How to Invest in Your Career Development

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There’s no denying that there are many “isms” that can hold us back from excelling in our careers—racism, sexism, classism, ageism…the list goes on and on. But the fact that these “isms” exist doesn’t make us powerless in progressing our careers. Beyond working hard there are things that you can do to invest in your career development and growth, to diminish the possible impact of the “isms,” and turn yourself into an industry boss. Here are four things that you can do to invest in your career development.  

First, invest in your career growth by educating yourself! In the legal practice we have these mandatory courses called Continuing Legal Education. They provide attorneys with information in their particular area of practice and are designed to make sure that attorneys are up to date on the latest developments. Attorney or not, you should be constantly educating yourself in your area of work or expertise. In a world where things are ever-changing, your college degree gets stale quickly, so if you want to establish yourself as someone who is knowledgeable and credible, you have to stay current by reading and researching in your field. Find and read the books by credible authors and subscribe to the relevant online publications that provide real-time updates on changes and developments in your industry and watch your knowledge and confidence in your area expand.

Second, consider attending courses, conferences and summits in your industry. Your attendance expands on your knowledge like reading and researching does but it takes your growth a step further by allowing you to connect with other people in your field. The connection is key because that is how you prove to your industry colleagues and competitors that you are serious about growing your career, business and influence. My attendance at various conferences has been a game-changer in my legal and sports career. In fact, I saw Beyond the Game LLC’s business skyrocket when I invested the time and money to attend the National Association of Collegiate Director of Athletics (NACDA) Convention several years ago. The time and money were worth it because it afforded me the opportunity to learn, get in front of clients and establish myself as someone dedicated to the industry.

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That is actually the motivation behind the GladiatHers® Women in Sports Empowerment Summit. It is an opportunity for women in the sports industry (like you) to learn from experts about wellness, personal branding, leadership, financial literacy and career development; meet and connect with other women in the industry; learn from experts in the sports industry; and to show others in the industry that you are serious about your career and your influence.

I can already hear some of you, “But these conferences are expensive! They cost money!” Yes, investing in your career and brand is going to cost you money and time…that’s why it’s called investing. If you want to be a boss, though, you have to be willing to spend the money and time it costs to put yourself in position to learn and connect with the right people. The greater you are willing to invest in yourself, the greater growth you will see in your career. I promise it’s true. Those couple of thousands of dollars that I invested into the NACDA Convention has blossomed into thousands of more dollars, wonderful opportunities and amazing connections.

If you don’t think that you can afford the investment, start saving so that you can! Sacrifice that Starbucks latte, or happy hour for one month and watch how you magically have the coins to attend the GladiatHers® Summit! If saving just isn’t enough, ask! I did a Workin’ Women Wednesday on how to go about asking for help. Check that out for some guidance but also check out the “Convince Your Boss” section at GladiatHersSummit.com. There I provide specific instructions on how to convince your boss to let you attend and actually sponsor your attendance at summits and conferences like the GladiatHers® Summit so that the investment isn’t all on your shoulders.

The third thing and final thing that you want to do to invest in your career development is to (surprise, surprise) network within your industry. Networking, growing your sphere of influence and connectivity, is a sure fire way to grow your career. Go to the meetups, mixers, and even parties that are related to your field of practice. It’s important to be strategic about the networking events that you attend. Save yourself time, money and business cards by only attending those that are relevant to your industry. It may take some research to find those particular events, but it’ll be worth it. If you aren’t sure about how to network or you need to brush up on your networking skills, check out, “Network Like an Athlete,” I tell you exactly how to get the job done.

So that’s it. Invest the time and money into educating yourself, attending conferences and summits, and networking and watch your career blossom.

Don’t forget to invest in your career by grabbing your ticket to the GladiatHers Women in Sports Empowerment Summit! Click here for tickets!

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