Whether you feel like your executive career has stalled, you’re considering a job transition, you want to stay current and relevant, or you’re simply curious about a new topic, learning new skills will help you reach those goals. On top of that, one of the top things hiring companies and boards look for in their incoming executive talent is that the individual is a continuous learner.
There are common ways to develop new skills and knowledge—get another degree, sign up for a professional course, attend a conference—but in many cases, those require a significant financial and time commitment. Here are some suggestions with varying time commitments
Free Executive Professional Development Opportunities
- Listen to podcasts and watch YouTube videos and TED Talks. Believe it or not, podcasts have more to offer than true crime stories! There is a plethora of podcasts, videos, and TED talks covering seemingly infinite professional development topics. Listen to a podcast when commuting to the office (or the golf course!) or watch a video while cooking dinner. Absorb as much as you can of this valuable free information.
- Conduct informational interviews. Put a request out to your network and learn directly from the experts by connecting with them for informational interviews. These conversations can be an excellent way to network, explore a new industry, dive deep into a specific area, and stimulate your imagination. It will be a mutually beneficial experience; most people love sharing their knowledge and talking about their experiences, and an outside perspective can be illuminating.
- Take a free online course. If you haven’t discovered the wonderful world of Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) websites, you should! Platforms such as edX, Udemy, and Coursera all offer a “massive” range of professional development courses for free, covering anything from hobbies to topics of interest to credentials. Take some time to browse available classes; you may find just what you need to take your career to the next level or land your next board seat.
- Volunteer at an industry event or conference. This unique approach can provide equally unique networking and learning opportunities. You’ll gain an entirely different perspective by participating in an event from behind the scenes rather than as an attendee.
To find out how we can help you cover your new skills on your career marketing documents, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.