Professional development is something often neglected when times are good. Many people, when they have a job, don’t bother thinking about how they will get their next one. Some people are fortunate enough that their work place provides ample opportunities to develop new skills via on-the-job training, employer funded short courses or simply providing new challenges to employees on a regular basis. Unfortunately all too many employers are only interested in keeping their employees entirely focused on a narrow set of specific tasks and don’t put much consideration into expanding the capabilities and skill set of the work force that they already have. So for the majority of us;
Professional development has to be done on one’s own time and on one’s own dime.
For some, who have real restrictions on their time and money, this can be a barrier to professional development. But for most of us it’s more of a mental barrier than an actual limitation. It may be true that going back to college, full-time, and getting yet another degree is beyond your financial or emotional capacity. But, that does not mean that you do not have the resources available to get additional education and training. For many it is simply a question of will.
Last year a coworker and friend of mine took an evening class in Project Management at one of our local college institutions. I have to say that at the time I was very impressed by this and I am certain others in the company were as well. Later, when our company hit hard times, I was caught up in the layoffs. I am now using this time for some professional education and retraining of my own. But even when I do find a new job (and I will) I plan to be more proactive in the future about continually seeking professional education and career training while still on the job. Because this subject has been on my mind as of late, I plan to use my next few posts to muse about the costs (in Time & Dime) as well as the ultimate pay offs of seeking education on one’s own personal schedule, outside of the work place.