Career Training Options

by : Pierre Du Plessis

The availability of career training in managerial and leadership skills for the normal working person, who cannot attend College, University, seminars or courses, is very limited.

1. Career training for working adults:

Most working adults find themselves caught up in daily work activities during working hours and in family life after working hours. Many persons have occupational qualifications, but not supervisory, managerial or entrepreneurial qualifications or skills. If you are a normal working person with time, cost or course availability constraints, preventing you from gaining the needed skills in supervision, management, entrepreneurship and leadership, how is it ever going to be possible to climb out of the rat hole and enrich your life with new wisdom and promotion?

2. Career training available options:

2.1 Full time study at an formal institution is normally not possible if one is working for financial survival.

2.2 Night classes are a possibility if one can find such a suitable course in your nearby vicinity, which is in most cases not available.

2.3 Another viable option could be to enrol for a correspondence course, again if one can find such a suitable course.

2.4 Attendance of seminars or internal courses if your employer nominates you, but many employers do not do it.

2.5 Self-study career training courses in your own home and at your own pace, if you can find it.
After analysing all the possibilities one can only arrive at the conclusion that one may either be one of the lucky few near such resources or fall in the majority category for whom it is near to impossible to do anything about career training.

3. The necessity for career training in management and leadership skills:

To get better results in the workplace, it is necessary to apply efficient management techniques and effective leadership skills.

3.1 The four components for getting results:

You can only get results or goal achievement by monitoring progress towards those goals. First of all there must be goals for every position to strive for, in support of the overall broad strategies of an organisation. Secondly, persons must be held accountable for reaching those goals and it normally helps to break these goals up into shorter term benchmarks. Thirdly, there must be a system of regular feedback on the progress of achieving those goals, where someone of authority shows interest in the state of affairs. Fourthly, persons must be rewarded according to the degree of performance in achieving those goals.

Very often one of these components is missing, which inevitably leads to failure or partial achievement of goals for a department or organisation. The reasons for failure can be as follows:

Organisation strategies are not clear or absent - lack of direction for all employees.

Goals are not clear or absent - persons will tend to develop own goals according to personal and subjective perceptions.

Regular monitoring of results is not a requirement through the management levels - nobody seems to be interested in results.

Poor regular performance evaluation system or total absence of it - persons will not adjust behaviour to the organisation needs.

Equal division of rewards, irrespective of the degree of individual performance in goal achievement - disinterest attitudes in doing well and breeding ground for a culture of prioritising personal interests and benefits above organisation needs.

When an organisation excels in applying these four components, the monitoring role by individuals becomes crucial in maintaining good human relations among employees and keeping them positive and motivated.

3.2 The components for highly motivated employees:

We can start this off with stating the opposite of the reasons for failure of organisations as mentioned above. Unfortunately these are not the only components for achieving good results, with simultaneous highly motivated employees.

All of us are aware of persons in positions of authority, where it is expected of that person to achieve goals through the performance of other persons. A superior is in daily contact and interaction with subordinates and visa versa. It is in the management role of monitoring or controlling the tasks of subordinates, where relations can quickly turn sour for the worse, for the organisation as well as for the individuals concerned.

Many persons are in positions of authority, overseeing the tasks of subordinates, without ever having been exposed to what factors make up for good human relations, what factors inspire people or how people crave to be treated. Organisations and managers appoint people, without recognising the need for those appointees to be capable of inspiring subordinates. They truly do not realise the important need of proper prior education, in matters of human behaviour and human relations, for any supervisory or managerial position. The poor soul being appointed, without being educated in matters of human relations, soon becomes frustrated and stressed out of all proportions, which in turn can lead to other health related problems. To place the cherry on the cake, a newly promoted manager more often than not, feels so proud and bloated that arrogance tends to armour the person against recognising own personal shortcomings or to lull the person into ignoring it. When this is the case everybody loses. There is no win-win situation.

Here below is the preferred sequence of events before appointing anyone in a position of authority:
proper career training;

proper exposure to display lessons learned;

monitor progress in application of lessons learned;

mentoring deviations in performance by a mature and knowledgeable person;

evaluate performance and appoint/promote/reject.

The bodies who can take action and rectify this distortion in required skills, are the Board of Directors, the Chief Executive, Top Management, Human Resources Professionals and of course any employee with enough ambition to do something about his or her skills deficiencies.

3.3 Basic career training in management skills consists of the following:

Management Skills (plan, organise, control, direct), Managing People, Conflict handling skills, Presentation Skills, Writing Skills, Oral Communication Skills, Interviewing Skills, Negotiation Skills, Meeting Skills, Problem-solving Skills, Coaching skills, Team Leading Skills, Time Management Skills, Delegation Skills, Project Planning Skills.

In the prevailing relative scarcity of self-study career training courses, we have therefore put together a self-study career training bundle, covering supervision, management, entrepreneurship and leadership all in one place.