Training and Development without Spending a Dime
Regardless of your circumstances you can decide to “own” your development. Training and development doesn’t have to be costly. Employer supported training and development is great but you can take action to supplement the developmental opportunities provided by your employer.
To get started, reflect upon your goals – personal, professional, and community. Goal setting in this way focuses on whole person development compared with professional development which often times occurs in isolation.
Next, plan and decide how you will move toward fulfilling each goal within a certain time frame. Plan for a year if six months is too aggressive for you, the idea is to continue your progress and fulfill your goals. This involves being realistic about what will work for you.
Strive for growth. Get outside of your comfort zone and learn something new. Seek ways to share more of your talents and experience to benefit others. This enriches the lives of others as well as yourself; it’s truly a win-win.
Be realistic because setbacks can and do happen. Rather than giving up when challenges occur, re-adjust your goals and schedules as needed. Your priorities may change but don’t give up – you will be glad that you didn’t.
Try and relax and rest. I say “try” because this is something I still struggle with although I believe it’s good for all of us.
Low (and No) Cost Training and Development
If you’re used to being a leader, you may want to strengthen your skills as a team member. Volunteer to participate on a team where you are not the leader.
Read and Engage Online
Find communities of interest and start interacting. Whether you’re interests include history, vegan cooking, flute playing, or Duck Dynasty, opportunities exist to contribute to the development of others, learn a great deal and have fun.
Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
If you’re not fond of public speaking but know you could (and perhaps should) improve in this area, volunteer to speak.
In addition to providing growth personally and from a community perspective, such activities offer professional development by improving networking, team building, leadership, and interpersonal skills (online and in person). Consider ways in which you can continue your training and development today.