January 14


Professional Development Opportunities Are Everywhere

Professional Development Opportunities
Are Abundant and Waiting for You!

What is professional development to you?
How often are you professionally developing yourself?
Do you accept opportunities to grow?

Professional Development depicted by Carthage College's Logo of the Flame of Illumination
Professional Development heats up YOUR Career

Professional Development comes in many shapes and sizes – the variety is staggering! At times, even dizzying! Alright, I admit professional development can imply many things. That is actually my point. It means so much more than going to a seminar or class. It is greater than reading a book. It is all these and much more.

What is Professional Development?

According to BusinessDirectory.com professional development is:  “Process of improving and increasing capabilities of staff through access to education and training opportunities in the workplace, through outside organization, or through watching others perform the job. Professional development helps build and maintain morale of staff members, and is thought to attract higher quality staff to an organization. Also called staff development.”

Wow, the above definition is boring and quite limiting. My experience is professional development is so much more and always inviting us forward. Each time you attend a networking event, lunch and learn, any workshop or seminar, mentor meeting, read a book, or even learning new technology you are professionally developing yourself. Even reading this blog qualifies as professional development!

How often are you accepting the invitations to professionally develop yourself?

Last month I was given an invitation to guest lecturer at Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Carthage College is a Liberal Arts College, which is in great demand. It’s a leader in many of is fields and in closing gaps for its students. Let me explain. This past October there was an Alumni Networking Dinner. I attended, and I’m grateful I did. I learned from the students what marketplace trends they were noticing and studying. I was able to share some different ideas too and offer professional development tips.

Then yesterday, I was asked to wisdom-share on small talk, business etiquette, and networking. Instead of sharing my basics, I decided to research the topics. Wow, I was amazed at all the information available! I took it on to discover tips I didn’t already know. I searched, found, and shared. It was a great professional development opportunity for everyone. I utilized this opportunity to grow myself as I was serving others.

How often are you invited to such events or opportunities to learn something new? Remember that our virtual invitations to evolve are important and definitely on demand AND it’s the face to face opportunities which support your professional development in quantum leaps.

Say “YES!” more often to giving and receiving (professional) wisdom.

One of the reasons liberal arts graduates are in such high demand is because they are taught within their field of expertise AND in the arts. They are taught deduction and inductive reason. Critical thinking is the X-Factor which is going to serve well in our mysterious workplace future. Liberal arts grads are trained critical thinkers who know how to cross-pollinate ideas for great success. Don’t you want someone like this on your team? I do!

Professional Development Opportunities Abound

If you aren’t already actively involved in professional development, you might want to create a goal to step out of your routine and try something new. Find a new group to do wisdom-sharing. Don’t let your important wisdom wither away!  Find the appropriate audience who would appreciate your topic and ask if you could share it with them. Meetup groups, associations, colleges, and high schools are always seeking presenters. Why not make purposeful wisdom-sharing one of your 2015 goals?

Please feel free to comment on what what your message or topic is for your wisdom-sharing. OR if you have a topic and aren’t sure who would appreciate it, share that and let’s see if any of us can help you come up with where to share it!


If you want to discuss this strategy or something you need assistance with,
please call Maggie (262) 716.7750 for YOUR No-cost Consultation.

Blessings of Success to YOU ~
Maggie Mongan, Brilliant CEO & Founder
Brilliant Breakthroughs, Inc.

Direct Dial: 262-716-7750
LinkedIn: Maggie Mongan

p.s.: Thank you Jason Pruitt of Carthage College Career Services. I appreciated the opportunity to wisdom-share with the Juniors and Seniors regarding their Professional Development Journey. Can you believe that over 20% of them invited me to connect LinkedIn within hours of our time together? I can! Bravo Carthage College!


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  1. To me, you gain some of the best professional development being in a local /international organization. They are dedicated to providing educational opportunities, professional sharing, and committee involvement key to growing personally and professionally. I encourage people in all career fields to seek out the professional organization; you will be amazed how many you will find. Check their website for on-line resources, discounted seminars, workshops, and study materials. These typically are included in your membership. It’s a great way to stay in the cutting edge of your field.

    Don’t just join to put it on your resume. I encourage you instead to participate and take full advantage of the learning opportunities. Your participation and potential honors will speak volumes on your resume and provides you additional working knowledge and broader professional circles of influence. Another benefit, is the opportunity to gain excellent leadership training chairing committees or being on the board

    Attend meetings you hear ideas to bring back to your company and projects others are doing for business growth. You will get exposed to different companies and industries that may be where you go next.

    Today’s social media such as, LinkedIn and Meetup make it easy to find groups and people in your profession or in your area of interest such as photography that welcome the opportunity to share their expertise. For example, you eventually want to work with non-profit organizations, start by volunteering and getting to know different non-profits even in a social group to get to know more about it.
    You can use the search by interest to guide you to people to reach out to. I had a Director of a non-profit invite me to coffee to learn more about my interest in the cause her organization supports. LinkedIn advance search of interests was her way of reaching into a new level of contacts for her organization.

    Claudia Howard
    Founder of Career Role Model Program, Inc.

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