Got 5 minutes for professional development? Here are 3 resources.

Would you like to be in charge of your own professional development rather than waiting for a formal training process to be offered (and without even having to sign up for one!).  Here are 3 easy, free, and GREAT ideas:

Your local library (radical, right?) 

If you haven’t been to your local library since high school, it’s time for a visit. Believe me, it’s probably more up-to-date than the training department in your company.  My favorite part of the library is the LIBRARIANS.  They are a fount of information and know where to look for information if they don’t know it themselves.  They can point you in the right direction, request resources for you, pull reading lists, and more. I use one particular librarian as my personal research department; she is awesome and she loves the work because she doesn’t have many customers asking her for corporate research.

Deep dive in to podcasts 

Would you like to be “better educated”? Find a podcast on an “academic” topic (finance, economics, astronomy). You’ll be surprised at how much a topic you knew nothing about informs your present-day life.

Maybe you’d like to increase your business acumen. Look for podcasts that focus on engineering, logistics, marketing, human resources, etc. Give yourself a bigger perspective on the work that you do, or the industry that you are in.

One of my favorite podcasts is Freakanomics, because, it turns out, Economics plays a role in everything; and it can be fun!  I especially like that this podcast has a transcript of all the shows on its website.  Earlier this year they did a series on the “Secret life of a CEO” and had hour-long interviews with Jack Welch, Satya Nadella, Mark Zuckerberg, and Indra Nooyi, among others.

Look at LinkedIn

One of the things I love about LinkedIn Learning is that you can filter for exactly what you want. You can choose an industry, and then a field, and then the type of learning (video, full blown course), what level of knowledge you are looking for (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and finally how long it takes to complete. Often, when I get that :15 minute reminder that I have a meeting coming up, I have time to fill. I love looking up 5 minute or less nuggets to expand my knowledge on all sorts of topics. How can you not spare 5 minutes to expand your thinking?  (Note: If you are a paid member, LinkedIn Learning is free AND if you scroll down the right side of your “home” page, you’ll find a new suggestion for a course, every day. It learns your preferences and will start to suggest shorter lessons in topical areas you’ve shown an interest in.)

  Happy Learning!