In my former life as an employee I remember being sent on training courses, all paid for through the company. Some courses were great, some weren’t, and most were chosen for me. After 15 years in the corporate world I, like many, took this for granted and also assumed that any training and development I needed for my job or career would be taken care of without me having to spend a scent!
The problem with this attitude, is that you run the risk of passing the responsibility for your own growth and development into the hands of your Manager or the HR department, and their goals and objectives might be very different to yours. It’s a tricky path to tread and one that can be very detrimental to your career…
Relying on what’s ‘given’ to you and not taking a vested interested in your learning and development can be a big problem if you want to change career at a later date, or even just change company’s depending on what you’ve learned so far. If we jump ahead in time, you might find that the only skills you’ve developed are one’s which are specific to your current job, and worse still, non-transferable into other roles or careers.
This is a really risky position to find yourself in, as it’s important to build transferable skills throughout your career, but also to be mindful of what YOUR career goals and objectives are and make sure that your development is clearly aligned with them.
In doing this, you may find that you personally need to invest in some form of training and development because your longer term goals and aspirations are not in your current employers interests.
And this is where the problem comes. It can be easy to find the motivation to save for your next overseas holiday, or splash out on a new car, bag or pair of shoes, but more often than not investing in our own personal development comes significantly lower down the list of priorities, if at all, for many people.
However, your skills and mindset are actually your best investment, and the benefits you can reap from investing in them can be exponentially higher than the initial outlay.
So imagine for a moment that you were given a ‘Training & Development Budget’ to spend as you wish. What would you spend your budget on when it comes to your own personal growth?
Perhaps you’d like to try coaching, or maybe you’ve been thinking about going to night school or doing an MBA? Don’t worry about how much the budget is, just allow yourself to consider what you’d like to do if your company wasn’t defining your development or holding the purse strings.
It’s important to allow yourself to think about the possibilities rather than being defined by parameters. When we find something we want enough, there’s always a way to make it happen. I did the same when I started retraining to be a Coach. My training was far from cheap, and my employer at the time definitely wasn’t going to pay for it, but if I had let my development stay in the hands of my boss my career and life would be incredibly different right now and far from ideal.
Of course, always ask for study support and investigate if your employer will pay for or subsidise your studies, but ultimately the moral of the story is to make sure YOU are the one in control of your development, driving your career forward instead of running the risk of stalling or going backwards.
Your career, your responsibility. Know your worth, and be willing to invest in YOU.
Faye is an accomplished Career Coach, Small Business Coach and Productivity Specialist who has successfully coached countless clients on how to create a career they love, get more done in less time, and achieve personal and professional success.
You can contact Faye on +61 2 8323 4335 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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