THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- Get training: Know thyself and learn stuff

The new workplace currency is training.

Title is not important if you're not staying long term. Salary increases of three or four percent are ceremonial. So use the clout you earn to get training. It will make a difference in a way salary and title cannot, because training can fundamentally change how you operate and what you have to offer.
The two most important types of training teach you how to understand yourself and how to function in an office. You have to take responsibility for training yourself in these areas. You can't learn this stuff passively, like memorizing key dates in US history.

"This must be a self-motivated kind of learning," says career coach Julie Jansen. "The problem is that most people don't know how self-aware they are."
Most people think they make a good impression, but they are misguided. So a great help is an objective third-party who can tell you your weaknesses. The trick is to identify and fix them early in your working life so they don't hold you back.

When recruiter Ramona delaCruz was having communication issues at work, her boss offered to hire a career coach for her. ''People get so embroiled in what they're doing at work that it's hard to get a different perspective," says delaCruz.

"Most companies quickly segment out high-potential employees and they get more advanced and aggressive training," says Jeff Snipes, a training firm executive. "Companies don't usually market these programs because they create an atmosphere of haves and have-nots. However you can ask around at your company if there's a high-potential program and what you'd need to do to get in."

Here are some of the types of training to ask for:

1. Self-awareness coaching. Few people accurately judge the impression they make on others. This is so widely accepted that companies are willing to pay big bucks for a 360-degree performance review, which includes in-depth interviews between a third-party and a wide range of people you work with. Once you determine your weaknesses, hiring a coach is a great way to understand the results of the review and figure out how to either get rid of your weaknesses or at least get around them.

2. Communications coaching. One of the most difficult pieces of managing yourself is projecting what you really feel to other people. So many things get in the way of authenticity in the office – notably, your ego and also your nerves.

3. Training on how to navigate within a company. Many young people complain that they have great ideas but no one's listening. That's often true. It's not enough to have innovative ideas; you need to know how to promote them within the company.

Topics in this program align the idea with corporate strategy and find an internal sponsor – two critical pieces to being an innovator in the workplace. When it comes to selling an idea at the office, don't forget you'll have to sell the idea that training will be good for your boss and for you. Be sure to align the benefits of training with the needs of your company.

If you're unemployed, you can't get a firm to pay, but you might ask your parents.

Whatever sort of training you use– self-generated, corporate funded, or a mix of the two– if you create a life that encourages constant learning, your career and your life will be more interesting and more fulfilling.