Stretching for Success
That’s a weird word, isn’t it? It literally means to extend something beyond ordinary scope or limits, something that on the surface sounds painful at best, torturous at worst. But it’s a word that by and large makes you dig a little deeper–to stretch a little more?–to understand why it has mostly positive connotations.
You stretch before exercising, and your knees will thank you someday.
You stretch when you climb out of bed, and your muscles wake up.
You stretch to reach things just out of grasp. Sometimes, you even stretch the truth.
But in this industry, in this economy, in this day and age, you stretch a dollar. Like a million college students who learn ramen noodles are at least sustenance on which to survive, IT professionals learn to make a little go a long way when things are tight. I don’t have to tell you things are tight right now. I also don’t have to tell you that some things can’t wait for brighter days, and ongoing education is one of the more immediate needs in IT, a field where you have to tread water vigorously just to keep afloat.
With all that in mind, this June issue of CertMag tries to start your summer right, by presenting tips to help you stretch your training budget. If a little self-investment gets you started, a little more investment power can only increase the reach. The cover story on Page 22 goes full circle to help with your budgeting, giving tips on getting more for less and featuring valuable advice to help you budget realistically. We’ve also got ways to help you stretch your potential by gaining that most valuable of IT tools, experience. I don’t need to be told the counter-argument running through some heads out there: Stretching the budget to grow the skills is great, but what’s the point if I can’t find work? That’s a fair concern, and the article does offer a few suggestions you might find helpful on that front.
You stretch your dollars to stretch your skills, and the more you know, the more you grow. Currently unemployed or not, the job-seeker who demonstrates sharp skills, a willingness to learn and the ability to apply lessons is going to get ahead in the long run.
I won’t keep stretching the point. I just hope the message is reaching you.