Tap into the season’s energy to grow — personally and professionally.
The air will soon cool, the stores are chockablock with notebooks and backpacks, the pencils even feel sharper. Summer is coming to a close but more important, schools are opening their doors and welcoming students back to the classroom.
I dig it. I always have. There’s something about fall that brings out the industriousness, curiosity and thirst for knowledge within me. I itch for education (and a good football game). I may not be currently enrolled at an institute of higher learning, but I fancy myself a perpetual student of life.
Here are some thoughts about how to bring the back-to-school spirit into your work and personal life.
Plow through your recommended reading list. Pull out that list of books you’ve been meaning to read. Ask colleagues for their favorite book picks. Now is the time to dive in and go on a reading bender. Yes, listening to the audio version during your commute counts.
Have some class. Seattle is lousy with classes, seminars and courses. From business-related certificate programs through UW Professional & Continuing Education to writing classes at the Richard Hugo House and meditation retreats at Seattle Insight Meditation Center, you can acquire and enhance skills that will benefit your career and your state of mind.
Attend a virtual talk or lecture on the daily. Between Lynda.com and TED Talks, you can expand your mind and your skill set a little each day just by sitting in front of your computer. Put your surfing time to good use by routinely browsing and picking a new subject and speaker.
Attend author readings. Fall is the season when authors and experts head out on book tours or the lecture circuit. No matter your interest, there’s a talk for you. Check out the lineup at Seattle Public Library, Town Hall and Seattle Arts & Lectures, and peruse the calendar of your favorite bookstore, museum or university. Challenge yourself to check out an author or topic you know nothing about.
Add an extracurricular activity. Use your newfound love of learning for some activities that aren’t directly related to your professional development but will nevertheless enrich and energize you. Dip your toe into creative waters by taking a photography or pottery class, or finally give stand-up paddleboarding a try.
As we move into sweater weather, use this time to take control of your personal and professional development by consuming new information and experiences. While we don’t get graded on our lives, you can be confident that you’re acing yours.