Personal and professional development Plan ideas
Summer might not be full-on downtime—you’ve got research, writing, and recuperation on your plate already—but it’s the best chance you’ll have to catch up on some personal and professional development projects. Here are some ideas I came up with:
1. Create a personal website.
If you don’t have one yet, you’re definitely missing an opportunity. Not having a website in this day and age is a little bit like resisting getting a cell phone. You’re only making life harder on yourself by swimming against the current. Just accept that it’s the way things work now and embrace it.
Anyone can do this; just pick a platform and follow the steps. I’m a Wordpress guy, but Blogger is another popular platform. With either, you can have a basic bio page with a photo up and running in a matter of minutes. Having a professional web presence is an important part of networking and competing for jobs these days. Trust me, you can do it.
2. Join Twitter and use it.
Non-users might find this hard to believe, but this social network has an unbelievable wealth of information for teachers and researchers. Do a search for your field and start following people. You’ll be amazed by all the great stuff that gets shared every minute, and you’ll never believe that you waited this long to join.
3. Take an online course.
Just because you have a graduate degree doesn’t mean you can’t keep learning. You could take a course in your field or, better yet, in a different field. Learn another language or take a computer programming class. Never hurts to mix things up a little.
You’re probably doing research over the summer (or if you’re an adjunct, you might be working at Starbucks). But I bet you can squeeze a few hours a week out of your schedule to volunteer at a pet shelter or to plant trees. It’ll make you feel better and you’ll be surprised by how many professional contacts you can make through your altruism.
5. Form a community group.
What are your interests? Do you enjoy biking, hiking, running, or painting? Put a free listing up on Craigslist and find other people in your town who share your interests. It could turn into a weekly event.