Monday, September 9, 2013

Back to School for Everyone

Now that we are fully in the back to school mode, what does that phrase mean to you?  Have you started your undergraduate or graduate degree?  Have your kids gone back to school?  Are you studying for the GRE, LSAT, or GMAT in hopes of applying to graduate school this year?  Are you preparing for your architectural exams?  Are you thinking of finishing your degree? 

Back to school can mean many different things to many people.  How are you pursuing continual education, either formally or informally?  We are never too young or too old to learn new things.  Have you wanted to learn a new skill or language?  Below are some ideas on how you can continuously learn and grow.  Take advantage of this time to create new opportunities for yourself.  Please post additional comments on how you're going back to school!

10 Ideas on Going "Back to School"
  1. Take a class.  Check out free online courses such as Coursera or Udacity. Does your city offer free or affordable classes at recreation centers? 
  2. Learn a new language.  In the Washington, DC area, I have taken affordable language classes through the Graduate School and the GLN.
  3. Join a professional membership organization.  Click here for a list of DC women's professional organizations.  Do a Google search for organizations in your area.  Search "women" and your specific interest such as "government relations."  Or, do a search for "young professional" and your specific interest.
  4. Join a book club. 
  5. Join a Meetup group near you to explore new interests and meet people who share your passion.
  6. Go to your local library and check out some free books!
  7. Participate in webinars and join listservs to stay current in your field.  Click here for a list of nonprofit career resources.
  8. Find a mentor or career/life coach who can help guide you through your next step.  Also consider how you can mentor someone else.  Mentoring is up, down, and all around.  You are never too old or too young to be a mentor, and to be mentored.
  9. Pick up a new hobby.  I took affordable golf classes in DC through DC Golf.
  10. Visit a museum.  Learn more about history in your area.

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