Here's a trend we observe with some of our e-learning customers. They purchase a course with 90 day's access. They log in, and take a look at the materials. Then, they do nothing for 89 days. And on day 90, suddenly there is a lot to do before the license expires.
In the wider industry, this is how many of us treat our own personal development. It's something we put off, and off, and off, until suddenly circumstances force us to review our skills. If you needed to move jobs tomorrow, would your skills be up to date?
Here are our top tips for future proofing yourself.
Start with what you've already got. Many of us have dusty old certificates sat in a drawer, some of which might have expired or could be expiring soon. Make sure you have an easily accessible record of your current training and certifications - perhaps on your LinkedIn profile so it's visible to peers and potential employers too.
Where do you want to be in a year? 5 years? 10 years? If you need to do some training or pass some exams to achieve your goals, start with a plan. Many certifications have mandatory pre-requisites, for example taking the ITIL Foundation before you can advance to ITIL Expert, so you need to make sure you understand what you need to do. Planning can also help you to manage your time and your valuable training budget. If you're self-funding, you can start to save for your dreams, and if your employer is paying, your plan will form part of your business case justifying the investment.
Got a 5 year plan? Brilliant! Now you need to stay on track. Why not make a note in your diary for each quarter of the year. It's a great opportunity to review where you are, see if anything's changed and take corrective action if you've gone off course.
Personal development includes many things. As well as training and certification you can develop by reading blogs, or watching and taking part in hangouts like our very own ITSM Crowd. You can present, and get involved with organizations like the itSMF and ISACA.
If you're doing lots of different development activities, think about how you're going to track those. One option is the AXELOS membership scheme which allows you to keep a record of your formal and informal development activities, as well as getting digital badges to show you're making progress.
One thing we hear a lot is that IT service management is getting complicated. ITIL, SIAM, DevOps, Agile, OBASHI...there are a lot of things to learn! It's good to be aware of everything that's happening, but make sure you focus your energy on the things that are relevant for you. If you've got a career path in mind, study the skills and certifications that employers are looking for by visiting job boards and listings.
At ITSM Zone, we'd love to help you get the role you want. If you've got any questions about our training or ITSM in general, just get in touch.