Sunday, October 07, 2007

It's Important to Attend Professional Conferences

I recently attended the NRWA conference in Savannah, GA and returned with a wealth of information about leading-edge techniques for resume writing and career coaching. Every time I go to a professional development conference I take away golden nuggets of information that I can incorporate into my practice. But even if I had left the conference without learning one new strategy for resume writing or career coaching I still would have seen enormous value in attending the conference and here's why.

  1. I had the privilege of sitting with a prolific industry author and learning her tips and tricks to writing successful career relevant books.
  2. I got to know some of the industry vendors on a more personal level and discover their passion for the products they sell.
  3. I reconnected with friends, colleagues, and industry leaders that I trust and respect.
  4. I offered industry insights to newer members of the trade and shared ideas with industry old-timers.
In order to effectively manage your career, you need to proactively tap into your existing network and build new relationships within your industry. Professional conferences allow you to do this in an educational and social environment. Sure, these conferences take time and money, but the return on your investment will be obvious in the weeks and years to come. In a nutshell, I deepened relationships with people who already knew me and I forged relationships with others who didn't know me before the conference. What opportunities for professional growth exist within your industry and what are you doing to take advantage of these opportunities?

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