I bet there’s a pretty good chance you’ve put personal or professional development on your new year, new me list and if that’s the case, good on you! It’s important to identify areas we would like to grow and make a plan to commit to it. Often, training programs, workshops, conferences and retreats are some of the avenues we explore. But before committing to these, I think it’s important to acknowledge that not all offerings are created equal. You work hard for your money, so you should make a wise investment when it comes to your development. Here are a few things I think you should consider before signing up for anything this year.
Know the facilitator
Now, I don’t mean you need to know them personally, but I do believe you should do your research. You should see if they have experiences on the subject they are going to teach. It’s probably wise to also know if they speak your language. There’s nothing worse than walking into a session only to find out the person running the event isn’t your kind of people. If their personal brand doesn’t match yours, it may be an indicator to keep looking. Simple social media research should help you figure out if they are the kind of human that will engage and interest you enough to learn something when you’re in one of their seats.
Make sure the content is right for you
There are a lot of keywords used to entice people to join a program or event. You’ll see them pop up on their ads, event page and social posts. That means they are doing a great job to attract your attention, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the content of the event will be right for you. If the offering isn’t clear, send them a note and inquire about the details. Make sure you feel comfortable investing in what they are offering before you commit. It’s gut-wrenching when you finally invest in yourself, and your choice wasn’t quite what you expected.
Stay within your budget
You know your limit, you most definitely should stay within it. Don’t go investing in something if it’s going to put you in a cash crunch. You should walk away from your commitment feeling good about the investment and excited to tackle your action plan. Not stressed that you now need to work around the clock to cover the dollars spent to get the knowledge. I know it can be tempting to jump in, but just make sure that the choice makes sense for you. There will always be another class, another workshop, another retreat. And when the time is right, you’ll feel much better about your decision.
I’m a huge believer that we need to invest in ourselves to learn and grow, but I also think we need to be mindful of the choices we make to make sure we’re maximizing our time and investment.