YOU Are Responsible for Your Career
When it comes to your professional growth and development in today’s business environment, you are in the driver’s seat. A few decades ago, companies invested a significant amount of resources in developing their employees, but that’s a thing of the past.
What Happened to Corporate Training?
Tough economic times: Companies found that it was easier to eliminate training and development programs from the budget during tough economic times than it was to eliminate people’s jobs. And when the market turned around, we never went back to investment and budget levels that we had in 70s and 80s.
Educated candidate pool: Employees now come into jobs more educated than they were in the past. People today earn certifications, technical degrees, college degrees, and beyond. Today’s candidate pool is stronger educationally than it used to be, so there’s less of a need for companies to provide training and development.
Less company loyalty: We no longer view our employer in a parental sense. People don’t work for one company their entire career anymore. Instead, we follow opportunities and interests.
You’re In Control
It’s up to you to seek out your own professional training and development opportunities.
Online training: Fortunately, the internet makes it easy to access abundant high quality, reputable, and free content. Of course, there are also sub-par options, so do your homework just as you would if you were in the market for a new car or a new home.
Professional affiliation groups: Just about every career path has its professional organizations. Join one, attend meetings, and take advantage of whatever professional development it offers. Create your own professional network. And volunteer for leadership roles, particularly if you don’t have such opportunity on the job.
Training Trends You Need to Know
Complete your education: Do you need a few more classes to wrap up your degree? Would a certain certification make good sense for your career goals? Then do it. Your own education makes a big difference to your career.
Online learning systems: Employers have moved away from classroom training and they likely won’t go back. Instead, they’re pointing employees toward online training, such as Khan Academy and other free training that’s available on the web. The overall trend we’re seeing now is that when employers do invest in employee training or education, it’s for a very targeted, selective, high potential program.
You may be in the driver’s seat, but you’re not totally on your own. If you need some direction, ask your boss, mentor, colleagues, or members of your professional network. They can give you tips on how to make solid professional development choices that will make a big difference in your career.