How to Advance Your Career in the field of Organization Development?

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Advancing your career in the field of Organization Development (OD) requires a combination of education, experience, and professional development.

Here are some steps you can take to advance your career in the field of Organization Development:

  1. Obtain a master’s degree in business, psychology, OD, or human resources can provide a strong foundation for a career in the field of Organization Development. Additionally, consider obtaining certification or training in OD, such as those offered by Institute or Organization Development (IOD), or the International Coach Federation (ICF).
  2. Gain experience: Seek out opportunities to gain hands-on experience in OD, such as internships, entry-level positions, or volunteer work. Look for positions that need help in organizational design, culture change, change management, leadership development, conflict management and team building.
  3. Build a network: Attend industry conferences, workshops, or seminars to meet other professionals in the field and build relationships.
  4. Continue your professional development: Stay up to date on industry trends, research, and best practices by reading industry publications, attending webinars, or obtaining additional certifications or workshops. Also, gain work-related experience by volunteering for OD Projects, facilitating meetings, or offering your expertise.

Developing a career in OD requires obtaining a degree related to the field of Organization Development, earning hands-on experience, networking with others in the field, continued ongoing professional development, seeking a mentor or coach, and developing your personal brand. 

  1. Seek out someone who could provide mentoring or coaching: Work with a mentor or coach who has experience in OD to guide your career development. They can provide valuable advice, feedback, and support as you navigate the field.
  2. Join a professional network association to gain expertise and network with your peers. GIODN.org offers professional networking opportunities, free events, job board, OD Toolkit.
  3. Develop a personal brand: Create a bio that showcases your expertise, values, and unique perspective. Join Linked and build your network, offer your thoughts, and comment on other posts.  Create blog posts on areas of interest, or social media presence that demonstrates your thought leadership and credibility in the field. Contribute to the field, offer to present a workshop or speaking engagement, train others in OD tools and concepts.  Write case studies about your projects for research purposes, and keep a list of your projects, deliverables, accomplishments, and clients.

In summary, developing a career in OD requires obtaining a degree related to the field of Organization Development, earning hands-on experience, networking with others in the field, continued ongoing professional development, seeking a mentor or coach, and developing your personal brand. By taking these steps, you can advance your career as a qualified and credible OD professional.

About the Author

Dr. Nancy Zentis, CEO, Institute of Organization Development (IOD), with over 30 years’ experience in the field of OD.   IOD offers OD Certification Programs and Professional Development Workshops.

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