sdsuwlsh_3color_4cI’ve been invited to talk with people currently in the capstone course of my San Diego State Learning Design and Technology graduate program. The main thing I plan to share with them are the three things I think will help them the most as they advance into or further along with their careers.

Do the ‘Reading’

One of my favorite Seth Godin posts is the one in which he talks about “doing the reading“.

The reading is what we call it when you do the difficult work of learning to think with the best, to stay caught up, to understand.
The reading exposes you to the state of the art. The reading helps you follow a thought-through line of reasoning and agree, or even better, challenge it. The reading takes effort.
If you haven’t done the reading, why expect to be treated as a professional?

I’m not so sure that as a whole, the L&D profession does a great job of this. Isn’t that ironic? I would expect that learning professionals would be all over this. Unfortunately, there are still too many people talking about learning styles, Myers-Briggs and other similar bunk.

Yes, it takes work to “do the reading” but if you want to be a professional there are a few ways that can help you do it more efficiently.  For example, using a reader app like Feedly can save you a boat load of time.

Check out how I use Feedly as part of my personal knowledge management (PKM) system.

Establish an online ‘home base’

Standard resumes and cover letters are no longer sufficient if you want to stand out from the crowd. Having a good portfolio as always been important for freelancers, but it’s quickly becoming a must have for anyone who hopes to snag the best opportunities that come along, inside your organization or out.

Here are a few options to get you started:

Colleagues, hiring managers, clients, and recruiters are looking online to find out about you. Do you know what they are finding? Are they finding your best work? In today’s environment your online credibility and visibility an important part of your professional success.

Share & Connect

If you’re doing the reading, it is super easy to share the best of what you find. As I mentioned in my PKM video above,  Buffer is a great way to share with your social networks.

Another big benefit of being actively engaged with social media is how easy it is to connect with other professionals who are doing the same type of work you do. Not only are they doing the work but they are leading the way to find new, better ways of doing it.

If you’re new to Twitter, check out “Using Twitter Professionally

For us learning and development types, a wonderful place to start is Jane Hart’s list of “101 people who tweet about L&D

You’ll also find a wealth of valuable information and more wonderful L&D people participating in twitter chats such as:

#lrnchat

#lrnchat is an online chat that happens on Thursdays at 8:30-9:30pm ET/5:30-6:30pm PT.

Discussion is lead by an all-star cast including @LnDDave, @brtiz, @tracy_parish, @kelly_smith01, @ryantracey, and@janebozarth. The official twitter account is @lrnchat.

You can learn more about how to participate and transcripts of previous chats on the website  http://lrnchat.com/

#chat2lrn

Another great Twitter chat with more super smart L&D colleagues is chat2lrn. This one is lead by @lesleywprice@judithELS@pattishank@megbertapelle@andreamay1@FionaQuigs@ajaypangarkar and @R0ssGarner

https://chat2lrn.wordpress.com/

#guildchat

#guildchat is a nice way to wrap up your week with the fine folks at the Elearning Guild  You’ll catch @LnDDave, @brtiz, @eGeeking  and a host of others every Friday at 11AM PT/2PM ET.  Last week’s topic was  – “Making Content Memorable