Professional development advice for young professionals

With the beginning of the new year comes a chance to stop and think about where you are and what you want to change.

With many people working on their personal resolutions and goals, now marks the perfect time for young professionals to look at their career goals.

As we wrap up the first full work week of the year, here are some suggestions on how to achieve your career goals for 2015:

Our BN360 Spotlight Professionals for 2014-2015

Our BN360 Spotlight Professionals for 2014-2015

Ask for advice: You’ve probably heard this before: find a mentor! While finding a mentor can be challenging, taking time to meet and talk to as many people as possible is a great start.

Similarly, while having a mentor in your office or field is great, keep an open mind and look other individuals in your network who you can learn from and go to for advice.

Attending cross-industry events is a great way to meet different people and create a diverse network.

Keep in touch with your network: Don’t only pick up the phone when you need something!

Make sure you reach out to your network regularly and follow up with people you meet throughout the year. Consistent communication makes asking for advice and favors down the line much easier.

Develop new skills: Professional development and growth isn’t just about building a strong network. Developing new skills, or improving on your strengths, is just as important!

Take time to do a self-assessment and figure out your weaknesses. There are many classes, books or tutorials that can help you develop your skill-set.

For example, this year BN360 is partnering with Canisius College Center for Professional Development on our Skills for Success program!

Schedule time for “checkups”: Whether you treat these as quarterly performance reviews or monthly audits, it is important to take time to look at your goals and make sure you are on track. Break down each resolution into smaller, easier chunks.

For example, if you are looking to grow your network, commit to attending one or two networking events a month (or what works for you) and hold yourself accountable!

While the above are just a few ways you can focus on your individual career goals this year, be sure to join us for our next event to learn how the Buffalo Niagara Partnership and Buffalo Niagara 360 can help!

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