- Business and Employment
Career Training Programs
Career Training Solutions
Career training programs and career planning strategies have changed for many reasons during the past several years. The economy and financial uncertainties have resulted in many of the most critical changes because fewer jobs means fewer career opportunities. The rising cost of education and specifically business education has also impacted career planning because reduced affordability translates to fewer realistic career training solutions. The fact that so few recent college graduates have been able to find appropriate jobs is a further sign of problems with the existing career training programs.
What are some of the new career training solutions that tackle these career planning risks and problems? A few practical career development strategies are identified below.
Training is everything. The peach was once a bitter almond; cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education.— Mark Twain
Career Training Solutions
Individual Results May Vary!
The search for a "successful" career has entered a new phase. Perhaps it is due to the changing economy or that everything (including education and training) seems to cost so much more than it should. It certainly doesn't help when the job and career you trained for is eliminated or outsourced. Some of us have probably experienced seeing a career vanish simply because a younger person can be hired at a much lower salary.
When I say that "individual results may vary," it is an acknowledgment that not everyone is in need of career training solutions. Nevertheless, we are now in an extended period of economic change that might eventually and unexpectedly impact those currently engaged in successful careers.
My advice: (1) Take a career time-out. (2) Always have a Plan B.
As noted below, training does not occur in a vacuum and requires interacting with people. The quality and experience of those other people will heavily influence the outcome of any career training program. For many specialized careers, individualized training (one-to-one training) might be more appropriate or even essential to career development success.
Making Smart Career Choices
Surviving and Thriving in a Real Estate Career - Valerie Fitzgerald
An excellent discussion about a career in real estate. Whether you are interested in being a real estate professional or not, this book provides great insights about career planning. In today's increasingly competitive jobs market, you should be prepared to do plenty of homework before deciding what career choices to make — and Valerie Fitzgerald's book is a helpful tool.
Four Observations About Career Training
1 — Training is not an individual activity. It literally requires interaction with other people. Training programs involve seeking out help to learn more about skills needed to succeed in a career. ("We get by with a little help from our friends.") But this does mean that you will be relying on other people, so choose those people wisely!
2 — Career time-outs are critical in choosing which career path to pursue. This should involve a variety of self-assessment and external reality checks. Taking a career time-out is essentially the opposite of "stopping to smell the roses" because it involves so much more than just patting yourself on the back for a job well done. When done properly, this strategy will involve a candid evaluation of the pros and cons for what you are currently doing as well as potential career opportunities.
3 — Always have a Plan B. This is prudent advice for small businesses as well as your career. This involves thinking about "What could go wrong?" so that you will be prepared to move ahead with little or no delays if or when something does happen unexpectedly. Having contingency career plans particularly looks and feels like the smart thing to do when we go through a period of economic and employment uncertainty (the past few years, now and for how much longer?)
4 — One-to-one training (compared to group training) is a rare but often necessary element in achieving a successful career. This is particularly true for more specialized careers such as small business finance consulting. When analyzing training costs, group training is likely to cost less. This is when you need to evaluate the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefits of your career training program. If nothing else, remember the enduring wisdom of "You get what you pay for."
A Poll - Your Opinion, Please!
Most of us have strong opinions about what is important in choosing and moving along in a career. Please choose which of the options noted below is the most important in achieving enduring career success. Remember, there are no "right" or "wrong" answers.
What do you think is the single most important characteristic for lasting career success today?
Constant Learning and Training
The critical value of learning was well understood by the training expert who made both of the following observations:
"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts."
"When you're through learning, you're through."
Don't Be Afraid to Take the Shot
Career opportunities often require taking a chance or making a decision without some information. Here is Wayne Gretzky's observation about decision-making:
"You miss 100 percent of the shots you don't take."
What Is Your Plan B for Career Planning? - Always Have a Plan B
Here is a video slide presentation that explores some of the hard questions to ask when exploring career planning and career training programs.
For individuals who might be interested in a professional career opportunity as a small business finance consultant, this training video will be especially relevant.
Always have a Plan B (and keep a Plan C in reserve).
Earl Nightingale Talks about Careers
"The biggest mistake you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!"
Training for Mental Toughness
If you think that you need to be more mentally tough either in business or life in general, this is the best book (in my opinion) to provide training solutions. This is a superb action-oriented book that teaches in practical terms about an important skill area that is usually overlooked.
Taking a step back and reviewing your career can be hard to do, and for that single reason the use of a career time-out strategy is often overlooked or perhaps dismissed as showing a sign of weakness. This is your life we are talking about, and if ever there was an area where you get to make the rules this should be it! This usually requires a strong dose of mental toughness in order to do it properly, so if you think you need help in that area (do you think of yourself as mentally tough enough to handle anything that comes along?), please use Jason Selk's book — "Executive Toughness" — for some practical coaching and training.
Success is an equal opportunity player and is built block by block.— John Wooden
John Wooden's Pyramid of Success
John Wooden created a "Pyramid of Success" that is a popular and effective learning tool. In addition to reading it yourself, please consider this as a superb book for reading to kids.
How to Obtain Key Skills? Which Skills?
Anyone who is involved in making career planning decisions will usually notice that there are generally three to five key skills needed for a specific type of job category. There will occasionally be disagreement about what those skills are, and two critical questions should be answered at the earliest possible opportunity:
(1) What are the most important skills for the career opportunity I am seeking?
(2) How can those skills be obtained?
One of the most cost-effective career training methods for obtaining applicable skills is a specialized career training program. Such a program should help you identify which skills are most needed as part of the overall process. But be prepared to also do your own homework in this area because it is too important to rely 100 percent on someone else's recommendations.
If a training process is individualized (among my strongest recommendations for achieving effective results), then the process should be able to accommodate some flexibility for providing help in obtaining additional skills. Overall, I have found two career training ingredients to be most instrumental in shaping future career success — personalized training and flexibility in the training program.
John Wooden's Early Definition of Success
"Success is peace of mind that is the direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming."
(John Wooden when he was 24 years old)
It is our choices... that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.— J.K. Rowling
© 2012 Stephen Bush