Update Your Skills And Network, Too

  • Article by: NANCY GIGUERE , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: February 3, 2010 - 5:44 PM

Stay current and connect through continuing education. Continuing education demonstrates to a potential employer that you're dedicated to your field and offers opportunities to network with people in your field.

Healthcare never stands still. New discoveries, new procedures, new medications - change is constant.

To stay up-to-date and maintain certification or registration, health professionals often need to complete a certain number of continuing education units (CEUs) within a given period of time. For health professionals like nurses, who are licensed by the State of Minnesota, continuing education is mandatory.

Demonstrating Dedication

If you're unemployed, avoid the temptation to slack off on continuing education. Stay current with your CEUs. Consider working toward specialty certification.

Join or become more active in the local chapter of a professional association related to your field. Most organizations offer professional development workshops and other activities to help members stay current in their specialties.

You may also want to think about returning to school. If you have a two-year degree, consider completing a bachelor's. If you have a bachelor's degree, consider graduate school.

Continuing education - whether it's recent CEU classes, work on advanced certification or credits earned toward a degree - demonstrates to a potential employer that you're interested in and dedicated to your field. This makes you a more attractive candidate.

Career Connections

CEU classes and professional workshops also offer opportunities to network with people in your field. "When job seekers participate in industry-specific activities like CEU classes, other people are more likely to view them as colleagues," says Denise Felder, a Twin Cities job coach and career advisor. "And when others identify you as `one of them' and see you as competent in the field, they're more likely to pass along job leads or introduce you to others."

Faculty in many degree programs - especially those on the graduate level - provide formal or informal mentoring to students. And connecting with classmates is always valuable on both a personal and professional level.

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