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Training: The Good, the Bad, and the Necessary

Most of the time, training can feel like a chore. But if the topic and training are both engaging, it can be one of the best ways to make sure staff and everyone in between is on the same page when it comes to duties.

Daniel Cobb, project engineer, Avanceon
Daniel Cobb, project engineer, Avanceon

What’s a great way to kill time when you have nothing else to do? What’s the one thing that most occupations require to move forward? What’s the one thing that some love and others dread hearing but needs to be completed? One word, Training.

For an accountant, engineer, information technology specialist, machinist, X-ray technologist, and everyone in between, training paves the way for success in your field. After training, knowing that you could possibly be a “resident expert” in a particular topic is a great feeling. In some cases, training can also lead to a pay increase, which is always nice, right? Training can also help someone new to the field get a jump start in their career.

But what about the other side? Why do some find this to be a daunting task? Maybe they’re pressed for time? Maybe they suffer from test-phobia? Or maybe they’re not interested in the topic? Unfortunately, the answer varies to these questions.

Whether it’s to gain a new skill, brush up on some previously learned technology or to bring tears to your eyes, training will always be there. So how should you cope and maximize your time investment?

  1. What’s in it for you? What can you get out of this training? Will it be a potential new role, a few extra dollars or the joy of learning something new? Identify how you can benefit from the training and use that for motivation.
  2. How do you learn best? Are you a reader? A talker? A hands-on person? Try to figure out how you will best absorb the material, and tailor the training to your style as much as possible.
  3. What can you apply to your work? Try to identify at least one thing at the end of each session that you can put into practice. If your training has real-world applications, you will end up feeling like your time was well-spent.

In the end, it all depends on what style of learning (and teaching) best applies to you. What are your training tips?

Daniel Cobb is a project engineer at Avanceon, a certified member of the Control System Integrators Association (CSIA). For more information about Avanceon, visit its profile on the CSIA Industrial Automation Exchange.

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