Train, anyone?

"I'm coming to the end of my degree and already into some heavy-duty selection processes with a variety of organisations. I'm concerned about my longer term employability so how can I tell which employers might be most likely to keep training me for the future?"

Alain? Thank you. Thank you so much for asking this question because it opens up an often-unrecognised can of worms the size of a council skip.

Inside my clients' businesses, I often hear the word 'training' around the same time as I hear the words, 'I don't know anything about that, I've never been trained'. There's an implicit expectation that 'someone' (boss, secretary, HR department, consultant?) will identify that person's training needs, source a suitable 'something' and then book them on it.

Okay, it may happen, especially if an organisation is consciously trying to implement change, but it's akin to sitting in the nest with an open mouth, waiting for a parent to return with food.

And if they don't?

  1. Change in the workplace, is inevitable, if not actually mandatory, if organisations are to survive.
  2. Thus, the world of work is now a dynamic space. No longer can people be trained for a job, and then that's it.
  3. However, an employer is just as likely to buy in new people, with already proven skills, than to make an investment to train existing people.

The implications are substantial, in terms of personal job security.

  • If people want their careers to sweep forward on that wave of change, they'll need to learn to surf, or face drowning in their own sea of eventual incompetence.
  • The people with continuing careers will be those who proactively adapt, not those who reactively wait, possibly in vain, for employers to train them.

It's especially important that people entering the professional workplace for the first time recognise this position, even if they do have a degree or a master's and have been through a graduate training programme with a large employer.

There's a simple process that people can follow.

  1. Recognise the future directions of change in their industry.
  2. Translate that into the implications for their own role.
  3. identify their likely skills or experience shortfalls.
  4. Define their consequent training needs.
  5. Organise themselves to get 'trained'.
  6. Find a way to apply that training to gain experience.

The latter step is vital. Anyone can go on a training course, but can they successfully apply what they learned?

In future, those that have done so, will be the first in line when opportunities arise.

And those that haven't? Then the light at the end of the tunnel is not an oncoming train, it's a departing one, and they've missed it.