Over the years, it has come to my attention that few industries innovate faster than IT. And while I am surrounded by many of these changes in my everyday life, I try not to underestimate the value of ongoing training and how it improves my skill set and could potentially open up new career opportunities.
Regular IT training is by far one of the single most valuable things I do on a regular basis.
Benefits of Ongoing Training
I will admit that I do not like the word “training.” It takes me back to being a student in a structured classroom setting. But training really is a positive thing. It is what gives us the knowledge and skills necessary to complete the tasks and objectives we face in our jobs.
With that being said, here are some of the biggest benefits that I have found in committing to ongoing training.
- Less supervision. When you know what you are doing and have the knowledge to handle any issue, you no longer need someone looking over your shoulder. As a result, you will find that one of the direct benefits of training is less supervision.
- Growth and salary opportunities. The more you train, the more skilled you will become. This ultimately will open up the door for new opportunities and career advancement. As a by-product, ongoing training can lead to higher salaries.
- Increased satisfaction. If you are good at your job, you are more likely to enjoy it. This leads to more happiness and satisfaction in your daily job—benefits that cannot be purchased.
Invest in training and you are sure to reap positive and tangible rewards that will benefit your career for years to come.
How to Make Training a Habit
The occasional training session and brief seminar will not do you much good—at least it does not for me. In order for training to provide benefits, it needs to be a priority.
Here are some of the ways I have made training a consistent habit in my life:
- Carve out consistent time. The most important thing is that you make time for training. “Pick a consistent time and set a reminder,” suggests CBT Nuggets, a leader in online IT training. “Maybe it’s right after breakfast, during lunch, or right when you get home from work. Whatever time will work best for you, be consistent and set a reminder. By using multiple cues (time and sound), you will increase the motivators that will move you to train.”
- Involve others. It is much easier to make training a priority when you have others involved. While you do not necessarily need to do the training with other people, consider launching your individual training at the same time as a friend or coworker’s training. This provides some accountability and keeps you on track.
- Choose something interesting. Learning is always much more fun when you are actually interested in the topic at hand. When choosing different ongoing training programs and curriculum, go with topics that you like—or topics that you want to know more about. I know I am much more likely to stay on track if the subject intrigues me and holds my interest.
Anyone can make training a habit. The key is to set up a foundation in which success is more likely than failure.
Keep Moving Forward
As motivated people often say, “If you aren’t moving forward, you’re going backwards.” In other words, because technology advances so quickly, sitting still is the equivalent of backtracking.
Well, the good news is that it does not take much time or effort to move forward in the IT world. You already have most of the knowledge you need! All that is necessary is ongoing training on a consistent basis. It has taken time and effort, but I have made it a part of my weekly schedule. I am confident that you can do the same!
Larry Alton, Writer, LarryAlton.com
[ISACA Now Blog]