Think you know it all? Think again! Ongoing education is the key to success.

Written on the 15 September 2014

Whether you are running a franchise, a start-up, working for a friend or working for a multinational, the key to progression and success is knowledge.

Ongoing training is essential. As soon as you start to think you 'know it all' you're in danger of becoming complacent and falling behind technological advances, changes to law and policy, and workplace innovation.

University students often adopt the 'pass and move on' approach to learning, which seems logical when you're trying to learn a million things at once, maintain some sort of social life, and still manage to steal an hour or two of sleep each night.

Unfortunately, in the business world, that approach just isn't enough. An Honour's degree or a Master's degree looks fantastic on your CV, but if you can't apply any of those learnings to your day-to-day work, what's the point?

We need to look at learning not as a destination, but as a continuing journey, and while this has been the case in many industries for a long time now, it is even more essential today with the lightning-bolt speed at which technology is evolving.

So where do I find the time to fit in training?

It can be hard for full time workers (particularly those running a business or franchise) to try and find the time to squeeze in extra training. However, prioritising is essential, particularly when you consider the ROI you will see over time thanks to improved productivity and higher quality work; both results of up-skilled employees.

Start by assigning a certain number of hours each month to training. Block out this time in your calendar so that nothing else takes precedence.

What do I study and where do I find courses?

The training you decide to focus on for both yourself and your employees will really depend on the industry you work in, the software programs you use and the skill sets your require. Speak to others in your industry for recommendations or research upcoming courses in your area (there are frequent courses for every industry in your closest major city).

Courses aren't always expensive. In fact, there are many online webinars and video tutorials that are 100% free and are just as good as some of the paid courses out there. Your software partners will often provide free training as well they are usually happy to run you through a webinar or to come and see you in person for more in depth training.

If your workplace isn't offering you much training, you can look into training options for yourself. There are a number of part-time and online courses you might be interested in studying.

Self-study (watching online tutorials or reading blogs written by industry specialists) is also a great way to learn the basics when starting a new job or looking to up-skill.

Learn from those around you

Consider every day as an opportunity to learn. It's amazing what you can pick up on-the-job simply by listening to co-workers or asking someone for their opinion or point of view. 

The more you know, the more you will want to know!


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