How to develop yourself without it costing a penny !
In tough economic times, one of the first budgets to be squeezed is “training”. The company is concerned about “today” and tends not to invest in the “tomorrow” issues. But you needn’t give up on your personal development and it needn’t cost “real money”!! Michelle Lucas our resident Executive Coach shares her ideas on internal development opportunities :
Before you start you must ensure you are clear about your career goals and your development needs. This helps focus you on finding activities that will add value rather than just keeping you busy. Once you know what it is that you want to learn you can think about the following :
- Find yourself a mentor, perhaps someone who has the job you would like and start to build a relationship with them. Arrange regular sessions where you can share your challenges and your ideas with them, get their feedback and learn from their experiences
- Organise a job swap. It’s most helpful to provide your organisation with a solution – so seek out someone who is willing to swap with you before you ask. It may be difficult to take on a more senior role, but certainly it should be possible for broadening your skills
- Set up a “peer-support” group and get together over a coffee or a sandwich. Create a confidential environment so you can share knowledge and experience and problem solve together
- Organise some inter-team information sharing – find out what other teams do and perhaps consider some “continuous improvement” discussions to discover how you could work better together.
- Develop a reading list for yourself – there might be some books that you hear people refer to but have never read, or be proactive and talk to people at work about titles they would recommend.
- Consider your suppliers at work – some are happy to provide product training free of charge, agencies may offer key advice sessions free of charge – so be bold, ask the question about what they can do and you may be pleasantly surprised !
Finally, however you choose to develop yourself, try to keep a learning log so that you capture what it is that you have gained. This helps you build your CV, may help demonstrate Continuous Professional Development for some professions and will help you demonstrate to your manager just what benefit you are gaining.
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