For many of us, 2020 might have been exhausting, chaotic, surreal and a complete dumpster fire. The Washington Post asked its readers to describe 2020 in one word or phase, and it shouldn’t be a surprise which ones made the list. This year has been a challenging year forcing most people to adjust to new realities. It has also been a year of new growth. People have been able to adapt to and thrive on change amid chaos. Whatever your thoughts on 2020 may be, the new year brings a sense of change, growth and renewal.
In the spirit of the new year, many of us commit to making changes to our personal and professional lives over the course of the year. It’s great to make resolutions — they’re an opportunity for us to look forward to the upcoming year with optimism. But for many, resolutions fly out the window before Presidents Day. This year, consider setting firm, measurable goals that you can actually track and achieve. We’re sharing a few of our ideas for embracing a fresh start in our collective professional development in the new year:
- Invest in professional certifications: Consider professional development to refresh your skills, keep up with industry trends and network with peers. Designed specifically for AV professionals, AVIXA certifications offer online training opportunities for those looking to obtain their CTS, CTS-D or CTS-I accreditations. Additionally, rAVe [PUBS] recently announced Study With Steph, a podcast hosted by Managing Editor Steph Beckett. In each episode, Steph will share her journey of studying, prepping for and, finally, taking the CTS exam.
- Participate in industry networking: Traditional ideas of networking in person at industry events have changed, at least temporarily, but you can grow your network by participating in relevant groups and discussions online. The power of social media, especially in the AV community, is strong. The hashtags #AVtweeps and #AVisLIFE are two great examples of niche-specific opportunities to network with individuals on social media. And, if you haven’t already, join the AV Industry Professionals (AVIP) group on LinkedIn, and join the conversation.
- Join a professional organization: AV industry associations, like AVIXA and CEDIA, as well as other professional associations, like PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) and AMA (American Marketing Association), provide learning opportunities, networking events and virtual happy hours for their members. Professional organizations usually cost money to join, but the benefits you receive, such as networking opportunities and access to virtual events, are often well worth the expense.
- Volunteer your time as a mentor: Volunteering is a great way to give back to those in need. You can feed the homeless, pick up trash at the beach or the park, raise money for a charity organization or volunteer your time to an industry peer in need of a work mentor. A mentor can be a powerful advocate to a younger industry peer, helping propel their career forward. And it can be rewarding as a mentor to see your mentee succeed with your support.
It’s important to remember the true value of achieving goals as we move into 2021. While we should aspire to achieve our goals, sometimes the outcomes in our own lives are out of our control. Frame your goals in terms of the knowledge you will gain through the experience, the people you will form relationships with and the experiences that you will gain during the process. From all of us at THE rAVe Agency, we wish you continued success in the new year!