Staff Professional Development

Staff Senate Professional Development Committee

Staff Senate is committed to helping classified staff at the University of Montana thrive and grow.  This is so important to Staff Senate that, in the spring of 2015, it established a Professional Development Committee to increase the visibility and availability of professional development and training opportunities available to UM staff.

Why Professional Development Matters

It's good for us.  It keeps us interested and interesting, fuels innovation, and helps us create a stronger network on campus.  Like faculty, who are required to participate in professional development in order to stay relevant in their fields, staff also need to keep up with trends.  If none of the trainings catch your eye, think about sharing your knowledge and skills by teaching one or peer coaching or mentoring your colleagues.

It's good for UM, too!  Professional development boosts morale, reduces turnover, improves institutional knowledge across campus, and helps the University cultivate its most talented employees. 

Ready, Set, Grow! 10 Ways to Develop Yourself Professionally

  1. Take a class!  Get a degree, get an advanced degree, or just take a stand-alone course.  There are online options, too.  We work at a university--that's why this is number one!
  2. Teach yourself a skill.  Borrow a how-to book at the Mansfield Library or public library. Watch tutorials on the internet or try an app on your phone.
  3. Volunteer.  There are countless opportunities both on and off campus. 
  4. Join a committee, community of practice, or organization.  Take on a leadership role and learn how to conduct a meeting, give a presentation, and organize a group of people. 
  5. Find a mentor (or be a mentor!).  Ask someone on a career path to which you aspire to coffee or lunch sometime.  You can learn so much from a simple conversation! 
  6. Cross-train. Shadow a colleague and ask her to teach you something new.  This can be mutually beneficial.
  7. Read.  Join the UM Reading & Leading Book Club to discover books that will help you in the workplace.  Read blogs, articles, or books that aren't related to work for a change of pace.  If you're reading, you're learning.
  8. Go to a lecture or seminar.  The campus is teeming with opportunities here.
  9. Attend a conference or "unconference."  Some are held right here on campus. 
  10. Don't neglect your "soft skills."  Find out how you can use them at work and use them to make yourself more marketable.

Here's what The Huffington Post has to say about it:  5 Ways to Improve Employee Development at Your Company.