Professional Development and Moving Ahead, How Linked Are Those?

I read this blog a few days ago about Professional Development, really it points out how you never stop learning and how this blogger is developing herself professionally, and have been wondering ever since how far professional development really gets you in your career.  Please keep in mind that as I wonder that, I am continually developing myself by attending webinars, reading books and seeking out those “mentors” that I know I can learn something from.  The wonder then comes in when I feel like all of that is getting me nowhere!  Is it all really about who you know and not what you know??

I have a great resume to date, with lots of room for expansion but at my age I think I am doing pretty well, but still feel like in the mindset of others at my current job I am viewed as more “entry level”.  I’m not really sure how this all happened, but it did and now I am fearlessly pushing to break that image.  I’m 6 years out of college and in the workforce, not counting the 5 and a half years that I worked in management at a bank during college, and I am back doing work that I did my first year out of school.  Unfortunately, with the way the economy is, I took a step down in my career to start my new role at my current company about a year and a half ago.  I did this not because I wanted to take a step down with less responsibitily, but because I wanted to get into a company that I could really grow and develop at, and in my interviews this company promised that.  I was infomed in my interview that a role that fit my credentials was not open at the time, but that within 6 months after starting I would move to the next level.  Since then, a year and a half later, I have NOT moved up to the next level and it actually has been eliminated–thus causing even more of a set back to ever moving up.

I say this not to “complain” about my situation, but to understand how my resume, continuing professional development, motivation and drive of seeking out new projects and skills has brought me right back to the bottom with an even harder struggle to move up–even harder than it was when I was first out of college.  Am I missing a key step to developing myself?  I have met time and time again with my manager to go over what I want to be doing, things I want to learn and where I see myself in the coming years and that has still seemed to get me nowhere.  Although I really like the people that I work with, I am truly not happy with my current role and where that’s not taking me.

Is there something more that I can be doing?

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5 Responses to Professional Development and Moving Ahead, How Linked Are Those?

  1. Tom says:

    Marketing Departments in corporations are a weird beast. One of our clients’ marketing department has had direct management for a few years. Without much guidance, 2 women proposed a modest project – creating a facebook page for the company – as a “filler activity” since there wasn’t much else to do. In two years the FB page jumped from nothing to six figures in fans, catching the attention of everyone from the CEO to the CTO. In the time period, the two women practically invented their own department and their own job titles.

    The point I take away from this is that roles/titles don’t really matter – results always speak for itself. If you have an idea or project – pitch it, volunteer to do it on your off-hours, and do it (as well as your job) brilliantly. If the results don’t get noticed, it’s time to move on – your talents can be better-served elsewhere. Heck – you might want to go agency-side….

    • The Author says:

      That is a very motivational story…I wish that I could make those opportunities where I work now. Not sure if that is really possible or not. I have always thought of going over to the agency-side…and actually have applied to a few before and never got calls back. If you have any suggestions of agencies to look at in the Chicago area I’m definitely interested. 🙂

  2. Tom says:

    Check out:

    Plan B
    Leo Burnett
    IQ Foundry

    Also, we’re co-hosting an open house for iOS design/development on May 19th with Digital Boot Camp – a learning center for working professionals looking to hone their interactive skills and development capabilities. They have over 4000+ working professionals on their student rolls, most of them with interactive agencies in the city. Might be good to drop by, meet some agencies, and network. the open house goes from 7pm – 9pm, is free, and word on the street is that the afterparty is killerz.

  3. Tom says:

    25 West Hubbard St.
    Fifth Floor (or 2nd Floor? TBD)
    Chicago, IL 60654

    We’ll send an email your way in the next day or so with the low-down

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