The Importance and Value of Professional Training
Being prepared, reinventing yourself and adapting to a rapidly changing career landscape is an essential skill for the modern worker. You may have heard about lifelong learning, upskilling, reskilling, professional development, and other related buzz words but how do they relate to your career path? Let’s explore why a personal culture of learning is so important, how to identify reputable training providers and what training options are the best fit for your short and long-term goals.
The 4 top reasons you should make the investment in lifelong learning:
- 1.) Increase your career satisfaction: Those who are actively learning are less dependent upon their job alone for career satisfaction and are therefore more content and energized overall.
- 2.) Increase your market value: An employee with additional relevant skills and knowledge is more valuable to the employer and better positioned for career advancement. It also increases your competitive advantage in the job market.
- 3.) Increase your confidence and professional network: The more you know and become proficient in new skills, knowledge, and technologies, the more confident you will be in your current and future roles. Remember that your professional network is often pivotal to achieving your next role. Take a look at this Networking Success Guide.
- 4.) Demonstrate your investment in your own career journey: Employers look for and hire candidates who have shown they want to keep growing and improving their skills through focused and relevant professional development.
Evaluating Training Opportunities
Most training opportunities have a cost associated and are widely offered by a variety of companies. Identifying quality opportunities that are also ethical is critically important to ensure you maximize your GI Bill benefits and upfront cost. Follow these steps to ensure a high return on investment:
- 1.) Identify and focus. First, identify what training or education will be the most beneficial and supportive of your career goals. Watch this short video on Goal Setting to help you get started. Relevance is key to making training work for you. Ask yourself:
- -Where do you want to be professionally in 5 years, 10 years?
- -What do you need to learn to help me achieve that goal?
- -What skills, education and certifications are common among job postings that you want for my next career move?
- 2.) Know yourself. Identifying your strengths, weaknesses, and most effective learning styles will help you determine the best learning environment for your success.
- -How have you learned best in the past (reading, listening, kinetic)?
- -Do you need the interaction dynamics of a classroom where real-time open discussion takes place, or do you prefer to study alone without distractions?
- -Do you easily comprehend and retain information that you read? Do you prefer to listen to instructions?
- -Do you have a full schedule and need to learn in short bits of time?
- -Do you need to experience what you are learning by doing (building a project or manipulating physical objects)?
- 3.) Evaluate the quality of training. Websites and search engines such as Google, Reddit, and Course Report are good places to start your research. Yelp and Facebook reviews can also be helpful.
- 4.) Some additional tips and tricks for identifying reputable training:
- -The training opportunities listed on Hire Heroes USA’s Training Partners page have been vetted for quality and ethical practices. Each partner also provides some means of lowering the cost barrier to training for veterans and military spouses.
- –Talk with industry professionals about what training they have found beneficial. This can have the added benefit of growing your network.
- -When you successfully complete a relevant training or certification make sure to include it on your LinkedIn profile and your resume.
Whether upskilling, reskilling, continuing education, or professional development, cultivating a culture of learning and growth will produce valuable results both personally and professionally.
Sandy Kaider is the Manager, Referral and Training Partners Program for Hire Heroes USA. If you would like to learn more about Hire Heroes USA’s Training Partners you can visit our Training Partners page, email specific questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, submit an Additional Services request through MyTrak or speak to your Transition Specialist.