Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Don’t Want to Learn Anymore? You May as Well Retire.

When I left university 5 years ago I was under the impression, along with the majority of my peers, that my life in education was over for good. The next step in my life was going to be putting everything I had learnt in my 3 years into practice in the real world. Of course, anyone who has spent any time in the real world will know this is a complete fantasy, and anyone in IT will realise that they need to actively study for the rest of their working lives.

Never before has there been an industry that has moved along at such a fantastic pace; on a daily basis I receive newsletters and RSS feeds detailing the advancements in technologies which will be considered commonplace within the next few years. In my short working life I have seen operating systems develop from Windows 98 through to Vista, I have also seen the standard chip speeds quadruple and memory capacity increase tenfold. If you have the money you can now have a tetra byte of memory in a laptop!

Obviously the development of the technologies we use forces us to develop our skills in order to complete our jobs. The type of studying performed will depend on your area within the industry. A variety of up to date accredited courses are available through online vendors and in further education establishments, here are some of the main areas to concentrate on:

Microsoft Certified Networking Courses
These courses are aimed at getting the user up-to-date with Microsoft Windows 2003 platform and Windows Server system, allowing you to manage and develop networks and security.

Cisco Networking
These courses will enable you to configure and operate local and wide area networks, which national and global organisations heavily rely on.

Programming (Java, C#, Visual Basic, etc...)
These courses will give you the know-how to be able to create and design software solutions using the latest in development technologies.

Web Design (Adobe Macromedia, Flash, CIW, etc…)
Studying these courses will enable you to develop and maintain websites, create content and digital media, as well as enter into the lucrative world of e-commerce.

With the speed at which technologies are advancing getting faster by the year, the earlier you fit your personal learning into your everyday work, the less chance you have of getting left behind. It’s a sobering thought that the systems I used within my university degree just five years ago are already obsolete.

I Wish I had that Job

A recent article on the BBC news website suggested that four in ten UK workers are thinking of quitting their jobs in the next year.

Why? What is it that makes us so unhappy in the workplace?
Is it the money? The travel in rush hour? That annoying guy who sits opposite you?
Instinctively, we all know we need to work to support ourselves and our families so we muddle through the week, the best way that we can.

It is human nature to always want something better than what we have – always trying to keep up with the Jones’ – but I think sometimes we need to look at what we currently have before we make the rash decision to jump ship.

We hear about “so-and-so” who works here and has this amazing job and often say “oooh, I wish I was them,” but the reality of it is, that a job will always be a job. In other words, we all need to work for our pay checks; there is no way to avoid it.

So maybe we should look at how we can improve our current working environment rather than automatically thinking that some new position you’ve heard about will ultimately be better.

Let’s discuss what it is about our jobs that we dislike so much. The aforementioned BBC article says that the main reasons for unrest in the workplace are:

  • Unreasonable workloads
  • Feeling underpaid
  • Lack of career path

It is quite easy to blame the above entirely on poor management but this is insinuating that we have no control over our own futures. It is very easy to sit back and say, “There’s nothing I can do, it’s just the way things are.” Whatever happened to being proactive and taking the future in our own hands? Both management and employees alike need to look at ways to make everyone happy.

Here are some thoughts on the subject.

  • There are always those daily tasks that take us longer than we would like; if we were adequately trained from the outset and provided with regular training workshops, we would be able to be productive throughout the day and hopefully minimise workloads.
  • Help management to understand that although we may always put our gripes down to money; it is amazing how far a pat on the back goes.
  • It is in our nature to learn so give us the chance to. This will not only help keep staff happy but it will benefit companies as well.

In short, there are small things that companies can do to keep great staff. Make them feel wanted by providing training options; the chance to learn and grow with the company. The best promotional tool a business has is its staff – keep them happy and they’ll do great things for you and everyone will want their job!

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Welcome to the new Clear Learning blog!

Well well well! Here we go again.
This is the second installment of our blog and we are hoping for great things. Now, with a new and improved design, and some eager writers, we plan to bring you the most up to date happenings in the field of learning.
With our team of trainers working throughout the UK and our inhouse online training specialists, Clear Learning have all areas of training covered.

Our training and development solutions include:
  • Small business skills workshops - that tackle common challenges of having your own company. Our half-day workshops cover; finding and employing great staff, getting paid on time and how to make the internet work for your business.
  • Online training courses - that cover a wide range of business and IT disciplines. With 1300 instantly accessible courses, you control when, where and how long you spend training.
  • Customised learning solutions - we’ll work with you to assess your requirements and deliver a bespoke training package that enables you to achieve your goals.
Feel free to get involved by leaving us comments and offering your point or view - this is what we thrive on, so get into it!