Guest Author - Dianne Walker
If you already have a huge workload sometimes getting out of the office can be difficult. Why do you need to spend so much time out of the office? Why is it important to attend conferences when you have at least a week’s backlog on your desk? Believe it or not, attending job-related conferences can actually enhance your career.
1. The information you learn at the conference can help to raise your standards.
You probably think you’re doing a great job. No one in the office can produce as much work and you win kudos from management. Attending conferences, however, can introduce you to people who have actually taken the job to the next level. You find that there are better, faster and cheaper ways to get the work done. Attending conferences can give you a lot of insight to improve your own performance.
2. Exposure to new ways of doing things.
When you work for years in your own bubble, you may lose sight of the fact that there is a whole world out there. There is always room to learn something new. Attending conferences will expose you to new ideas and new ways of doing things.
3. Expand your network.
You will have the golden opportunity to meet others, not only in your direct field, but other related areas as well. Expanding your network also expands your resources when a new idea or help is needed. The first few moments are always awkward if you’re attending the conference alone, but you may find that you develop contacts and make friends. You will be in a room with people with different backgrounds but similar interests. Even if you attend with a co-worker, be sure to venture out to meet new people.
4. Find a mentor.
This is particularly important if you’re just starting a new career or changing your current one. A mentor can help you to increase your knowledge and help you grow in your career.
5. You will find out you are not alone.
Did you think you were the only one with that particular problem? No idea how to solve the issue? Is your inability to resolve the situation making you feel less than adequate? You will often find many attendees have the same issue and are struggling with the same situation. You will also find that there are others who have gone through the problem and have developed a strategy for fixing it. You will suddenly feel validated again. You may even feel like your spirits have been rejuvenated.
The bottom line? While conferences may seem like a waste of time, they are actually an excellent opportunity to connect, grow and rejuvenate.