Job-related training can add class to any career.
Whether you’re an upwardly mobile young employee, a mid-level manager or part of a company’s upper crust, there are always things you can do to increase your worth to your company as well as enrich your personal knowledge.
In today’s rapidly evolving workplace, it has become more important than ever to stay abreast of current trends, advances in technology and new techniques. Although job-related training can sometimes be a burden because of the time it consumes, it’s an important tool in keeping on top of what direction your industry – and your career – may be heading.
Public and Customized Classes
Numerous classes and seminars can help employees upgrade their skills, and there are two types of presentation: public and customized. The public type brings training to people in a convenient, cost-effective and time-efficient format. They’re often advertised through local papers, radio stations or mail-marketing campaigns, and may be held in theaters, hotels, conference centers or auditoriums. You pay a fee to attend a half-day, daylong or two-day seminar with many other people. It’s a format that includes a presentation by an expert, getting your questions answered, and participating in discussion sessions or work groups.
Customized seminars, on the other hand, are usually organized on behalf of a specific group. An example would be a medium-size to large company that wants to add or enforce a special dimension to its business practices. For instance, a company that wants to train its employees on a new customer service policy might do it through a seminar. Conventions or trade shows often offer smaller meetings or sessions that focus on timely or relevant topics.
Whether public or customized, seminars can be great because of the interaction between the leaders and participants, the exchange of ideas, and the opportunity for obtaining a clear understanding of the subject matter.
Numerous career advancement advisors recommend participating in seminars and other types of instruction like communication classes, which may include discovering ways to make an impact when you speak or write; communicating to be liked, trusted and respected; how to listen and understand; improving the sound of your voice; developing a natural, comfortable style of communicating; and impromptu speaking.
Managers can find reputable guidance through numerous classes, including making the transition from team player to team manager; how to communicate with staff; and how to set priorities, organize projects, delegate work and handle conflicts.
Courses and seminars on team building, customer service, computer skills and personal growth are valuable for all kinds of workers.
Another effective tool is the home-study program, which makes learning accessible, affordable and convenient for anyone with the motivation and discipline to study independently. People can listen to tapes while they commute, exercise or do household chores and wireless Internet access makes it possible to be learning online in virtually any setting. If there is an attitude, behavior or skill you want to learn, or a course you feel would enhance your personal or career growth, it’s likely there’s a self-study program that’s available to help.
A popular trend in professional development is personal coaching. This is a confidential, ongoing partnership and support system that focuses on the client and his business, career, finances, health and/or relationships. As a result of coaching, clients set better goals, take more action, make better decisions and more fully use their natural strengths.
Usually conducted on a one-to-one basis, with regular meetings and evaluation of progress, coaching requires a long-term commitment from both the coach and the client. It is like having a personal trainer for your life. Engaging the services of a coach, however, can be expensive.
Usually, the objectivity and professionalism of coaching set it apart from other forms of self-improvement. Motivational speakers and programs are great for getting you pumped up, but that edge can wear off without continuous reinforcement. And that’s where, for some people, personal coaching is the answer.