PR Close-Up: Virtual Professional Development

  • Posted by: Amy Segelin

At Chaloner, we often ask our candidates what type of “on-the-job training” they’ve received. Cultivating your skills is an exciting way to take control of your career. PR professionals know that the market has evolving needs; and in recent months we had to adapt how we learn about and answer those needs. This week I’d like to talk about the importance of continued professional development even in the virtual environment and how that can be beneficial to your current job or job search.

Widen your circle? Look at job descriptions
Pandemic best practices recommend that we keep our circles tight. However your professional virtual circle can certainly widen. This might be a great time to join that networking group you always hoped to visit for happy hour, or even form your own. Put feelers out to your LinkedIn Network or Facebook groups to find like-minded professionals who may want to learn from each other. It can start with exploring one skill or topic and grow from there.

Look up and over
Perhaps your current employer provides professional development opportunities for you to take advantage of. If your company doesn’t provide learning opportunities, that doesn’t mean they aren’t available to you. Organizations like Communications Network and PRSA offer many training opportunities in the form of live-stream and on-demand webinars, teleseminars and virtual conferences. Check out “V” and “Icon 2020,” just two of the many valuable resources available to the communications community.

Talk about it
Sharing with a recruiter or potential employer your participation in virtual professional development is an important part of your job search. Firstly, it’s a way to share that you have those specialized skills or training that may be needed or an added bonus in your next role. Secondly, it’s a way of showing that you have continued to take advantage of opportunities to better yourself even in challenging times. It shows that you’re self-motivated and interested in PR and communications at large. In this way, it’s more than a skillset; it’s part of your character in the workplace.

Take some time to investigate what virtual professional development opportunities are available to you.