No time, but eager for professional development

Dear Benny:
I’m interested in developing new skills that would enable me to take on more responsibility in my current job. I know Penn offers many opportunities for professional development, but I work full-time and my schedule doesn’t allow for much else during the course of the day. Can you suggest ways for me to enhance my skills even though I’m constantly strapped for time?
—Motivated But Overscheduled

Dear MBO:
It’s tough to stay on track with your professional goals when your day is already crammed with tasks and obligations. The University offers a number of resources that might help. You may want to consider the Brown Bag Matinees offered by the Division of Human Resources. These free monthly videos offer quick lunchtime learning opportunities to help you broaden your skills and excel in your job. You might also want to take advantage of a variety of career-focused Brown Bag Matinee events, which feature topics such as successful interviewing skills, effective workplace dynamics, preparing quality cover letters and resumes and more.

If you’re looking to develop your management skills but can’t even get away from your desk for lunch, consider enrolling in the Online Management Orientation Program. You can find the Human Resources online course catalog at

Penn also offers free and confidential career coaching to staff members. It provides advice on career development and mobility tailored to your particular situation. Individual coaching sessions include a self-assessment, aid in defining career goals and help in developing an action plan. And, if you can break away for only a few moments, stop by Penn’s Career Center where you can browse through books, articles and videos on a wide range of career topics at your own pace. For more information about these and other professional development opportunities, visit the Human Resources website at

Got a question for Benny? Send it via e-mail to or via regular mail to the Current, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106.

Originally published on May 6, 2010