The case for personal professional development
Teaching in the field can be so time-consuming (and energy consuming) that practitioners forget to take time for themselves. You might have a daily yoga practice and get out regularly to run, but what are you doing for your professional self? How are you paving the path to your next career move? How have you made yourself indispensable in your current position – or how are you building your skills to shift your career path?
These questions can feel overwhelming if you are already working 12-hour days, looking at an email inbox with 136 unanswered emails, and feeling guilty about not revising your incident response plan. How could you possibly take on one more thing? I argue: how could you not?
Professional development sometimes feels like something that you do for your employer – attending the state-mandated food handler training, keeping your Wilderness First Responder certification current, clicking through the slides for the online driver training – but I’m talking about enriching your professional skills, taking time to connect with people who are passionate about outdoor programs, and dreaming about your future.
Here are seven ideas to keep your skills fresh, your professional network growing, and your next move on the horizon:
Dr. Angie Moline is the founder of Educate Wild! and an adjunct faculty member in the School of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.
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