Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Personal Development

Project Management main phasesImage via Wikipedia

Personal development is something talked about, read about, and rarely carried out. I have a tendency to jot down short term goals, long term goals, and then promptly forget about that list. Isn’t it ironic that you know it’s important to do, but still conveniently forget about it? We all have skill sets that need to be worked on… Why is it that we take so long to actually do it?

Now I’m not saying that we don’t eventually do it… Actually I find myself still working on the list without even thinking about it. Some subconscious impulse to do this, or get this done that pushes me to complete at least some aspect of the previous list jotted down at some random moment. I assume it’s because I know the importance of following through with it.

You can go college, develop a skill set in high school or your free time but if you never practice it you get “rusty” eventually. Actually all of the above are true for me. Now sometimes it’s as easy as riding a bike. You just have to go through the motions and it will come back to you. In other cases technology progress, new versions are released, and you’re left in the dust.

It’s is crucial to stay abreast the current technology. It’s equally important to keep prior skills maintained. A well rounded skill set will keep you current with your chosen field’s trends, and give you a unique advantage over others you have slipped. Everything is affected this way. From your resume to the way you interact. This is clearly evident in the social networking phenomenon we are all currently living in. How does it directly affect you?

Job Searching: Online job searching is rampant. Numerous case studies prove that companies turn to the internet instead of coming in and filling out an application. So how do you get your resume in their hands? Well there are many options at your disposal. I have a few listed on to the left here.

LinkedIn: It has becoming more than a nice business networking tool. Strategies are formed solely this site. Numerous HR big wigs rave about the usefulness of this site. There are even online companies that coach you on how to maximize your online searches using SEO and LinkedIn.

LinkUp: A new alternative for careerbuilder and monster types. Corporate direct searches that actually give you real information about the jobs you’re looking at.

BLS: That’s right. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will give you facts about your or anyone other field. Information from the government that will actually help you for a change. Nice eh?

Blogs: Blogs, Blogs, Blogs… They give insight straight from the people you live and breathe the HR game. I have one on the left to start you off. Once you get a feel, you can search out others and develop your own strategy and attach the workforce.

Social Network: Chances are that you found this site via Facebook. Well that’s no coincidence. Social networking can actually give you information at your fingertips. The minds of many, working for you..

Delicious: A social bookmarking sight. Sounds lame right? Well actually it isn’t. The world of bookmarks provides so much information for you’re to browse at your leisure. Each is broken up via categories or ‘tags” and will take you to the topic you’ve decided to view. If you like it, you can bookmark it for future reference as well.

LinkedIn: Yep again. Networking for your career is important. Use it or you could be missing out on contacts that could prove beneficial one day. Not to mention the interesting people you come across and would like to keep in contact with.

Facebook: The mother of all social networking sights at the moment. Friends, family, businesses, bands, etc. are all on this bandwagon. You can promote, as I have, keep in contact with everyone you know and even waste time all right here.

Blogs: Yep also again. This outlet lets people discuss, convey, promote, or do whatever they desire largely for free. Blogs aren’t as popular as they once were. Hopefully that doesn’t stay that way. They range from family updates, to full blown business ventures and can be as cheap as free!

Computing: Technology changes fast. Be sure to stay up to date with the current trends so you won’t be lost.

Microsoft Works: Changes occur every 3 to 4 years. Outlook for your email, Word for your documents, etc., Powerpoint for presentation, blah blah. Everyone is familiar with the basic package. The interface changes are drastic from 2002 to 2010. Not enough to completely derail a person, but significant enough to cause a problem for many people. So checkout their online videos to stay current. And note it on your resume. Newer is better. It is easier to go backwards then it is to go forwards, ya dig?

Programming: If you are a tech nerd like me, it is important to stay on top of the current software. So be aware of where to get the tools you need. For free and legal preferably. So check out the development section at Microsoft.

Additional Resources: Are everywhere. Google the net, use the search tool above, or any of the resources located on the left. You won’t be completely lost for long if you search for it. There are free tools for everything. There is even a site with free software to streamline writing a novel.

Well that will do it for now. This is only the tip of the iceberg. Apply the personal development list to your advantage. It could range from LEAN SIX SIGMA processes, Management Processes, Emotional Intelligence Quizzes, Survival Guides, Technique Development, etc. Be sure to continue your learning curve, for it is never ending.

As Always… Knock Hard… Life is Deaf…

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