In life, standing still is not an option. As the world moves forward, we must never stop learning. If we do, we not only stop growing, we may actually begin moving backward. The faster the pace of the world, the more we need professional development to keep up.
Grant writers are no exception. In fact, staying abreast of professional developments in grant research, writing proposals, winning government contracts, and helping clients with grant management once grants are obtained is usually a full-time job.
Formal and Informal Training
Education can be both formal and informal. Indeed, it can include activities like taking courses, going to workshops, seminars, and conferences, getting an advanced degree, reading, and studying on your own. In addition, watching lectures and how-to videos by experts on YouTube, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks to learn new skills in your areas of interest and gain new proficiencies, are all no- or low-cost ways to stay abreast of any new trends, advancements, or best practices happening in the field.
What’s more, there is something to be said about finding the right combination of formal and informal professional development that works best for you. The desire to learn is a very personal endeavor. And, it is shaped by the unique interests, motivations, and experiences of each individual. The concept is this simple: If you want to grow in the world of business and nonprofits, you must pursue professional development.
After all, Confucius once said, “Education breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.”
A Hierarchy of Needs
According to Abraham Maslow, the American positive psychologist best known for creating Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “We’re always growing or stepping back into safety.” In order to keep growing, developing, and advancing, continuing education is crucial for anyone who wants to succeed in their career.
“The acquisition of knowledge is a pathway to prosperity. Spend time each day investing in yourself by learning something new. Education pays more dividends than the stock market.” says Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.
Professional Development and Career Advancement
Here are 4 reasons for grant writers and other professionals to continue to read, take classes, and go to workshops and conferences in your profession, according to blogger Darius Foroux, in his post “Education.”
1. Making Better Decisions for Professional Development: You make better decisions when you educate yourself, look at the facts, and research everything. Never underestimate that the quality of your decisions will shape the outcome of your life and career.
2. More Opportunities: Keep an open mind and keep learning for professional development and career advancement. “Education opens your mind and more importantly, it increases your opportunities. People who are closed-minded and stick to what they know will never change. And change is the forward driving force of life,” explains Foroux.
3. The more you learn, the more you’ll earn! Be the type of job applicant and employee that adds to a company, bringing ideas and ways to develop and contribute. Keep developing your skills so you can find the weaknesses in a company or nonprofit and help them improve.
“There are also two types of entrepreneurs,” explains Foroux: “Entrepreneur 1 creates commodities. The other entrepreneur creates products/services that are unmissable.” To become like the second entrepreneur, you need to, “Become so good that people depend on your goods or services. How? You guessed it again: Learn, practice, be great,” he writes.
4. Education Is The Only Life-Long Investment: According to Benjamin Franklin, “If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”
The only possession you will never lose is knowledge, as long as you keep investing in it. Let’s say you learned how to build a business, even if you lost it all, you have the means to start again. You see, you may lose a business, but you never lose the know-how to start another. In addition, “If you have a skill that people depend on, you will never be out of a job.”
Want to Know More?
Darius Foroux’s blogs and reading list are available on his website. One of the books he lists, On Managing Yourself, starts with a statement that sums up his philosophy, “The path to your professional success starts with a critical look in the mirror.” According to Foroux, “This collection does not disappoint … Every piece will make you think more about your mission, vision, strengths, weaknesses, and how you can advance your career.”
“I actually prioritize education over food, relationships, health, clothes, and the other things of life. Do you know why? If I don’t, the other things are not as good. And it’s very simple. My goal is to read/learn/practice for just 30 minutes a day. That’s not a lot to ask for, right? Because if you don’t have 30 minutes to spend on your education; what kind of life do you have?” concludes Foroux.
To conclude, stay abreast of advancements in your field. Additionally, read all the books and take all the courses you can that are relevant to your goals and aspirations. Spend your free time learning and gaining new skills for professional development and career advancement.
As Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” So, it doesn’t matter if you’re a nonprofit who want to change the world or a business owner trying to make a living. Success and fulfillment are always within reach. It’s all about balancing formal training with practical, hands-on knowhow.
Are you a nonprofit or small business in need of some help? If you are searching for grants but are feeling overwhelmed, hiring a grant writer may be the perfect choice for you! Grant writers thoughtfully grant opportunities and consider the pros and cons of applying and the chance of success. Consider your writer an extension of your organization. They will coach you throughout the entire process and curate the project to fit your needs. Your grant-seeking success is our priority at GrantWriterTeam.