Cross-Training for Personal Gain

By , June 11, 2009
Have you ever heard people talk about being cross-trained? You’ve heard the groans from purists who want to do their job, and only their jobs. Well, before you fall into that rut, listen to the rest of their story. I think it’s safe to say that the majority of people in the workforce today understand that it’s a great boost to know more than their specific jobs. It’s more than just being a team player. It’s for your personal growth too.

Think of Your Company

Everything today needs to be streamlined. Companies are running sleek and efficient, as that’s the order of the day. When it comes to trimming the budget, that means releasing all the bodies they can afford to. To be more efficient, companies often require personnel to multitask, to wear more hats, in order to cover the lost of another person. It’s usually cheaper to give raises to a few, than to maintain all the salaries.

Think of Yourself

The personnel to be retained have several qualities that make them more sticky than others.
  • Well-trained
  • Cross-trained
  • Trainable
  • Interested in training
If you don’t see these qualities in you, you have two choices: either cultivate them or take your chances.  Before you decide, there are a few benefits you should review:
  1. Cross-training means gaining more knowledge, skills. You have to know that’s invaluable. If you don’t get to use your mad skills with this company, there will be others who will want you.
  2. Cross-training means earning more money. As you become more valuable to your company, you increase your standing for pay raises. If you do multiple jobs, you may not double your salary, but being cross-trained is a good argument for increased pay
  3. Cross-training means that you get to do something different from time to time. Even your favorite job can get a little stale after a while, especially if your work is really specialized. Putting on a different hat can change your perspective and give you a little break from the drudgery of “The Same Old Thing.”
So, before you hand in your resignation, find out what’s involved in your cross-training. Are the skills you’re being asked to learn useful to you in the long run. Even the best belt-tightening and streamlining, can’t save every company. Consider whether or not your skills will make you attractive to a more solvent company. It’s not harsh. It’s business. Your company is facing the cold, hard facts and the signs of the times by asking you to take on more, and others to leave the company. It only makes sense that you review your situation with the same clinical eye. Look to your future and see what’s best for you in the long and short of things. If you’re a productive person, you are most likely learning all the time. Why not do it for profit? What do you think? If faced with the option of cross-training, what skills would you be interested in learning?

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