I bet you have read our numerous articles on how important a personal brand is and why you should create one ASAP if you want career success. So, to build your professional image you need to invest in your professional development and continuing education. You must never stop learning.
We have put a list together with the top 10 free professional development resources for career success.
1. TED Talks
TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to spread ideas. There are lots of different videos to watch about various topics. Some talks are by the incredibly famous public speakers, and other talks are by people you never heard of with inspiring and thought-provoking presentations. Just go on their website and watch at least one video- there’s always so much to learn.
2. Library Card
I bet you never thought that this could be one of the most important professional development tools, right? Well, as you know (or may not) the library is full of books, and you can probably find a few books that would help improve your skills no matter the area of your interest. And if you want a very particular book that they don’t have, you can always request it. No library in the world says no to a book request!
What? You don’t know what Creativelive is? Where have you been your whole life? This site offers live online workshops taught by top-notch experts on various topics such as business, photography, design, software, lifestyle and video and film. This is some great free material. However, if you missed the workshop or want to watch it again, you can always buy it, but this comes with a charge.
4. MIT OpenCourseWare
We all know the renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but did you know that they publish all of their course materials online for everyone to watch for free? Well, just have a look here: you can click on the course you are interested in, click “view course” and then select “download course materials” to download whatever you want to read from Introduction to Sculpture to The Art of Counting.
Now that we started talking about networking opportunities, have you ever thought of joining networking groups in your industry to expand your network and share ideas? Well, if there isn’t a group already in your city, why not start one yourself? There are many people who would like to join an industry network, but if you don’t start one, you will never find out. You can start one here, or you can just search around this website and find one that suits your needs - again, for free!
6. Google Talks
I bet you have all heard about Google Talks, right? Well, for those of you who haven’t, Google often invites first-class musicians, authors, innovators and speakers to talk to their staff and they always make sure to record those talks. If you want to have a look, just watch these talks for free here.
So, if the above options of free talks, workshops and course materials aren’t enough don’t worry; there are several other online webinars. Just go to Google or any other search engine to try and find a free webinar on a topic you want to learn more about. Be careful, though, make sure that the webinar that you are signing up for is completely free and not a scam.
I know what you are saying “Oh no, not another LinkedIn post”, but this wouldn’t be a complete professional development list if we didn’t mention LinkedIn at least once. As you all know what this professional network is, and you all already have an account, all you need to do here is search for and join professional groups in your industry. This way you will stay up-to-date with news about your industry, connect with other professionals and share ideas and views on certain topics that you wouldn’t have the opportunity to do otherwise.
Are you a fan of blogging? Well, even if you aren’t a fan I suggest you find the most famous blogs in your industry and follow them regularly by reading them, posting comments or asking questions. This way you can create a professional image by building a network with other people in your industry or even interact with leaders in your field.
Do you know any other professional development resources we should know about? Let us know in the comments section below.