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Get Some Cross Training Today

By Steve Jones,

There's never enough time or money for the training we'd like to get at work. It seems as though many of us are struggling to find time to improve our skills and work on our career.  Work is busy, and employers seem loathe to set aside time for skill development. Budgets are tight, and it can be hard to get your company to fund training, especially in areas that relate to your job.

However it's not easy for emplorers. The cost of hiring new people is high and it can be very time consuming. Add to the mix the lack of loyalty from many talented workers who may leave for another job inside of a few years, and you can understand why employers are loath to invest too much money into any individual person.

There's an IT skills gap out there right now. CIOs and technology managers are trying to get creative to meet the demands of their clients with existing employees. Cross training opportunities are a relatively inexpensive way to build skills among staff and potentially re-deploy them to meet changing demands.

If there's a technology area that you'd like to improve your skills, especially if it's different from your current job, but related, I might ask to get some cross training. Approach your manager proactively and show them that you are interested in staying at your job, improving your skills, and working a little harder. That alone might convince them to invest a little more in you, and it might help you improve your future career prospects by adding another skill.

This might be a fad, and it might be a story that the media promotes without there being any hard evidence it is a widespread practice. Managers, however, are influenced by media and what they read; we've seen that in the past as a fad results in a purchase of some new, shiny tool. I'd hope that some DBAs and data professionals would take advantage of this to learn some development skills and vice versa.

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Steve Jones