Labor Day is here – the official end of summer. The light is different, the air is crisper, and I get an excited feeling in the pit of my stomach. It’s back to school time!
Getting geared up for the season with new textbooks and new clothes was always fun for me as a child, and even more fun through my years of higher education. The excitement of newness always included the prospect of making new friends and learning new things.
And how wonderful to learn things that I didn’t even know I didn’t know!
My appetite for education hasn’t waned over the years, and that’s a good thing, as I am an active member of two professions where continuing education is mandatory. I am required to take a certain number of courses every three-year period in order for me to retain my credentials both as a licensed attorney and as a certified professional image consultant.
The jewelry industry is less structured from the perspective of formal education, more hands-on, less book-learning. For many jewelry experts, designers and salespeople, I have no doubt, the system works just fine. Maybe there’s no need regularly to learn something new, aside from information about a new technique, regulation or material that directly affects your business. But consider for a moment that there are vast worlds of information out there you might not have explored that might inspire you as a designer or retailer or help you move your business forward in any number of ways.
This back to school season, be inspired to learn something new. Attend educational sessions at the next trade show or conference you attend. Attend the Women’s Jewelry Association’s inaugural West Coast “Women in the Know” Conference next Saturday (September 8th) and the West Coast Jewelry Show that starts on Sunday. Learn a skill from a master craftsman. Earn a credential or a certificate from GIA. Take a class in marketing or appraising or financial analysis or web design or writing. Read this blog. Read a book. (Read our book.) Subscribe to a fashion or general business magazine. Be like a sponge, as my aunt used to say. Learn.
Seize every opportunity to continue your education. Share reports on seminars you’ve attended and discuss books and blogs you’ve read with your colleagues at work. Share with your customers what you’re studying. They’ll appreciate your expertise and the scope of your knowledge too!