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Professional DevelopmentThe Marketing Blues – How to get over them
When I worked as a sole marketer at an organization, I would find myself so busy and bogged down with work that, when on the rare occasion I had downtime, I would get a case of the marketing blues. You know the feeling, “I have done all I can, what can I do next? Everyone hates the marketing department. Maybe I don’t know what I am talking about… or I don’t have the budget for that.”

When these NATS (Negative Automated Thoughts) would occur, I would swat them with a good ole fashioned dose of professional development.

If you want to be more powerful in life, educate yourself,” Unknown.

I am a lifelong learner by nature, so leaning towards a webinar, seminar, Ted Talk, networks or other continuing education activity was just the prescription I needed to get over the marketing blues and get me jazzed again, about what was possible in the future.

Why is professional development so important?

Learning is a treasure that will follow its owner everywhere,” Chinese Proverb.

Certain professions require continuing education by law to keep a certification, or maintain a membership. If you are a certified marketer for example, you are required to fulfill a certain number of professional development hours to keep that certification. This is not a new concept, so most professional organizations can understand the importance of staying at the top of your game or at least in the loop for your industry.

Every year, I would schedule and budget for some sort of professional development event and I would come back rejuvenated and ready to take on the world. It was not only refreshing to spend a few days or even hours with like-minded individuals who understood me, but also it was good to hear that yes indeed, “I still have it.” It would give me a chance to break up the mundane world, clear the cobwebs from my brain, step away from the day-to-day tasks, and jump-start the passions that led me to that position and company.

Each time I attended, I left with more ideas than one person or company could possibly implement. It would give me the fire to jump right back in, the strength to tackle what was ahead, and the vision to see past that into the future.

Professional Development on a budget

Times are tough and budgets are tight so here are a few suggestions on implementing professional development into your plans without blowing your budget.

  • Go Regional or Local: Sometimes you do not have the budget to go to a national conference. I have found regional conferences to be much more cost effective and they can usually be attended in a day with minimal travel costs. There are also local organizations that offer free or low-cost training and networking events.
  • Take advantage of member benefits: The Cedar Rapids Public Library offers online training for new technologies at no cost to its member through their resources section. Some alumni associations also offer continuing education opportunities as part of their alumni benefit.
  • Tap into Social Media & Networks: LinkedIn is a wealth of information if you just spend some time looking for it. Join professional groups and follow specific topics of interest, to you, even subscribe to notifications when article or presentations are posted in your area of interest. This will not only allow you to expand your professional network, but provide a valuable resource right in your inbox.
  • Follow Experts & Make Friends: Find industry experts who share tips and tricks in their blog. This I find to be very valuable. I have a few blogs I admire and they never let me down when it comes to a new fresh perspective and outlook. AND they absolute love when I like and share their content, so I have formulated friendships along the way. Who doesn’t need a SME (Subject Matter Expert) you can call a friend?

Still not convinced?

Christa Nelson
Christa A Nelson
Marketing Strategist

Look, even in the event of a forced landing or dramatic change in cabin pressure an airline recommends putting the oxygen mask on you first, before others. Taking care of yourself allows you to better take care of others. If you would like to discuss ways to defeat the marketing blues, contact us today or stop at our office, we would love to help!