Honing Your Craft

Earlier this week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Training Magazine Top 125 expo and gala. I was one of ten people to be picked as a representative of my company. I’m so glad I was able to go!

At the suggestion of a colleague, I arrived in Atlanta early in order to attend the expo. I’ll admit I was a bit overwhelmed as I walked into a giant room with numerous training and development professionals. I wasn’t entirely sure where to begin. But, I knew my time was limited so I had to make the most of it!

I walked around the expo, looking at the booths and engaging with other professionals. I naturally gravitated towards booths that discussed the use of social media to enhance employee engagement and overall learning. As you can probably tell, I enjoy social media and am interested in how to use it more efficiently. My other favorite part of the expo was the pop-up bookstore that had tons of books at a discounted price. I came home with four new books to read!

The welcome message as we entered the gala.

The welcome message as we entered the gala.

I haven’t begun to distill down all of the information I received at the expo. That’s a full weekend project! The big takeaway for me was the importance of honing your craft. Even if you’re a more junior employee, it’s vital to invest in yourself. Raise your hand and ask for those developmental opportunities! For me, I’m not 100% sure what my craft is or the exact direction my career will go in (no one actually knows this). But I do know what interests me and how it can apply to the projects I’m currently working on. I’d recommend we all take a step back, figure out our interests, apply them to our project and then find different opportunities to build upon those skills.

Later that night, I attended the Training Magazine Top 125 Gala. What an incredible experience! It was

My co-worker and I all dressed up for the gala.

My co-worker and I all dressed up for the gala.

awesome to see other companies who value learning, development and training. It was also a good reminder of how much my company invests in its employees. Sometimes, we are so busy with our heads down that we forget what motivates us to do the work we do. My 24 hours in Atlanta was a reminder to keep my head up, looks for development opportunities that will help me hone my craft while also helping my team achieve its collective goals.

How do you invest in your professional self? Share in the comments section below!

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