7 Kinds of On-the-Job Training to Look for in a Job
Your job doesn’t just come with a list of responsibilities — it should have a few benefits for you, too. Aside from healthcare and vacation time, though, there should also be an opportunity to train on the job. That way, you can do better work for your company and gain the valuable skills you need to move forward in your career.
So, as you look for a new position, keep your eye out for opportunities to learn while you’re working. Here are seven types of training that will help you in your quest to be the best employee you can be.
You’re not the boss — yet. Signing up for a mentorship with one of your superiors will show you the skills and attitude required to reach the level to which you aspire. Chances are good you’ll hone a few of your pre-existing traits along the way. Your mentor will likely flourish through your partnership, too. If they can train you to work as they do, you might even be considered when it’s time to fill their role in the future.
While you wait for that upgrade, you’ll experience additional benefits of your mentorship. Those who have participated in such programs report higher levels of job satisfaction and a stronger sense of employee engagement.
Although you work in a specific department, you’ll undoubtedly have to interact with employees in different areas. But without any experience in that field, you might not be a sympathetic and helpful employee when an issue or delay arises.
Job rotation makes everyone better because it gives employees a chance to see how other departments function. Afterward, you’ll experience the responsibilities that other people have and vice-versa, thus creating a more understanding environment. And, of course, you can carry this attitude with you into any new position in the future.
Not all training can — or has to — take place in-person. Instead, your company might offer virtual training programs that allow you to log on and learn more when you have free time. The opportunities for virtual training vary, so don’t count out your industry’s potential for an online course or skills boost. Simulations can be used to make complicated equipment, systems and areas into a virtual training course.
Even if your company doesn’t necessarily provide online resources, you can find some on your own. Everything from webinars to full-on training courses exist online. Ask if your employer will pay for you to cover any fees associated with this skill-building elective.
You might be involved in a book club outside of work or otherwise aware of how these types of groups work. Just in case you’re not: your company can gather its employees to read and discuss a book each month. The piece they choose could provide readers with work-related skills and a group conversation afterward could reinforce the learning point contained within the literature. If there isn’t a book club, you could pioneer one in the workplace, too.
Coaching has some similarities with a mentorship, but ultimately it puts you on a different path to skill-building. Your coach will help you build a plan for self-improvement. They might also create an overarching plan for everyone in your department or company. Depending on the size of the business, there might be an on-staff coach or they might bring in an outsider to lead the charge.
Brown Bag Lunches
Fortunately, this type of on-the-job training has nothing to do with your culinary skills — or lack thereof. Instead, brown bag lunches bring employees together over their midday meal to learn something together.
Speakers might come from within the company to share news about an important project. Or, your employer might bring an outsider in to speak on a relatable topic or teach a new skill. Either way, you’re sure to deepen your understanding of your industry while eating your lunch as you would anyway. It’s a great way to multitask.
If you find yourself feeling stagnant in your job, ask your manager if there are any opportunities for a lateral move. You won’t get a promotion or earn more money. Instead, you’ll be taking on a new job on the same level as yours is now. You’ll get to develop new skills and deepen your knowledge of your industry, but you’ll also be doing something different than you expected. It might end up being the catalyst you need to keep growing and learning.
Get What You Deserve
Of course, all of this possibility for on-the-job training starts with the company for which you will work. As such, make a point in your next interview to ask about these types of training opportunities — if they’re unavailable, you might want to continue your search for the right position.
If you’re already gainfully employed, find ways to get even more from your job. Ask your bosses and other managers how you can improve your skills while you work or if there are any opportunities for training. Soon, you’ll be an even greater resource to your colleagues, which will put you in good stead for promotions, raises and more. But most importantly, you’ll be more confident in your skills and ready to conquer whatever the job throws at you.