Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Working and studying

As it is in business, my role is constantly changing and evolving. More recently I started getting much more involved with a wide range of projects and project management techniques. Whilst I am experienced in managing projects as part of my job role, it is quite a different thing to follow the official Six Sigma rules and to make sure the follow that no step is missed and the documentation is complete.

Who knows me, knows that I hate not to be perfect or not knowing what I am doing - even though it is known to have happened! :-) So I looked into some training courses, considered doing some further education. After all, it would help me doing a better job and also increase my market value in case I am ever looking for a new job.

I nearly went to ask my manager if they'd be prepared to sponsor the course - if you feel your career would benefit from some further education, you absolutely should do this as most companies will give you some kind of support - but then I had a few 12 hour days and all I wanted to do after I came home was falling asleep! So I changed my mind.

You see, I love learning. I have finished university and started working. But I did quite a few seminars and short courses to enhance my knowledge in special areas such as Excel, Presentations or Online Media. I also spent 3 years of my professional life studying in the evening - both at the local college and through distance study. The effort I put in gave me some nice qualifications and a lot of additional knowledge which helped me to progress my career and to increase my salary.

But after 3 years I was ready to put my graduation gown away and enjoy my evenings with a nice dinner and TV rather than a pile of books.

If you are working and know certain areas you'd like to develop more knowledge in, I'd always recommend you go for it. It gives you a competitive advantage over your competition when you are looking for a promotion or a new job. Your committment is likely to pay up with better pay and career opportunities. But at the same time make sure that you are able to complete the further education. Working and studying at the same time is really tough. There's no doubt about it. You spend hours working, then rush to university, sit through classes whilst your stomach is rumbling and go home - tired and exhausted to face the household that needs looking after.

If you think, it will be easy to juggle both work and study - think again.

If you think, further education won't benefit your career - think again.

The question is if you are prepared to accept some busy and hard months for the potential lifelong benefit. And be honest with yourself - there is little point paying a lot of money for a course you'll never complete.

Here is a good website to compare courses available throughout the UK:

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