Saturday, August 15, 2009

Be your Own Trainer...! - Part 2

As soon as you become part of the corporate world, it is YOUR job to undertake the responsibility of self-development. You cannot afford to lazily linger for your manager / business unit head to either foot the bill or initiate something for your development.

This corporate world will make you experience a lot of learning and development initiatives including:
· 'on the job' learning
· learning by observation
· customized training programmes
· professional study, related to your work, like MBA, etc…
· performance reviews and appraisal processes

In enhancing your career, it is vital to demonstrate to your manager / employer that you place high value on learning and that you are constantly seeking to thicken your skills and experience, in your current role. It is also imperative to remain employable at all times, if not indispensible. Business is fast-moving and unless you keep abreast with the changes, you will find yourself obsolete.

Developing your personal skills
Most organizations today encourage employees to work on their personal development in the form of training opportunities. While making the right hire, employers assess both your technical skills in relation to the job and your soft skills such as teamwork, communication and influencing. Honestly, this ratio is now turning into 80% people management and 20% domain expertise for all supervisory roles. For staff level roles, interviewers have demonstrated their keenness to hire candidates with high aptitude and attitude towards learning. Once you start working, they expect you to apply these skills in the context of their business and to further keep developing them.

You may have an access to training courses or other development materials to help you; however, key forum for you to formalize your developmental needs is the performance review – biannual or annual. On a monthly basis, team managers could conduct quick 30 minute review of each employee in their team. This gives you an opportunity to receive feedback on your progress, identify areas where you need to develop your skills further, and set related action plans. The more you demonstrate interest in your development, the more your manager reverts with keenness and zeal. It is nothing but a contagious cycle for both where the enthusiasm that you demonstrate to learn is reciprocated with the enthusiasm to coach you by your manager.

Keeping up to date with your industry
All areas of work are recurrently changing. You will need to keep up with all best practice developments in your industry and to consider how they impact your role. Here, the onus is on you to research and read in your own time what you need to keep yourself up to date. Whichever way, you will always need current knowledge to be able to perform effectively in your role and to assist you in progressing further within your field.

Undertaking further study while working
Many people embark on further study in the form of professional courses once they are established in the workplace. At times employers will fund this education for you (Please refer to your company training policy for further details). You may also wish to study further as a personal initiative. Study alongside work allows you to bring a different perspective to your work and to your academic learning.

It is always important to establish how achieving further qualifications might be rewarded by your current employer or what other opportunities it might open up to you in the wider market. Some employers may require you to achieve certain qualifications during your career to enable you to progress to more senior levels or move into specialist roles.


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