What advice would you give someone just starting out in the field?

advice for OD

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For those of you who need more experience, I offer this suggestion. Whatever line of work you are in, have an OD perspective and build it into your current role. Use the  OD processes when working on projects, with teams, individuals, and internal clients. You can offer to facilitate meetings, conduct needs assessment for training, teach people how to problem solve, solve conflicts, collaborate, use appreciative inquiry, lead change, conduct feedback debriefing sessions. You are probably practicing OD everyday and don’t even realize the impact you are making. I recently offered to facilitate a Conflict Resolution Training Session using an NTL approach for our local ASTD Chapter Board meeting. I was amazed at how many people complimented me on the process and said they would use it in their organizations. Success doesn’t happen overnight, but over time, you’ll realize how successful you’ve become. It’s not what you are given, but what you give that makes the difference! I encourage all of you to offer your talents freely, so many organizations and people need our help.

To gain more experience in the field of OD, identify an organization, either for profit or nonprofit, that might benefit from having someone with an OD background help them with an organization development intervention. Offer your skills as in-kind services. One of the requirements of our advanced OD Certification Program (ODCC) is to offer your services in kind to one of the organizations in your community. One of our recent participants volunteered at her church to facilitate their strategic planning event. The church acquired another church and hired her as a full time OD Specialist. Experiences like this one will definitely build your skills, confidence, and add relevant experience to your resume.

Institute of OD offers online certification programs for those who want to advance in the field of Organization Development and Human Resources.  IOD is dedicated to supporting your goals and ongoing career development. If you are uncertain which program is right for you, you can take our OD career path assessment.

Building your career or transferring your skills to a new field involves conducting a skill inventory of your past experiences and connecting those skills to the new profession. Start by listing all of your skills acquired in previous roles and identify how you could use those skills in a new role.  Be sure to create a list of your accomplishments and skills demonstrated to achieve those accomplishments. Add your transferable skills and accomplishments to your resume.

If you need additional skills and competencies to qualify for a new position, consider adding an advanced certification for professional development.  Professional certifications provide you with skills, tools, and best practices needed to apply in a new role or for career advancement. 

IOD offers several certifications in the field of OD for those currently looking to apply for an OD role, or those seeking to advance in their current role.  If you are uncertain which program is right for you, you can take our OD career path assessment here

About the Author 

Dr. Nancy Zentis is the CEO of Institute of Organization Development.  You may contact her at nancy.zentis@instituteod.comInstitute of OD offers online certification programs for those who want to advance in the field of Organization Development and Human Resources.  IOD is dedicated to supporting your goals and ongoing career development.  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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