“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest."Benjamin Franklin
People often ask me which courses and training programs I recommend. Here are the three courses that I find most generally applicable for Personal MBA readers.
Dale Carnegie: Effective Communications & Human Relations
This is a 12-week, in-person course that covers both interpersonal skills and public speaking. The live, local format makes it much easier to practice social skills, public presentation, and conflict resolution - it’s not the kind of thing you can learn completely from a book. The course is organized logically, and instructors are trained very well. The course has been around for a long time, and most large organizations are willing to cover the training fee for employees. I’ve taken this course twice: once as participant, and once as a volunteer instructor. I’ve noticed substantial shifts in social confidence and speaking ability both times.
Center for Applied Rationality: Rationality for Entrepreneurs / Applied Rationality Workshop
CFAR is a brand new non-profit that’s teaching the only workshop I’m aware of that focuses explicitly on practical, general rationality skills. I attended the workshop myself last week, and it’s well worth the three-day investment. All of the critical topics are covered: appropriately updating your anticipations given new evidence, accounting for “value of information" in research/experimentation, factoring your goals into achievable parts, overcoming akrasia, and installing new high-value habits. Between the making better decisions, avoiding expensive mistakes, and increasing your productive thinking capacity, this training delivers an enormous amount of value.
Ramit Sethi: Find Your Dream Job
Ramit is the author of I Will Teach You to Be Rich, a Personal MBA recommended book on personal finance. Ramit has also contributed a few detailed guest posts on this site:
Ramit runs an online course called “Find Your Dream Job." His career search, interviewing/prospecting, and negotiation material is several orders of magnitude better than other sources of information on the topic. Typical advice on “finding a job you love" is critically flawed in many, many ways, and mistakes in your strategy and tactics are extremely costly. Ramit focuses on ensuring that you understand how top performers go about finding work, how to permanently strengthen your negotiating position, and how to signal to an employer or client you’re worth more than competing candidates. When you translate the training fee into a percentage of a permanent income (and quality of life) increase, the cost is absolutely trivial.
There are many great trainings out there, so this list is not exhaustive. That said, if you’re looking to invest in yourself this year, these courses are hard to beat.
Remember: you benefit from research and development as much (or more) than large companies. If you’re not setting aside time and money to invest in training this year, you’re doing yourself a serious disservice.
(Note: I have a personal relationship with these courses/companies, since I’ve taken their training. If you have any questions on my affiliations, see my disclosure policy)