How To Get The Training You Need to Grow Your Career
Learning is like time. It never stops. Virtually all careers require ongoing training to keep up with the latest technologies, discoveries, and trends. Professional development is especially critical if you plan on climbing up or branching out. If you don’t want to be stuck in the same position forever, you’ll need to acquire training both on and off the job. But how do you do that when your schedule is already jam-packed, and your company doesn’t offer the on-the-job training you need? Here are some suggestions to help you get the training necessary to grow your career.
Investigate Your Options
The first thing you’re going to want to do is thoroughly investigate your options. Whether you already know the direction you want to go, or you’re still deciding, it’s crucial to be armed with as much information as possible. Find out what types of skills, certifications, and experience you need to get where you want to be. Discover the different types of training available, including hands-on training, eLearning, mentoring programs, leadership training, and simulation training. Investigate costs, time commitments, success rates—anything you can find that will guide you toward the training that will be the most beneficial to you and your aspirations. Once you’ve put all the pieces together, you can confidently move on to the next step.
Talk to Your Boss
You’ve done the legwork. Now it’s time to approach your boss and say, “Can we talk?” If your company is not providing the type of training you need, you may be able to use the knowledge you’ve gained from your investigation to change that. Show her how training and development will benefit her and the organization. For example, let her know IBM reports that “84 percent of employees in Best Performing Organizations are receiving the training they need compared with 16 percent in the worst performing companies.” Explain that an investment in training expansion will help reduce turnover by improving employee satisfaction and increasing loyalty. If you frame your proposal correctly, you just may get exactly what you’re asking for.
You can’t rely solely on your boss to get you the training you need to grow your career. It’s also going to require some self-sacrifice. There are many ways to fit formal learning into your day if you’re determined. You can spend your lunch hours taking an online class. You can read industry journals during your commute to work. If you really mean business, you can switch to public transportation just for that purpose. It may be a struggle at first, but your commitment to self-education will pay off in the long run.
Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
Informal learning can be just as beneficial as formal learning. You’re given the opportunity to absorb new information using all your senses every day. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you never know when you’ll overhear a new procedure you can introduce to the office or see a work of art that inspires a brilliant idea.
Ultimately, no matter who you are, if you don’t grow you become stagnant. If you want to improve and expand your career, ongoing training is essential. And if you’re not getting what you need from your organization, either work to change it, or take matters into your own hands. Those who are willing to put in the most time and effort are the ones who are going to see the most fruitful results.