(Editor’s Note: Today’s post is brought to you by our friends at Capella University. Capella is an accredited online university dedicated to providing an exceptional, professionally-aligned education that puts you a position to succeed in your field. They offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees as well as certificate programs for human resources and business professionals. Enjoy the post!)
Last week, I mentioned how work/life balance extends to our own career development. But I’m not naïve. I do realize that, for some, taking the time and dedicating the resources for career development strategies can be hard. We might not always have the time or the money to make things happen the way we would like.
But there are some things we can do. I’ve always loved the quote from best-selling author Nora Roberts, “If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.” So, if you’re looking for ways to keep your career development efforts moving forward, here are three things you can consider asking for:
- Books. Personally, I enjoy learning through reading. And there are books on the market for just about everything. Books are especially good if you’re trying to learn a process. For example, let’s say one of your strategies is to learn more about human resources metrics. I’d recommend asking your boss for a copy of “How to Measure Human Resource Management” by Jac Fitz-enz. A book is reasonably priced, allows you to learn at your own pace, and you can keep it on your bookshelf for future reference.
- Education. Capella University is offering a scholarship opportunity to attendees at this month’s Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) Annual Conference and Expo in Chicago. The $2,000 scholarship is for individuals interested in their Master of Science in Human Resource Management program. One additional “ask” to consider is going to your company and asking them to match the dollars if you’re awarded the Capella scholarship.
- Experiences. In many organizations, work experiences allow employees to learn, grow, and get exposure to individuals they wouldn’t typically meet. It could be a task force, implementation team, or a committee. Sometimes these opportunities are disguised as boring assignments that no one wants. Don’t be afraid to volunteer and give it your all. In these strategies, the return on your time investment could be very valuable.
I’d like to think that everyone knows how important it is to be a lifelong learner and to continuously make investments in their career development. But all learning opportunities don’t look the same. And sometimes we have to ask for them. Because, if we don’t, the answer is always no!14