I want a career and understand that professional development is important. Unfortunately every time I sign up for an event or conference, something comes up at work and I can’t go. Any suggestions? S.P., Owings Mill, MD
You’re right, professional development is important. No one employer can provide all the skills that make your professional success more likely. Look at the pattern you’ve established.
Are the events coinciding with peak activity in the business? Think about the work projects you prioritized over your development: were those projects truly that important? Have you looped your manager into your plans? Enlist him or her in your desire to improve your skills. It’s in their best interest for you to develop yourself. Make sure you have their blessing to step out for a development opportunity.
If you’re in a situation where you have an unsupportive manager, you may need to take a personal day or half day to accommodate your desire to expand your skills. Stay aware of your career no matter how busy work gets…you don’t want to end up years from now wishing you’d made different choices.
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