It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Oh wait, I guess that is supposed to be Christmas. Oh well, I say the first day back-to-school is it and I guarantee you a few other parents would agree! So it was with a little happy dance this morning that I sent off my son with his new backpack filled with new notebooks and pencils to tackle a new year. As an 8th grader he still has the most challenging years ahead of him with high school and college a distant but fast approaching reality. As we were on our way to school, he posed an interesting question to me “Mom, would you ever go back to school?”

My first answer was (hell) no, I don’t think so but the more I thought about it, I certainly could use a few classes or seminars to get my mind moving in a different direction, brush-up on my skills and expand my horizons into vertical fields. So this afternoon at pick-up I changed my answer to yes. Professionals, no matter how seasoned, can always learn something new and there are plenty of opportunities to do so:

  • Continuing Education classes: Continuing ed isn’t just a great way of expanding your knowledge base; it’s a great way to enhance your experience of the world and can help you to diversify your wheelhouse and take your career to the next level.
  • Earn that degree: A degree in your field is your first step to becoming a valuable member of a team that needs you, or an even more valuable member of your current team. Or earn a degree that complements your field and can enhance your overall marketability and contributions.
  • Get certified: As above, a certification in a specialty field can enhance your overall career and take you in new directions.
  • Say Yes to Seminars & Conferences: These can help you keep pace with industry trends and can bring you up-to-speed on industry changes in a short period of time. Plus they are a terrific networking opportunity.
  • Go to the Head of the Class: Don’t want to be a student? Consider teaching at a local HS or college. Preparing lesson plans for class will help you hone in on what you know best and give you a window into what skills you may need to sharpen.

Also consider that as a professional going back-to school you have a head start on most of the other students — you know what you want, you may receive some help with the tuition or conference fees from your employer, you can focus better and you are better prepared overall with what might be thrown at you.

Best part of all, you don’t have to worry what to wear on picture day.

Happy Learning!