Free professional development resources to help you navigate your personal career path.
Hello and welcome to a post that I HOPE will be especially useful for you! No matter what industry you’re in, I think we can all agree staying engaged and focused is key for forging a successful career path. Likewise, we all know the dangers of falling into a rut and have likely experienced a lack of motivation at one point or another.
It’s at those moments of waning inspiration that we start researching professional certifications, registering for industry conferences and seeking out professional guidance from an expert. While all of the above are incredibly worthwhile and effective things to do, they often times come with a price tag.
Free Professional Development Resources
Despite what you may think, there are a number of totally free professional development resources out there you should absolutely take advantage of!
While it’s definitely worth doing a little digging around in your own field, today I’m sharing free professional development resources that are universally valuable to everyone. No matter what your career objective or industry is, these will help you hone your skillset, develop a growth oriented mindset and expand your professional network.
1. Career Contessa
Hands down, if you are a female with a job – you need to have Career Contessa bookmarked immediately. Founded by Lauren McGoodwin, the full-service career resource offers tremendous food for thought and insight to help you on just about everything in your professional existence.
- Weekly Podcast: The Femails has new episodes weekly
- Free webinars
- Certified job board that’s routinely vetted
- Career coaching
- Free downloads, including most popular job interview flash cards to help you prepare for future opportunities
While initially I was introduced Eventbrite for social and recreational opportunities around town, I’ve also found it to be an outstanding free professional development resource as well!
Browse a wide variety of free events, from B2B networking opportunities by region to courses led by industry experts on virtually every topic under the sun. Eventbrite is a great tool identify local and virtual events that will keep you engaged and focused on your career path — whatever it may be.
3. Leave Your Mark Podcast
As a follow-up to her widely successful and much beloved book by the same name, publicist extraordinaire Aliza Licht’s Leave Your Mark podcast is a must-listen in my book. The weekly podcast is excellent at helping you expand your mindset and features career advice from a series of accomplished and inspiring guests.
The podcast challenges listeners to step outside their comfort zones and delivers immediately actionable advice, whether you’re just starting out in your career or already well on your way.
4. The Mind Your Business Podcast
This is a newer discovery of mine that I love! Hosted by James Wedmore, The Mind Your Business podcast completely reframes the way we’re all traditionally taught to approach business. Some episodes features private 1:1 discussions between him and the listener, others invite guests on to share about the success strategies that you can immediately apply to your own business or profession. If you have a growth-oriented and entrepreneurial mindset but are struggling to get to the next level, THIS is the podcast for you.
5. Google Analytics Academy
If you’re a business owner, content creator, website developer, digital marketer, analyst or otherwise: knowing your way around Google Analytics is essential. Setting up the correct reports and funnels to most efficiently navigate the data will help you make strategic decisions that promote growth. Fact is, there’s a lot you can do with GA and it can be a bit overwhelming to an untrained eye.
The Google Analytics Academy offers free courses for Beginners, Advanced and Power Users as well as Google Analytics 360. All Academy classes are FREE and offer a certificate of completion after finishing the exam.
6. LinkedIn Groups
In addition to your professional profile on LinkedIn, take advantage of the platform’s infinite amount of groups for all geographic regions and industries.
Particularly in this day and age where in-person networking events aren’t possible, being active in a professional group on LinkedIn can be a great way to build connections and generate new ideas relating to your area of work. LinkedIn groups are an excellent, free professional development resource to keep you professionally engaged and help you avoid falling into a dreaded rut.
7. Successful Negotiation, Essential Strategies & Skills Course
An entirely online course to help you develop your negotiation skills, which will be widely useful in all industries! Offered by University of Michigan, this negotiation course offers a series of interactive online video lessons that you can work your way through over several weeks or binge-watch.
From start to finish, the coursework takes approximately 16 hours in total complete and is offered in English as well as Ukrainian, Chinese, Portuguese and Spanish. Audit the course for free or pay a reasonable $49 to receive a certificate of completion.
8. MAC’S List
While originally based in Portland, MAC’s List offers a number of resources to help you in your professional development no matter where you live. From books, to blog posts on career happiness, to resume assistance, career coaching, a weekly podcast and online courses — MAC’s List is really full-service when it comes to helping those succeed in their career goals.
Additional Career-Focused Reads on DreaminLace:
Join the #DreamSquad:
Sign up for my weekly newsletter to receive exclusive dreamer content you won’t find on DreaminLace straight in your inbox. Let’s be dreamers, together!
Stay stylish and chase your dreams!