|I have been laid off and lost my
I want to Improve my Job Prospects and pursue some Further Education Course!
Many people think that "being laid off" and having lost a job, is a good time to get involved in some further education, in order to improve future job prospects. In principle, that is an excellent idea. However, there are some serious issues, you have to think about. A selection of those are shown here:
Clearly, the costs of your intended education course, at a time, we presume of potential financial hardship, is an important issue. If you live in "financial plenty", it will be okay, but otherwise you have to think long and hard, whether you want to spend essential money on an educational adventure that may or may not bring you better job prospects.
Obviously, the choices depend on your own circumstances. What makes sense for a nurse with an LPN, when she, or he, at any age under 45, wants to "upgrade" and complete a Bachelor nursing degree, does not necessarily make sense for a manager at 55, wanting to complete some expensive "standard" or "executive" MBA, most likely at a third rate, or online university. He, certainly will never make his money back!
So should one only undertake further education, when there is a payback? Or should only "youngish employees" think of additional education?
What kind of education should you go for?
They key educational goal, during your period of unemployment should be to acquire SKILLS, not general education. Skills are most useful, if you acquire them in areas, where you already have experience and, where you can build on a solid foundation of experience. State universities and community colleges often offer "one-off courses" that can be a great help.
For instance, if you are a human resources manager, something like public speaking, interviewing techniques, resume writing and evaluation, or leadership evaluation courses, may be interesting and useful. The costs in these colleges tend to be reasonable and, you dont have to commit more than a few weeks to the project.
You have to be selective and, then put some thought into what you are going to pursue and, why you want to do that.
We are in no way against education and training. On the contrary, the problem is often, that people are not well enough trained to withstand the onslaught of competition coming from globalization. And, if you can improve your position and your future value to an employer through further training, do so, quickly and efficiently! But select wisely, and with some goal and with a plan.
Here are some issues that should keep you on the "right path". We are sure you find many more that apply to your particular circumstances. Make a list and it will help you to do the "right things", right!
Often, skills like "making a good presentations" or "improving communications" are often more valuable in business, then getting another degree. Here are some more books that might be helpful:
One of the options that might be attractive to you is taking up a specific book on a skill, then looking around for some courses for that skill (to get a formal piece of paper), then to use the book, the course and most importantly, the reading list of the book, to acquire the knowledge. One of the real problems with college courses is that teaching staff has great difficulties parting with their recommended reading lists, if they even have one!
Most courses, unfortunately, rely on a single text book and not much else. But, in order for a course theme to be useful in the real world, outside the academic environment, you want to read different views and approaches to the topic. One way to do it, is to create your own reading list. This takes a bit of work but is really worth it. Just follow a few simple guidelines:
Use your judgement and common sense! Remember, the aim is to walk away from this effort with a good understanding of the issues, not some "know-all attitude", that you had thoroughly researched the topic and are now an expert!
We wish you good luck and if you have any questions write us an e-mail, we will try to answer it, if we can!
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