Keys to Entering the Field of OD! I have a degree, what next?

Keys to the OD profession

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As most of us know, developing a career in the field of Organization Development (OD) requires a combination of education, experience, and advanced professional development through training, advanced degrees, or certification programs.  For me, my path to becoming an OD professional took many years of training, experience, self-awareness and self-development. Here are some suggestions for those who are considering entering the field of OD! 

First learn about the field of OD and what is the role of an OD Practitioner by conducting research, talking to professionals in the field, and reviewing job openings on Linkedin, Indeed, or the GIODN Job board  Although most organizations under utilize their OD Team and don’t involve them in large change initiatives with senior leaders in the early stages, many of our OD participants see this attitude changing as they gain a reputation and become successful helping senior leaders with critical challenges. 

If you are interested in learning more about Institute of Organization Development’s OD Certification Programs and career development opportunities, please contact us at info@instituteod.com or visit www.instituteod.com

Consider joining a professional networking group.  There are several groups to consider: OD Network – with chapters in different states, IODA – International OD Network, or GIODN.org – Global OD Network.  Get active as a member and volunteer for a board role. Participate in conferences and consider presenting as a speaker. Write articles on topics you are passionate about and gain recognition.  

Get involved in organizational projects to gain experience by helping senior leaders and teams facilitate meetings and lead change initiatives. Volunteer as an internal OD professional if your organization is working with consultants. Gain expertise in a wide variety of organization development interventions areas. Take on more responsibility and offer your support in areas that can give you experience, promote your reputation, and give you more visibility.  

 

Continue your professional development: Stay up on the latest trends in OD, research best practices by reading industry publications, attend webinars, or obtain additional certifications or training. Consider obtaining certification in OD, or related certification and workshops to deepen your expertise and enhance your credentials. Complete competency assessment and determine your strengths and opportunities for improvement. Create a self-development plan and identify actions needed, and identify what skills you already have that can be transferred to OD. For instance, presentation skills, instructional design, team building, change management, six sigma, project management, experiential learning, leadership development are all transferable skills.

 

There are a few things you can do to enter the field of OD. You can ask someone who is already in the field to act as your mentor or provide coaching. You can also interview them and ask them how they entered the field and what they would recommend to you. Ask if they would be willing to refer you to an employer. Send them your resume and ask for feedback!  Experts in the field can provide valuable advice, feedback, and support as you navigate the field.

 

Gain recognition by creating your personal brand. For example, join Linkedin and other social media groups and create a professional profile. Share your credentials, experience, and areas of expertise, and connect with others in the field and try to expand your followers. Having a strong presence in social media can benefit your career opportunities. 

Building your career in the field of Organization Development requires a combination of education, expertise in the field of OD, experience, and continued professional development. You can start by building a network in the field by joining professional networking organizations and asking for help from a mentor or a coach and building your personal brand. Be one step ahead of your competition and consider earning a certification to gain the credentials you need to advance your career in the field of OD.

If you are interested in learning more about Institute of Organization Development’s OD Certification Programs and career development opportunities, please contact us at info@instituteod.com, www.instituteod.com

About the Author

Dr. Nancy Zentis, Ph.D.,
CEO and Founder of the Institute of Organization Development. Contact: nancy.zentis@instituteod.com. The Institute of Organization Development offers online Certification Programs on Organization Development, OD Process Consulting, Talent Management, Executive Coaching

 IOD also sponsors GIODN.org, a global OD Professional Membership Organization, offering member benefits such as a Professional Directory, OD Tools, Monthly Events, a Job Board, and Member Connect.  If you are interested in joining, click here.

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