Employees: When’s the last time you selected and then attended a training course paid for by your employer?
Business Owners: When’s the last time you invested money in your own education?
For me, both questions are linked because looking back on time spent as an employee, I recall passing up several opportunities to take first class training in a business skills area.
Because I was too busy.
And now as a business owner, I can see the real value such knowledge would have delivered.
Still, all is not lost because I didn’t begin this venture just to be buried in operating multiple specialist functions -that’s what staff and contractors do.
One skill set I am glad I did get trained in was Project Management (PM).
Back in early 2001 I saw an email about going on some PM training for Prince2.
You can read all about the course syllabus at the link below. An Xansa instructor who came out to Tokyo and gave the course.
xansatraining.com/prince2-practitioner.php. (Oct 2011 Update: This site is no more! Do a search for Prince 2 Practitioner)
Signing up would mean a week out of work, some after class book study and a written exam at the end of the week.
The temptation to say, nah, too much work to catch up with later was there.
However, this was one occasion where a supportive management and learning culture made a subtle but real difference as they actually encouraged me to go on it. Hurray!
Attention all managers; please reread the previous paragraph!
And so off we went, to the swanky Tokyo Century Hyatt hotel no less, where the course was great and the lunches even better. (I can remember struggling to stay awake between 2-3pm most days!)
Anyway, I completed the course, took the test and received my Prince2 Practitioner status some weeks later.
The really cool thing was being able to apply the knowledge gained on lots of IT projects over the next 5 years.
And most important of all? That very same skill set is still applicable in running projects in my own Internet business.
A real honest-to-goodness transferable skill!
Why, they’re as valuable as gold dust these days.
Alas, some form of laziness must have got the better of me because I didn’t renew my certification status before July 2006. And so I am no longer a registered Prince2 practitioner to the outside world. But I am still using the skills on a regular basis.
I leave you with this challenge:
Find a course / book/ CD / mp3 which teaches a skill you are interested in and have a use for.
Then make a business case for it, get the funding and just do it.
You never know when it might come in handy one day.
(And yes, all you 1980s music fans, the post title’s inspired by a Steve Winwood song. Check out Night Train if you want some music that’ll be transferable centuries hence imho.)