Burnish skills for better success

Burnish skills for better success

The internet has brought knowledge to your fingertips, many organisations are being proactive by providing their talent with continuing development programmes and sabbaticals to go back to school.

And there are also many other options readily available for the individual to learn on their own like short-term courses, one-time seminars, distance education programmes, live online programmes, etc. These are practical, convenient and some of them provide the additional advantage of networking and listening to experts in their field.

Most top level employees forget that it is the top management that provides direction and support to the entire organisation and think they don’t need to undergo any training sessions. Like for the junior and middle level employees to hone their skills continuously, it is also of utmost importance for top level managers to be updated with the latest advances.

Everyone can benefit from updating their skills, and learning new ones, by taking relevant courses. Understanding the latest concept or technology and its potential uses in your job will help you stand out from a crowded field of candidates.

Most potential employers will view your efforts to stay abreast of developments in your field as a major plus when planning succession or when making hiring decisions. Going back to school, on a full-time basis, to change careers or to take your current career to the next level is a very different matter.

It is a major decision involving a significant commitment of time and money. This is not always practical though.

If an individual is employed, taking courses on a part-time or ad hoc basis may be a good option. Enrolling in courses offered through a continuing education or certificate program is an excellent way to develop or enhance specific skills that will keep you marketable.

Success in today’s rapidly changing world requires continuous learning. If you do not stay current with what is happening in your field, sooner or later, you are likely to find yourself unemployed and unmarketable. You need to be strategic in pursuing learning opportunities.

So how equipped are you to meet the ever changing workplace challenges ?

There are many short-term courses that are available in the city for professionals for their value-addition. Various workshops and interactive courses are widely available within the city for working professionals who are looking to hone their skills.

From general training on topics on effective communication strategies, improving team skills and general management skills to more specific sector-based advances are focused on these short-term courses. They are often held over a month or two during weekends, designed such that the sessions are thorough but not too long. Good fortune is when hard work gets opportunity.

Needs vary depending on individuals, their industry, and also experience level. There are many courses where one end up spending a huge amount only to end up with a certificate for listening to content one can pick out of any management textbook. Hence we must be careful that the course is chosen with utmost care.

Be practical about the kind of time you have to invest in it. No point in enrolling for a course that is held during the weekday, or where one is expected to sacrifice the entire weekend listening to boring lecture. Ensure that the duration of the course and session suits your schedule and is relevant for your career. For example, if you are from the corporate background a two-three hour session on two days of a week is ideal.

Ensure that the design is interactive and practical. It is not enough that you are guaranteed a certificate at the end of the program, the real purpose is to get valuable take-away from the activity. Hence instead of a lecture, the course has to be interactive and learning has to be based on experiential learning; that is learning from doing, like full-fledged projects, etc.

Learn from the best. Always check the course content, and verify that you are going to get the best value for the money and energy you are likely to spend. For being a good student, we need a good teacher. Therefore, always find out about the credentials of the faculty involved. Make it such that it is a chance to listen to some of the best people in your line of activity.

See it as an opportunity to network. The course you choose will be relevant to your line of work, meaning you will meet many people from similar background/interest. This means you have to see this as an opportunity to build contacts and interact with other people who are successful in the industry.

“Once you start working, you realise how ill-prepared one is to face the practical issues at work. Forget updating my existing skills, once I took a course I realised how little knowledge I had, to begin with on the subject.

Meeting creative geniuses, the actual people who built the brands we worship, and listening to them speak is an amazing experience. There is just so much to learn,” said an advertising professional who recently took a course on brands from a popular brand consultancy organisation.

(The writer is CEO of brand-comm)

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