Learning is a life-long pursuit, even when you don’t get a report card with letter grades.
When you join the professional world, you can distinguish yourself by continuing your education. Always seek knowledge in your chosen field and keep up with the best practices. In the legal field, this is required. But for most of us, it is not required and thus a way to distinguish yourself.
Here are some practical ways to continue learning that apply to nonprofit managers, but you can use the principles in any chosen profession:
1. Know A Lot About A Little. Become an expert in your chosen field through experience that is supplemented by outside influences.
2. Know A Little About A Lot. Learn something about a broad range of topics so you can converse with a wide range of people and hold your own. Read newspapers regularly so you know about international affairs and a wide range of domestic topics.
3. Attend Events. There are events and conferences in almost every field you should attend. Most professions have a “trade conference” where the industry leaders get together to discuss best practices and browse an exhibit hall full of relevant vendors. Also attend local events at think tanks or lectures on campuses to hear from experts in your subject and others with interesting arguments.
4. Find a Mentor.
5. Take Advantage of Resources Read blogs, listen to audio books, listen to podcasts, get on email lists, and use all the resources that are available.
6. Read Business Literature.
Start with one thing at a time and you will distinguish yourself over time. It is surprising how few employees take advantage of the resources that exist. Will you?