5 Steps to Begin Your Professional Development

Professional Development and You in 5 Steps
so...You’re Frustrated With Your Career?


So here you are. You’ve been working for a year or two (or ten), and you’re frustrated. You’re probably sitting at your desk right now, combing through job postings on your lunch break all with the goal of finding your dream job. You’re savvy, self-motivated, and not afraid to try new things, but your current job isn’t taking advantage of your skills, and you know it isn’t going to provide you with the career growth and stimulation you need to truly thrive.

The challenge, though, lies in sussing out the steps for the right career path—and in finding the right tools and skills that will get you where you want. Maybe you just need to fill in your knowledge gaps, or maybe you need the right connections to get your dream job. Regardless, grinding away at your current role isn’t an option, but now you’re faced with the grand question: “Now what?”

Here are our five tips on what to think about as you prepare yourself for this next step in life.

1. Remember: You Create Your Future

Education and connections have a huge role in your professional success, but just because you don’t have family money and an Ivy League degree doesn’t mean you can’t be just as successful as Herbert Bifford III, your college bf’s second cousin who now runs his own wealth management fund (which of course he started with his own trust fund).

While getting ahead used to require a huge investment of time and resources if you weren't lucky enough to have these at your disposal, there are now a couple of ways you can hack the system. First things first. You’ll have to think long and hard about your ultimate career goals.

2. Map Out Your Career Path

While it’s true that your career might change several times over the course of your lifetime, starting out with a concrete plan is key. With a defined goal, you can start creating the professional development plan that lets you figure out what skills you’ll need to acquire to get your dream job.

Let’s say you want to break into Product Management, or that your goal is to work in Digital Marketing for Google. There are a variety of soft skills and technical skills you’ll need to possess to be a viable candidate

3. Professional Development Is Not One-Size-Fits-All

If professional development is the combination of technical skills training
(“learning”), soft skills development (“connecting”), and professional network-building (“creating”) that enables you take the next steps down your desired career pathway, remember this:  your professional development needs to be tailored both to your industry and you.

If this is the first time you’ve started down the path to professional development, you’ll want to look out for learning opportunities that offer the learning, connecting, and creating development you seek.

4. Identify Your Best Options for Gaining Lifelong Learning Skills

Weigh whether finding a career coach, getting an online certification, or getting a nanodegree at one of the online MOOCs could be your best course of action.     

Interestingly enough, these options typically address only one aspect of the professional development equation:  career coaches are great for developing your career pathway and soft skills approach, while online certifications typically address just technical/hard skills.

Here’s where digital learning solutions like Quora, Brightmind, even Duolingo enter:  each of them offer the ability to work on your technical skills as part of a learning community.

5. But I Want an All-in-One Professional Skills Development App!

Fine, fine, you got us:  learning apps like Duolingo and sites like Quora don’t foster the intimacy and collaboration that a learning community like Brightmind does.

But what is Brightmind? We’re an app in the career skills space - a vibrant community of peers and experts in any professional field who provide targeted training and connections for careers like Product Management, Digital Marketing, and Web development. Brightmind provides the resources, connections, and community in a single, convenient, free format.

Taking control of your future has never been easier, so participate in our beta, and join the revolution today.