you need.
2. Social proof
Look for proof that whatever resource you’re going to use is delivered at the right level for you. Do you need something more straightforward? More sophisticated? More applied? Look for testimonials (e.g., book reviews, website testimonials, and mentions in industry publications). See how that resource has benefited others.
3. Internal ROI
You want to make sure you’re getting something in return for your investment of time and money. By looking at the internal ROI, you also encourage yourself to implement what you learn. You have to take ownership of what you’ve learned to get the most out of it. ROI helps you give yourself a realistic–and tangible–target.
As I said, for a while I’ve wanted to increase my SEO chops. A few weeks ago, I heard from a colleague that Moz is offering free access to their Moz Academy courses through the end of May. Moz is considered the industry pros when it comes to SEO. There are five modules in the beginner level. My goal: complete those five lessons. I’ll let you know how it goes.
If you’re looking for accountability around your COVID-19 professional development plans, leave a comment and let me know what you’re tackling during this time.
Here’s to all off us stirring in some professional development amid the stir crazy!