More for less

At an recent event for HR professionals the speaker was talking about the “more for less” culture that has grown up during the current economic climate and – as  is often the case –  when budgets are under pressure the spend on training is cut back.

It can be tempting to bemoan the fact but I think this gives us a chance to take stock and consider what we already have in our own toolkits.

It has never been more important to take responsibility for our own development   which is more sustainable than relying on employers to “provide” training. Here are some suggestions to get you going

  • Evaluate what you have – be honest – when was the last time you did an inventory of what you are good at? Maybe the last time you updated your CV? Or maybe not even then!
  • Value what you have – ah, now there’s the challenge. If you find yourself saying things like “but anybody can do that” then why not take a step back and think about whether that is really true. Just because you find it easy does not mean that it is for everyone!
  • Look for gaps – assuming you have been true to yourself with the first two steps what are you noticing?
  • Evaluate those gaps – and do you need to fill those gaps? You might say “I can’t do my job properly “ until I have training in x,y or z but really – is that the case? How good is good enough? That’s not a compromise –that’s being realistic. Gaining – and sustaining – perfection is a pretty tough job!

Find a way to fill the “real” gaps – without spending money.

  • Review the training you have had in the past – what did you learn? How have you applied that learning? (What do you mean the manual is still in its wrapper?)
  • What online communities have you joined? What can you learn from the others there?
  • They say the best way to consolidate your learning is to teach the subject. Challenge yourself to deliver some in-house training to spread your knowledge (and raise your profile!)
  • Find a mentor. A more senior colleague maybe?

Whatever you do make sure that you are ready for the upturn – when those who have spent some time on their own continuing development should be able to hit the ground running.

Take a look at for regular suggestions that might keep you going. More information about Jackie at

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