Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Importance of Continuing Education for a Successful Career in Human Resources


As many of you know, in addition to being an HR consultant, I am also an instructor in Continuing Education for two Georgia Universities (Kennesaw State University and the University of Georgia) where I teach HR related subjects. In a meeting of instructors and staff we had a discussion about the importance of continual learning and keeping your HR career on track. We discussed how rapidly things are changing in the field of human resources and business in general. Without ongoing learning you will NEVER be able to keep up. In today's business environment the person that continually enhances their learning and keeps improving their skill sets is the one who will survive cutbacks. And even if you don't then having that enhanced set of skills and knowledge will make you that much more employable by the next company.

This new skill set has to include a strategic perspective, business acumen, a knowledge of metrics, conflict resolution ability, decision making skills, speaking ability, a knowledge of changes in technology (to include the use of social media) and a ongoing legal and compliance awarness. Being a Futurist is also an important skill. Helping your organization see the future and prepare for the future will make you very valuable. The days of "carrying the watermelon to the company picnic" are over. Continuing education programs, both live and online, help you improve or acquire skills.

Consistent reading, a skill losing traction everyday, will also put you in the top of your class. Self-improvement guru, Brian Tracy, says in his book Time Power, "Read at least one hour per day in your chosen field. One hour a day will translate into approximately one book per week. One book per week will translate into approximately fifty books ove the next twelve months. If you read an hour per day, one book per week, you will be an expert in your field within three years. you will be a national authority in five years, and you will be an international authority in seven years. All leaders are readers." What a powerful statement!

If you are not yet convinced to the importance or need to keep up then watch this YouTube.



7 comments:

Ben Eubanks said...

I love the Tracy quote. I use it often, and it still amazes me.

I have a difficult time reading books these days, because I spend a lot of time reading blogs and other articles. I really need to sit down and figure out how much I'm actually reading in blog posts per week, because it could be a book's worth!

Anonymous said...

The video is amazing and SO telling! WOW! Almost scarey for us older people (mid-50's). Time to get reading and/or go back to school and learn/or find something new we can teach others and make a 2nd living at it!

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR said...

Great post Mike. I agree video is really interesting. I would much rather read than carry a watermelon!

Wally Bock said...

This is a great post, Mike. And, even though I think we sometimes expand job requirements to infinite levels, I'm going to suggest a skill that isn't on your list.

I review books on my blog. I read a book a week or more. But I receive many more books than that to review. Many of them simply say nothing new, but say it differently. Some are unsupported, trendy junk. Some are solid and helpful. A few are must-reads.

The skill that sorts through those books and the blog posts and emails is scanning. I think it's a critical skill for the future.

Michael D. Haberman, SPHR said...

Wally I agree with you. Scanning is a key skill for an HR person to have. But it is not just scanning it is also having the ability to determine what is good and what is not.

mainehrcafe said...

Great post - constant and organized reading is key to professional success.

What are your top five business books that every HR professional should be reading?

continuing education said...

Great post Mike & video is excellent. I would like to read more about it.

:)