I originally wrote about this in 2009. I thought it was time to pull it out, dust it off, revise it and run it again. The importance of continuing education has not diminished. If anything it has gotten more important, in all careers. I know of people who have been turned down on jobs because they have not kept their skills up to date.
As many of you know, in addition to being an HR consultant, I am also an instructor in Continuing Education for two Georgia Universities (The University of Georgia and Emory University click the links for current offerings) where I teach HR related subjects. In a meeting of instructors and staff we had a discussion about the importance of continual learning and keeping your HR career on track. We discussed how rapidly things are changing in the field of human resources and business in general. Even if you have a business administration degree, without ongoing learning you will NEVER be able to keep up. In today’s business environment the person that continually enhances their learning and keeps improving their skill sets is the one who will survive cutbacks. Surviving cutbacks is not the sole reason however. Having that enhanced set of skills and knowledge will make you that much more employable by the next company.
What you need to know
This new skill set has to include a strategic perspective, business acumen, a knowledge of metrics, conflict resolution ability, decision making skills, speaking ability, a knowledge of changes in technology (to include the use of social media) and an ongoing legal and compliance awareness. Being a Futurist is also an important skill. Helping your organization see the future and prepare for the future will make you very valuable. The days of “carrying the watermelon to the company picnic” are over. Continuing education programs, both live and online, help you improve or acquire skills.
Become an expert in your field
Consistent reading, a skill losing traction every day, will also put you in the top of your class. Self-improvement guru, Brian Tracy, says in his book Time Power, “Read at least one hour per day in your chosen field. One hour a day will translate into approximately one book per week. One book per week will translate into approximately fifty books over the next twelve months. If you read an hour per day, one book per week, you will be an expert in your field within three years, you will be a national authority in five years, and you will be an international authority in seven years. All leaders are readers.” What a powerful statement!
If you are not yet convinced on the importance or need to keep up then watch this YouTube. The facts are startling.
A special offering from Omega HR Solutions
Through Omega HR Solutions, Inc. we now offer an opportunity to help you with your ongoing education. Through a partnership with Mindedge we now offer HR training that is approved for recertification credit. We also offer managerial and supervisory training. To learn more about our special offering please click here.