When was the last time you took a course related to your professional work?
I started thinking about this when I came across an article quoting Warren Buffet:
“The best thing you can do is to be exceptionally good at something. [Because people] are going to give you some of what they produce in exchange for what you deliver.
“Whatever abilities you have can’t be taken away from you. They can’t actually be inflated away from you. The best investment by far is anything that develops yourself, and it’s not taxed at all.”
And I thought, “Heck, yeah!”
It’s competitive out there—and in there, too, especially if you’re going for a promotion. Strengthening your skills and adding to them will give you the edge. It probably isn’t a surprise that many degrees don’t age well; especially those involving technology. If you don’t demonstrate your continued relevance, you might find yourself pushed aside.
So take a second. When did you last learn something new?
If it’s at your workplace, I heartily congratulate you and your employer! This is how to retain employees and set the company on a path for continued success. (BTW, learning and development at companies have become a big discussion topic and one you should ask about in your interview.)
If it was when you were studying for a needed certification (PMP, SHRM, CPA, CompTIA, etc.), that’s great, too! Those certs are important in many fields.
But if your answer is, “College, about a million years ago,” or “I’m not sure,” you might want to consider signing up for something.
There has been a ton of polling and surveying done that’s supports continued professional education. For instance, Gallup and Amazon recently surveyed workplace trends and attitudes about professional development and concluded that “upskilling” boosts annual wages by 8.6%.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that education correlates with earning potential. The more education you get, the more likely you are to earn good money. Click here to check out the report!
And there’s another practical reason: Learning helps your brain health—click here!
There are tons of places where you can take courses these days, at a variety of price points. Here are some ideas (there are loads more!):
LinkedIn Learning https://www.linkedin.com/learning/
And don’t overlook the education offered by your professional organization! Groups that some of my clients belong to, such as the Project Management Institute, Association for Talent Development, and SHRM, offer continuing education, online and in person.
(Don’t forget you can also network with people in your class!)
Here are some of the courses you could consider, just from LinkedIn Learning alone:
Creativity at Work
Project Management Skills for Leaders
Google Sheet Quick Tips
Coaching Skills for Managers
Social Media Marketing
Writing Ad Copy
…the catalog is huge.
Once you complete a course, make sure you include it on your resume and your LinkedIn profile. You definitely want employers to know you have gained additional skills.
Hari Srinivasan, vice president of product management at LinkedIn talent solutions, said in a Wired article, “Skills are the new currency.”
Yes, he has a vested interest in saying that, but he’s right.
Just think about it. Where would you be right now without your education? Did your skills help you get your last job? I’m betting the answer is yes.