Career Training – Who’s Responsible?

By John Groth

Who’s responsible for your career training and advancing the learning necessary to grow your career?

You’re currently working but who is responsible for your career training? You need to stay current or you’ll be left behind. Changes in the technical arena are coming fast and furious. And many of these changes are causing jobs and career fields to be modified sometimes beyond recognition. So you need to on top of the newest and latest or your career and livelihood could be in jeopardy.

Firefighters in trainingIf you keep up or get ahead of the galloping learning curve you’re likely to be paid top dollar. So it pays for you to invest the time and effort necessary to learn the latest technical bells and whistles.

First, what levels of training does your employer offer? Tuition reimbursement is the most common but the reimbursement is only in study related to you career field. Many companies are now recognizing that training is training and they are loosening the rules to include training in other fields and disciplines. If your company does not offer these more liberal tuition reimbursement rules, some basic research on your part, and a proposal might change the policy.

How about in house training? If offered you should take advantage of every opportunity. In many areas employer associations, like the Chamber of Commerce, offer low cost training programs or invite interesting speakers to discuss a topical issue. Not only is this training productive but many times it opens up other areas of study.

If your organization purchases new equipment, software or implements a new process many times the vendor offers appropriate training. Take advantage to learn as much as possible about the new equipment and/or process.

Another area often overlooked in career training is to become the organization’s expert on a particular subject. In one example, a human resource specialist in a multi-state operation studied the various unemployment insurance rules and procedures in the various states. She analyzed the company’s current approach to dealing with laid off and terminated employees as they accessed the individual state’s unemployment benefits. Her analysis uncovered opportunities that would result in lower unemployment taxes in the various states.

She developed a comprehensive training program for each units HR staff. She then traveled to each location and conducted the necessary training. Today she is the companies’ expert on unemployment compensation and has advanced her career through the study, analysis and by being the trainer on this subject.

Is there a subject related to your career field that you could do some study and offer to conduct some training? It’s been said that for each hour of training you do you must put in three or four hours of study and practice to be fully effective. This extra study and time will pay off in the long run of advancing your career.

Who is responsible for your career training? The answer is you are. Be proactive as the opportunities for career improvement are everywhere. And as you study, read and attend seminars and workshops additional learning opportunities will open up all to add to your career training and ultimately to advancing your career.

John Groth is a former HR executive and career coach.

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