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Top 5 – How to Get the Most Out of Training

Times are tough and budgets can be lean for training. So you have to make the most out of your training budget. (**We know full well as for our training conference Next Generation of Gov’t we created a 9 step ROI document***)

Here’s my top 5 tips to get the most out of training:

1. Search internally – Often your agency has classes taught internally. They may be hidden but search them out and take them.

2. Ask around – Not all training is the same. Ask your colleagues about their favorite training classes. And the reverse – which ones were lame.

3. Get the certificate – In the end, you want training that helps you in your career. Try to take training that fits in with your career goals – whether that is a Project Management Professionals certificate or Certified Internal Auditing (CIA).

4. Talk to the Budget guy – It seems to me that there is never any money for training and then there is tons at the end of the fiscal year. Stay close to the budget guy and see if you can use up some of that end of year money.

5. Keep those connections – In the end, one of the best things you get out of training is the people you met. Make sure to get their information and friend them on LinkedIn and GovLoop.

Check out some of my other “Top 5’s”

Top 5: Best Places to Have a Government Job

Top 5: Worst Places to Have a Government Job

Top 5: Reasons You Didn’t Get the Promotion

Top 10: What Works in Social Media

Top 5: Ways to Handle a Boring Meeting

Top 5 Signs You Need a New Job

Top 5: Ways to Look Important at the Office

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Henry Brown

would expand on #4… One should work regularly with the budget folks, sometimes a class is budgeted for and for whatever reason is canceled therefore there is money available

Another important consideration is PLAN PLAN PLAN, almost a given that if you request training in april that there most likely will not be money in the budget, where if you work with your supervisor and the budgeting department before the budget period starts you will increase the chances of getting the training.

Would also suggest that where possible you provide an alternate training option.

Be willing to provide “good” reason(s) for your training request Suspect that “will improve my chance for getting another job” is probably not overly good

Peter Sperry

Make a point of quickly demonstrating to your boss what you learned and how it supports organizational goals. It builds credibility for the next time you want training. Also if you travel for training, do not go overboard describing tourist attractions or nights in the bar when you come back.

Scott Span

I would like to add to # 2 – think outside the box. Ask not only colleagues who work in your agency or even in government but those you know in other industries. Don’t just take training that is “in your comfort zone.” If so, you could be missing out on an added layer of personal growth to add to your professional growth, that will benefit you in your work and relationships.


Good point Scott…My previous boss used to push me and suggest training like The Actors Institute which was cool.