Professional development is a broad term used to describe or inform someone on how to appear and behave professionally. With the PRSSA International Conference coming up, this area of professionalism is super important for how you’ll go about networking and meeting new people. Professional development is an ongoing process that not only helps you build credibility but also confidence in yourself and your communication skills.
Here are a few ways you can expand on your professional development skills:
Dress to Impress: business casual versus business formal
Everyone knows that first impressions are crucial. Did you know that within the first seven seconds of meeting someone, the other person will have formed an opinion of who you are? This judgment can be based simply on what you are wearing. Depending on the event you are attending, that will determine what you should wear.
For business formal, think about sticking to neutral colors and suits. Men should follow this guideline: the darker the suit, the more formal the attire. Women should opt for closed-toe heels or shoes while men should focus on leather loafers. Understated accessories like a watch or a belt are also acceptable.
For more business casual wear, there’s more room for creativity. Some options include dark-colored jeans, knee-length skirt, button-up shirt or structured blouse, and flats or dress shoes.
After you get past that first-time introduction, it is time to start networking! By networking and socializing, you are building connections with like-minded individuals in a similar workforce. Not only is this a great opportunity to benefit you, but also to help others in their career endeavors. Networking doesn’t have to be a scary encounter. Make it fun! Consider asking more out-of-the-box questions like people’s hobbies, favorite travel destination or go-to fast-food order.
Having an elevator pitch is a great way to impress someone without taking up large amounts of his or her time. Ideally, a pitch should be somewhere between 30 seconds and a minute long. Elevator pitches are useful in getting your point across to somebody, preventing them from losing interest and giving them all the necessary information in a timely fashion.
Make sure to brush up on these three professional development areas to prepare for the PRSSA 2019 International Conference. We’re excited to see you looking sharp and acting the part.
Brittany Nistler is the hospitality director for the PRSSA 2019 International Conference. Her primary goal is to focus on the logistics of the Conference by researching transportation plans, in-kind donations and different things to do while in San Diego.
Since first joining the California State University, Fullerton (CSUF), PRSSA Chapter in the fall of 2017, Nistler has become increasingly involved. What once started with the Outreach Committee soon transitioned to the position of vice president of outreach. Her duties include member outreach, updating the Chapter’s blog and tabling events such as Discoverfest.
Nistler has volunteered for events such as the CSUF PRSSA 2017 Regional Conference: “Next Gen PR,” GardenWalk and CSUF’s annual Halloween Mixer. Before arriving at CSUF, she dedicated a majority of her time to her community college’s school newspaper before becoming editor in chief.
An academic goal of hers is to gain relevant hands-on skill for the ever-evolving media workplace. As a result, she has begun focusing some of her time toward a certificate in digital media. She has since become knowledgeable in Adobe programs such as Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign.
Nistler previously earned her associate degree in communications at Victor Valley College. She is looking forward to graduating with her bachelor’s degree in public relations at the end of the 2019 fall semester.