If you think you’ve tried everything to help advance your career, you may not have dug deep enough in random late night Google searches. Lucky for you, I’ve done the searching for you and chosen a few unique opportunities to help you get ahead. Whether you’re looking for a free, online option to help you advance or a more substantial (yet pricier) in-person alternative, there’s plenty of interesting options to try out, whatever your budget.
Women of Influence Events
Women of Influence has a variety of events in Toronto and Calgary that provide access to successful women who have been through it all, and aren’t afraid to share their story on the podium. While the luncheons ($100-$120) provide access to inspiration and networking, the evening series ($55) provides a more intimate setting with greater chances to network with hard to reach female executives.
We get it, your new year’s resolution is working out and advancing your career but you don’t have time for both. We found you a solution! Introducing sweatworking, the perfect activity to get fit and advance your career. While sessions can vary depending on where you go, Smart Girls Sweat offers a great class for $40 that begins with a 45 minute group workout followed by healthy snacks, an inspiring speaker (on January 27 they have Senior Marketing Manager of Kobo, Robyn Baldwin), followed by, you guessed it, networking.
No one likes a stalker, but no one likes when you don’t go after what you want. LinkedIn is the best form of productive social stalking networking, and offers endless opportunities to connect with whomever you want. While there’s unwritten protocol to follow and help avoid an awkward rejection, it’s a tool that has a lot of potential. So what are those unwritten rules? Try and connect with people you have a mutual connection with or a shared industry and cause. Always try and send a personalized note, whether it’s congratulating them on a recent article, business win or promotion.
Find a Mentor
Levo offers an interesting approach to finding a mentor if you’re a bit intimidated by the LinkedIn process. The company is designed to connect young professionals to potential mentors and, to quote their site, is your career copilot. It’s easy to get lost in a click hole here, but unlike with Instagram, it’s to engage in practical, relevant career advice. While Levo’s Toronto chapter is still picking up, it’s a perfect opportunity to get in touch with ladies (and a few men) who are really looking to connect and advance their career and Levo has a number of great resources on their site from career advice to tips on freelancing.
We’re pretty spoiled to live in Toronto and have access to so many unique educational opportunities, but what’s even more unique to us is the amount of workshops and interesting classes at our fingertips. Women of Influence offers some inspiring courses and Personal Branding ($595) is number one on my list for those looking to help market themselves and improve their confidence, including on-camera training to perfect how you communicate. Improvisation classes have also been said to help improve confidence and communication in the workplace, and Second City has a great improv class for beginners ($305). Looking for a cheaper option? Toronto Reference Library has great classes on Adobe, web design and personal finance. The best part? They’re free. If you’re looking to just brush up on some of your skills, Udemy has a number of online courses (and frequently throw flash sales for $10 a pop) from Photoshop to web development and everything in between.