Or are you a last minute person that takes whatever is available right before renewal?
Continuing Education is an ongoing part of the puzzle when it comes to growing yourself as a professional. Not only is it a requirement for anyone that wants to keep their license active, it is an important way to stay connected to other professionals and to continually advance your knowledge in the field.
Choose an area of expertise
Once you have been in the field for some time, you will gradually start to develop an area of expertise. Whether it happens intentionally or as a result of the positions you choose, you will eventually have an established core expertise.
Focus on growing your strengths
Choose CEUs that continue to advance your knowledge base. Perhaps a training that teaches a new technique or a practice approach that might be effective with your ideal client. Filter any training selections with the requirement that they must contribute to your understanding of the work you are already doing.
Invest in what’s best
Too often, I notice that mental health professionals choose CEUs based solely on price. This is such a mistake. Approaching it this way is a missed opportunity for personal and professional growth and development. It is short sighted to use money as the only determining factor in your choice of continuing education. Don’t stunt your growth.
Be willing to invest in yourself so that you are continually sharpening your skill set and learning best practices.
Birds of a feather, flock together
CEU trainings are also a great opportunity for networking. All of the professionals that will be in the room will likely have interest similar to yours.
If you are able to make meaningful connections with the other professionals in those classes, you can develop a network of providers to refer to or receive referrals from. You can also develop professional friendships where you can share ideas and continue to grow based on connecting with like-minded professionals.
Part Art…Part Science
Growing a successful career in mental health is a "part art, part science formula". The "part art” CEUs are those that will help you to advance your clinical skills. But remember to be on the lookout for the “part science” CEUs too. These trainings focus on topics like management, grant writing and practice building.
While they have nothing to do with clinical work, they have everything to do with your career. Think about where you are headed and the body of knowledge that you will need to get you there.
Think outside the Box
Don’t just choose free CEUs to keep your license alive, use them as a chance to grow your network and expand your expertise in a particular area. Choose things that feed your spirit, advance your learning and help you to gain new insights that advance your clinical practice and enhance your professional development.
Let’s Grow!!! Connect with me on Facebook or LinkedIn and share the last great CEU you have attended.