Training: Cost burden or Career strengthener?
In taking training decisions, cost is a major issue that must be addressed. What is the training fee? It is something we all have to consider. However, it is ridiculous to make the cost of training the sole deciding factor in your training decision. Have you determined the real costs of training? Is it just the training fee? Or is training a “necessary evil”? Too often, we underestimate the costs involved. Training involves the tangible and the intangible.
Tangibles and Intangibles
Have you factored in the cost of supporting materials such as study guides, CDs? And if training is geared towards certification you must obviously take certification exam fees into account. These are the tangibles. But the real cost of training includes time and effort. Too many prospective trainees cannot see beyond the payment of your training fees. The cost of succeeding in training is beyond money. Money may provide fuel but it is not the engine. It has its limits. Is your mind in the right place? Are you learning to please others or simply following the crowd? Your thinking affects quality. The mind is number one in the self development process. Everything else including cost is secondary! The quality of time and effort you put into training is even more important than the training fee. Your time is not free. Do you value it? How wisely are you using your training time? And what is the point in paying training fees if we fall short in effort?
Self Development a luxury?
When our financial situation is tough, it’s not unusual to view training as a luxury. However, abandoning self development can end up costing you and causing you more pain in future. Rather than give up why not examine other ways of learning that would cost less in financial terms? Many training institutions will offer group or early payment discounts. Have you considered teaming up with colleagues, friends or others in a similar situation to make a group? Or can you get your organization to invest in your training in which both you and the organization benefit? Note that you can’t have a mindset that is just about what you want – you must also appreciate the organization’s perceptions. Furthermore, be creative in your use of time and effort. Even if the course is free, you need time out of work or your usual schedule, time to understand what you are learning and practice requires time.
Cost burden or Career strengthener?
Training is about investing in yourself – in your future – for personal and community benefit. It is not an “immediate results” party. Instead of deciding only based on what you are putting in, you must always balance the picture with what you are getting out. So what are the real benefits of training? Think of present and future prospects. How is the training going improve you and your future? Adopting a strictly financial cost benefit analysis is way off track. Can you really quantify the “unwritten” principles you have imbibed, relationships built and mind opening experiences in “cash and carry” terms? Instead when you look at training use the lens of a well thought through, innovative assessment that weighs financial and non financial investment and returns.
No Black or White
You see the learning experience is not just about black or white. Cost cannot be the only deciding factor. It is indeed reckless to choose a poor training solution just to save money. And at the same time expensive training does not mean superior quality. Be objective and open minded. Improving your skills and knowledge in the right fields throws up a mix of the tangibles and intangibles.
Benefits include enhancing your job prospects, developing your learning and problem solving abilities, improving your capabilities for contribution, highlighting your initiative and hunger for knowledge and growth, positioning you for promotion, enhancing your personal network, improving your productivity, keeping you up-to-date with industry trends, opening up new career and entrepreneurial opportunities, etc.
Training costs time, money and effort but go past limits and think beyond cost. Open your mind to the future.