Professional Development

Design is more than creativity. It’s about the relationships we build with each other through our chosen creative profession as we collectively build our industry.

One of the best ways to build those relationships is through professional development. Learning opportunities through professional organizations encourage building and fostering relationships through various networking events.

All these events require is your participation.

You may be thinking, “Oh, but I don’t have the time. I’ve got work to do.” In reality, you don’t have the luxury of staying at your desk. You’ve got to join professional organizations and engage in professional development to take your firm to the next level.

4 Reasons professional development matters

Participation in these organizations is not only enjoyable, but in these changing times, it is critical. Here are four benefits of participating in professional development:

  1. Education. Don’t underestimate the value of expanding your horizons. You’ll learn about past, present, and future trends, salary and compensation, and many other pertinent topics. Professional organizations have the power and bandwidth to understand trends and relay them to practitioners.
  2. Commiseration. Meeting like-minded people to connect with can be very rewarding and even therapeutic. Through commiseration, you may find solutions and strengthen your network. The camaraderie you’ll experience in your city, state, and nation is invaluable.
  3. Connection. Meeting emerging professionals (as a recruiter or mentor), and growing and keeping young professionals engaged are critical to the design industry. In recent years, we’ve seen employment recession and resurgence. By building deep relationships with emerging professionals, you’ll help to bring in the next generation of designers.
  4. Access. Looking to be ahead in the game? Professional development organizations have unique access to emerging trends regarding aesthetics, BIM applications and color of the year. Attending training gives you access to top performers and the newest trends. Being active in your professional organization allows you to engage with and influence trends.  

How to get the most from networking opportunities 

Most people network from a “what’s in it for me” approach. How would networking be different if you approached it from “how can I serve?” Once you change your perspective, you’ll find many ways in which you can participate in the design industry, like these:

  • Volunteer to mentor
  • Try an online forum
  • Join industry trade organizations
  • Sign up for a committee

Getting involved professionally outside your regular job duties is worth more than a participation trophy. If you’re not participating, you’re not developing professionally. Without growth, you’re not contributing to the industry, the firm or your own skillset and happiness.

The secret to happiness is participation. Dive in and have fun!

Contact us today for more information!

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