Learn and Train for the future you want

So you've sat down with the boss and for one reason or another, he says no, we can't fund your training. Having got over any disappointment, there are two things to do:

By – DeskDemon.com

If there's one thing we should all schedule into our lives, it's continuous learning and training. Let's look at reasons for that.

  1. The world has always changed, but the speed at which it's done that has quickened at a great rate, and it can only continue to get faster. The way to keep up with developments within in that will make a difference to the quality of our lives is to learn and train, otherwise we'll all get left behind.
  2. Organisations will continue to initiate faster, more effective, more economical ways of doing things. They'll implement new systems and procedures, in response to new legislation, and new products and services in response to or ahead of customer demands. IT specialists will come up with new systems which enable you to do things more quickly. There'll be new gadgets to save you time, and your company money. To be a highly effective performer in the workplace, you'll need to keep learning to make the most of it all.
  3. A willingness to learn from others will open you up to new possibilities and give you an open-minded approach. You'll find your mind opening doors for you, as opposed to be closed to them.
  4. As you plot your career and life paths, you'll probably find you need to do some learning and training to get to where you want to be. For example, if you want to move to Italy to retire, you'll need to learn Italian to get the most out of life there. If you wanted to become a IT specialist, there are qualifications you could train for which would give you greater authority and confidence when talking on the subject.
  5. Learning and training keep your brain fresh and in good working order. You'll have more zest for life. You'll also get considerable joy out of studying and learning things, which interest you.

So what's the difference between learning and training? You can learn for any reason at all. You can learn and study history, maths, French, IT, presentation skills because you're passionately interested in those subjects. If you train to do something, you're training to undertake specific tasks, usually with a view to applying them in a work situation or with a particular use of them in mind.

Employers will have their own ways of training people, which could involve any of the following examples below:

• On the job – learning by doing• Video and feedback
• Mentoring• Work shadowing
• Giving presentations• Correspondence
• In-house training, given by trainers brought in by your company• Day release courses (you go to college one day a week)
• Outdoor team building• Role play
• Company intranet• Dedicated learning centre & library
• Partnerships with local universities• Induction programmes when you join

In all the amazing number of courses available, how do you get started?

Identify what you want to learn and why.

Do you want to learn a skill or train for a qualification, which is directly relevant to your role at work, or your future career with the organisation you work for? If this is the case, you could ask your employer to sponsor you to go on a course, if you can clearly show that how your organisation will benefit from your newfound knowledge and skills.

On the other hand, if you want to do something, which is for you as opposed to you and your organisation, you need to think about whether you want to:

  • re-train for a new career?
  • move into a new area at work for which qualifications will help
  • get promoted at work?
  • get professional qualifications?
  • boost your own self-esteem and confidence?
  • learn or practice a special skill, such as speaking in public, or handling difficult people.
  • learn for my own self-esteem.
  • find out how to set up my own business

You'll take courses all your life - learning never stops - you'll take different courses to fulfil your learning needs at the time. One year, you may be sponsored by your employer to study for a professional qualification; the next you might want to do a short course to develop a skill, such as a presentation course if your job suddenly encompasses lots of presenting.

If you have definitive career plans, plotting a learning and training programme will boost your chances of achieving them.

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