Making time for IT training isn’t easy. After all, no one works longer hours than the IT staff. Yet, the systems that IT professionals work on are always evolving and require continuing education. For some, training is great way to break up the day and learn a new skill. For others, it’s dreaded task that involves testing and extended work days. Regardless, all IT professionals need to maintain a cutting edge or they find themselves looking for new jobs. Here a few best practices that makes continuing education effective, efficient and enjoyable.
The easiest thing an IT professional can do is push off training to a later date. How many times have you said, “I’ll get to my training once I finish this project?” Of course, once the project gets finished, another one takes its place. Ultimately, there isn’t a perfect time to train when you’re in information technology. With this in mind, an IT professional must take action and set aside time, regardless of the projects at hand. Make sure you’re training on a consistent basis that moves you toward the finish line, even if it means training in 15 minute intervals.
Be Realistic and Set Good Goals
Many IT professionals have pie in the sky attitudes about training. You may have heard about IT professionals who completed their certifications within a week. While this is very possible, it may not fit within your work schedule. It’s easy to finish a class when you’re not working. However, most IT professionals must balance their workloads with their training initiatives. Therefore, be sure to give yourself enough time to finish the course within an achievable timeframe.
Schedule Your Training Sessions
IT professionals put all important tasks and projects on a calendar. This ensures that the important aspects of the job finish on schedule. Your calendar should also include your training schedule. Most courseware provides an estimated time of completion. Use this estimate to plot out the days and timeframes you will be training. Simply set your desired completion date and work back from there.
Negotiate with Your Boss
Your manager needs to be reasonable about your training initiatives. Considering that most IT professionals work much more than 40 hours per week, time should be provided to train at work. Ultimately, this will keep you from burning out. Make sure you keep the best interests of the company in mind when negotiating training time with your boss. This not only demonstrates that you’re a team player, but it also shows you have a passion to learn.
Find a Good Spot to Train
Interruptions impede learning. There’s nothing worse than trying to understand a complex topic while someone is waiting outside your office. When you’re getting interrupted, you’re wasting your time and the companies training budget. Therefore, find a place where you can’t be found. If no such place exists, use a sign that explains to the rest of the staff that you are to be left alone. Also, include a time when you will be available. If all else fails, request a few hours at the end or beginning of the day where you can train from an outside location. This can include a library, coffee shop or even your residence.
Summing it Up
Whether you like to train or dread the idea, these five tips will certainly improve your learning experience. If you feel like you need additional help, IT training providers like KnowledgeNet: The Live Learning Company provide Success Advisors who work with students on an individual basis to help create training schedules, suggest relevant courses and ensure that students complete their training goals on time. If you’d like to learn more, call (877) 797-2799 or go to knowledgenet.com.