The ACEL Professional Development (PD) Committee is excited to announce a new event designed to offer the busy professional help in the workplace or in finding a better career. This event will occasionally coincide with PD events, but its intent is to meet the growing needs of our entire membership. Today’s topic is a two for one: career development through reading and the introduction of our new book club.
In some professions, you are required to keep current through continuing education courses. In others, you can gain a new accreditation by taking a course or attending a seminar. In both cases, the goal is the same: to continue the job of learning.
Most people think once they have graduated, their only job is the 9-5 that pays the bills. Big mistake. This assumes that all things that need to be learned are covered in textbooks and can be mastered in three to six years of diligent study. It also ignores the fact that the sum of all knowledge is constantly growing and systems get more complex. Therefore, someone could be on the top of her game at graduation and behind the curve just five years later.
Unless you are in a profession that demands currency, like teaching, or offers specialty accreditation, like medicine, your skill set can increase while your knowledge of best practices can decrease.
What are you supposed to do then? Just Read. But does this mean find the nearest comic book or graphic novel and you are on your way to a corner office? Well, actually yes. According to the American Society for Training and Development (ASTD), reading in general helps, whatever the genre. ASTD does recommend more specific professional reading, but does not dismiss the value of a good book. Novels and biographies employ story development to teach context and perspective; these are translatable skills in the work force.
To kick off your path to professional development though reading, our committee would like to announce its new book club. Every two months we will discuss a new book that we hope will make you ready for the job you want – not necessarily the one you have right now.
Our first selection will be The Checklist Manifesto, by Dr. Atul Gawande. Through insightful stories the author offers a low-tech way to make complex systems work more efficiently. The first book club meeting will be Monday, February 11 at 7:15 pm at Emilianos. If you want to participate, you must read the first three chapters of the book and have your questions and thoughts ready. Please RSVP by February 10 by sending me an email at [email protected], and the first drink is on ACEL.
With a new focus on blogging and a book club, your Professional Development Committee is trying to expand the ways we serve ACEL. Please don’t hesitate to send any topics for a blog or book ideas to me at [email protected].
Don’t be surprised if interspersed in our selections you will find books like Good to Great, followed by The Great Gatsby. The one thing that will be in common for each book, if you read it, you will learn something that can help you in your professional life.
-Derek Lyons, Professional Development Committee Chair