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Why Make Time for Professional Workshops?

Elisabeth O'Donnell

Elisabeth O'Donnell

After being at work for 8+ hours, schlepping to a different office building, settling in with a pad and paper, and talking about more work stuff is probably not super appealing. Don’t get me wrong – I love my job! But, we can all agree it’s nice to squeeze in some relaxation at the end of the day to get ready to show up the next morning ready to go. Even for young professionals just starting out, workshops that pop up on LinkedIn can often seem too basic, covering topics either just mastered in grad school or undergrad. Why take time out of your precious free evening?

Last week I strolled to a content marketing workshop with these preconceived feelings. Although I had signed up for the class myself, I was dragging a little after a long day and didn’t expect to pick up anything beyond my recent bachelor’s degree. As young professionals often are, I was mistaken. Two and a half hours later I left the classroom with many scrawled notebook pages full of new insight and a refreshed excitement for the work I get to do each day. Here are a few reasons all young “professionals” should schedule in extra education when possible.

You’re not as expert as you think.

Even if you recently graduated from a rigorous program, worked multiple internships, or have been in the field for years, there are always new things to learn. Communications is one of the most rapidly changing industries, with new ways to reach the audience cropping up each day. It’s important to connect with experienced teachers who keep a pulse on the evolving media landscape, to make sure you’re optimizing strategies for all that you do, whether it’s pitchingcontent, or social media.

Never miss a chance to network.

Workshops are the perfect place to make connections with other agencies in your area. The account coordinators of today are the account directors of tomorrow, and you never know who might be able to help get your next job. Build relationships now, benefit from them later.

Give and take knowledge from peers.

Workshops are an excellent meeting place to swap secrets of the trade that formal education or industry guides might miss. The person sitting next to you might have a shortcut for gathering SEO data that you were unaware of. Or you might use a video platform that creates CTA pop-ups more easily than YouTube that your neighbor would love.

Reconnect with why you love your work!

Overflowing inboxes and mile-high to-do lists can distract from the pure passion behind telling stories. Getting together with like-minded people on similar career trajectories, facing similar challenges, and striving towards similar wins can reignite the spark that led you to your work in the first place. It can help push  you to show up the next day ready to get things done with enthusiasm.