Finding Unconventional Growth Opportunities

Living our best lives requires continual refinement, growth, and education. How are you investing in yourself?

Finding Unconventional Growth Opportunities
Photo by Becca Tapert / Unsplash

I’m a huge proponent of investing in yourself. Living our best lives requires continual refinement, growth, and education. Thankfully, we have access to endless opportunities to better ourselves. Lately, I’ve discovered value in unconventional growth opportunities — things beyond online courses and books.

Last night I graduated from the City of Orlando’s Mayor’s City Academy. It’s a program where civilians explore all facets of the city — from first responders to city venues to water treatment. We began the program in January 2020 and went on an 18-month hiatus a few weeks later. It’s been a journey but well worth the wait.

City Academy brought a lot of unique opportunities for education and experience. I used a fire hose and saw how stormwater becomes agricultural feed. City employees showed us how local venues attract touring concerts and what happens when you flush a toilet. It’s been an enjoyable experience, and I highly recommend applying to anyone who lives in Orlando.

City Academy shows that unique growth opportunities exist everywhere — we have to keep our eyes open. I discovered the Mayor’s City Academy by following the City of Orlando Twitter feed. Community centers and local schools often provide educational opportunities ranging from free to low cost — many years ago, I took an 8-week tennis class for $45 (or something like that). The point is, education and growth opportunities are everywhere.

If you’re not currently engaged in some form of education, I recommend you start looking for options — especially if you’re a writer or other creative. While I probably won’t work with a stormwater client, having the knowledge from City Academy allows me to make connections and use references I’d otherwise be unaware of.

How are you investing in yourself? Hit reply and join the conversation.

Justin Cox Justin Cox

Justin Cox is a donut-loving, word-writing, nonprofit consultant based in Orlando. He also runs The Writing Cooperative on Medium. Come say hello!