While for some freaks of nature (Richard Branson comes to mind), business just comes naturally, the rest of us mere mortals need to constantly skill up and learn the latest tricks of the trade to stay at the top of our game. The right training and education is crucial to starting out — or moving forward — in the business world, but that doesn`t mean it needs to be overly expensive or time-consuming.
Business is changing faster than ever — so if you don`t keep up you risk getting left behind. Here are some simple ways that you can train yourself for business.
What do you need to learn?
The first step to skilling up is to identify what area you need to improve in. Why do a full graduate diploma of business if you just want to have stronger project management skills? Your time and money is precious, so by assessing what you want to learn you can train yourself more efficiently and move up the corporate ladder faster.
The best way to find out what you need to learn to get ahead is to speak to your boss. Let them know you want to improve your business skills and ask him/her what areas they would like to see you excel in — it might be different to what you thought. Just showing the initiative and drive to improve your skills is a good first step!
There are literally hundreds of training courses out there, ranging from one-day intensive workshops through to nationally recognised qualifications. Whether you just want to have a deeper knowledge of one particular aspect of business or you want a broader education, training courses are one of the best ways to skill up.
Now, with the wonder that is the internet you don`t even need to leave the comfort of your own home to study. Online courses give you the flexibility to learn in your own time. However, many people still prefer the one-on-one interaction you get from an in-person course.
A quick Google search will give you a range of course options to choose from, both online and on-campus.
For those of us that are highly self-motivated (and that`s a very fortunate minority!), teaching yourself new business skills is a cheap and easy way to learn. Self-study can be done in a variety of ways, whether it`s by heading to your local library and taking out books on your area of interest or using the internet to do your research.
Of course you need to be cautious of any information you find online, so before you set off believing everything you read, be aware of what reputable sources are. Information found on university websites and other trustworthy sources are a good place to start. Wikipedia, on the other hand, should be read with caution. If you find any interesting information on open-source websites, always back them up with other sources.
Definitely the most fun and interactive way to learn, online forums allow you to learn from your peers. Sometimes the most up-to-date and effective business `secrets` can`t be taught in a formal course, you`ll only discover them by chatting to others in the same position as you.
Not only are online forums an informal and relaxed way to learn, but they give you the opportunity to ask questions and share your own knowledge with others. Not sure where to start looking for the right forum? Ask around, speak to colleagues and of course — Google it! There are forums covering everything these days, so you just need to find the one specific to you.
Mary Ann Keeling is a social media manager and small bizz owner from Brisbane, Australia. Recently improved her management skills and completed her business training with Certificate IV in Business. In her free time she enjoys hiking and cycling.