Professional Development Tips for Summer

by Susan Murphy

shutterstock_130940975Here in the Northern Hemisphere, August is often the height of the dog days of summer – the afternoons are long, warm and breezy, with just a hint of Autumn around the corner to remind us that before long, we’ll be back to reality.

I love how life tends to slow down a bit in summer. Many people are on vacation, so traffic is lighter, the email inbox seems a bit quieter, and we can sometimes find ourselves with a bit more time on our hands.

The lazy hazy days of summer are often the perfect time to develop new skills. You have a bit more head space to focus on learning, and a bit more time to experiment and explore new things. But sometimes it can be hard to know where to start with learning – there are so many options available these days! If you’re looking to get up to speed on some of the latest tech trends, grasp some new concepts around digital marketing and social media, perhaps these ideas will help.

Summer Reading

I’m a huge fan of learning from books, and there are plenty of great ones out there these days in the realm of digital marketing and social media. In the July issue of Jester News, I presented my summer reading picks. You can read the whole thing here, and while you’re at it, subscribe for free, and on the last Tuesday of each each month I’ll send you digital marketing tips and more. It’s an easy, free way to learn something new every month.

Blogs are the Best!

It’s absolutely incredible how much free and great information is out there these days, all available to you on blogs. It’s a great way to supplement your learning, and if you subscribe to blogs using a news reader like Feedly, then you’ll always have a steady stream of new wisdom at your fingertips! Here are a few blogs to start off with if you’re interested in social media and digital marketing: Awaken Your Superhero, CopyBlogger, Geoff Livingston’s Blog, Social Media Explorer, and Spin Sucks. All these folks are brilliant, and every day they generously teach us for free! (And of course, while you’re at it, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog too!)

Google Is Your Friend

When I was a kid, I used to have questions – lots of them. I’d ask my parents, and more often than not, they’d send me off to the library to find the answers. Nowadays, we have a whole world of information right at our fingertips. Whenever I have questions, I take to Google, and it’s amazing what I can learn! If you are wondering about things, are looking for best practices, or wanting to know the latest trends, Google can be a great place to start. Ask it anything!

Take a Course

Self-directed learning is wonderful, but sometimes you need the additional context that only an in-depth training course can give you. The opportunity to learn from someone with real life experience is second to none, and can really give you a leg up when it comes to learning new skills. There are plenty of great courses out there, including the ones we offer here at Jester Creative. We have a full suite of social media courses and online seminars available, from beginner to advanced levels. Our courses are taught by industry experts and are available in-class or online. We also offer unmatched student support including lab time and free re-takes. Check out our full list of courses here, and stay tuned for a couple of new courses coming online this Fall, including an Introduction to WordPress and Writing for the Web.

Questions? Drop me a line in the comments below or send me a tweet! 

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