The writers on this blog have recently put out some great content that indirectly was focused on individuals instead of tips to make your job easier. The leading indicators are that we have weathered the worst of this recession and things are beginning to turn upward. This doesn’t mean that people aren’t scared for their job though. Unfortunately I’ve heard multiple stories about tough times at university web offices with locked budgets and staffs being cut. Because of this, it’s extremely important to remember that you have to be watching out for your own neck.
Some of the great recent posts on this blog include:
- Fienen’s Equal Pay for Equal Work post
- Nikki’s Salary vs Anutomy post
- See the Management category of this blog for lots of others
What I want to share are some fundamental reminders of things that web professionals need to be doing for themselves.
Continuing Education Options and Staying Connected
Let’s think about this for a second. If you work at a college or university you are in the perfect environment to be increasing your professional knowledge, which directly translates to a larger skill set and more leverage in your current job and future positions. In the twenty-first century an average person changes companies (not just jobs) every five to seven years. So if you haven’t put your finger on it, what are some of the resources available to you?
I’ve never heard of a school that doesn’t let their employees take at least one class a semester for free. Why not!? If you are a web developer maybe a marketing class isn’t a bad idea, and if you are the marketer what harm could a programming class do you?
Yes,budgets might be frozen but you do have a library on campus, correct? Maybe the library doesn’t have all the cutting edge tech books that you’re looking for, but most schools now have a book exchange program where you can get access to material at other campuses. How often do you even explore your institute’s library? Chances are they also have a great DVD collection available that might rival your local Blockbuster!
Before getting into web, I worked in Information Technology as a bench technician and supported all the computers on a college campus. Did I need to get my A+, Network+ and MCP? No. I already had the job, and although I don’t work in that industry anymore those certifications still look great on a resume. In the web field I am an Ektron Certified Administrator and went through Google Analytics training. Certainly there are some training programs for which you can buy a book and take a test. Or maybe you can even take a class in that topic to expand your knowledge. If you aren’t doing this you are only hurting yourself. If you want to get into management maybe going for a PMP makes sense. Heck, if you are real ambitious go get a/another degree!
.eduGuru bloggers love conferences and all the great people we meet at them! Believe it or not there is some great material that you can learn at conferences and excellent network that you can do as well. Who knows, maybe a conversation you start up with someone sitting next to you in a session could make you their new coworker sooner than you think.
Shameless plug here, but you should be reading higher education marketing blogs like this one and the many others. With budgets being cut maybe you can’t make it to conferences, but I’ve said it time and time again that if you read blogs around the web then you are going to already know most everything that you would learn at that conference.
Conferences are great for networking but aren’t required. Networking is half the fun of social media! I might not know every reader of this blog but I’ve certainly met hundreds of you, and I’m glad that I’ve made the effort to make those connections. Besides, it’s not always about what you know but who you know. If you are looking for a new job, having a network makes that so much easier.
So what are you doing to help you get that next job? How are you continuing to educate yourself and increase your area of expertise? What tips can you think of that I’ve left out here? I’m already getting ideas for a another post detailing ways that you can leverage the web to make yourself stand out among the competition. There really are so many things you can do to learn. It simply takes the willpower and motivation to tell yourself that you are capable of more and that you want more.
Photo Credit: Overlooking Dead Horse Point by mischiru