As a professional in any field, your day is probably busy and spending time attending workshops and seminars can be a waste, if you do not choose carefully. Let’s divide the workshops and seminars into categories and then decide which ones are worth the investment of time and money.
Workshops and seminars organized by your company
In general, do attend many of them. You might think that this 25-year old communication expert has nothing to teach your 50-year old experienced self, but your company obviously thinks otherwise. Think of it this way: companies do not waste their money. If they offer you workshops and seminars, it is an investment. They believe that their employers will become more efficient and deliver a better quality of work.
Seminars and workshops offered by your company might also give you the chance to work in different positions within the company or shoot for higher positions. If, for example, at some point you want to become a manager, attending management seminars can be of great help. The same goes for all seminars linked to skills that might be offered.
And of course, if your company provided seminars to train the employees to newest versions of software or hardware, do not miss them under any circumstances. Technology nowadays is fast and a specialist can teach you tips and tricks that would take you ages to find out by yourself. This is why your employer offers you such seminars: to save your time and his money.
Workshops and seminars not organized by your company
This can be a bit tricky, because you might need to take some days off work to attend a seminar or workshop that is weekly or takes place far away. In case the subject of the seminar will help you become a better employee for your company, you can let the human resources department and your boss know about it. They might give you a few days off and they might even encourage and fund more employees to join.
In the case, however, that you want to join a seminar that you will have to pay out of your pocket in order to enrich your CV or because you are looking for a career change, it’s obviously best to not be so open about it. If you know that you might meet people from your professional environment at the seminar, be honest with your boss about where you are going to be those two days that you will be off. Again, try to focus on how this seminar could make you a better employee. People do not like it when someone is about to leave their company.
In case you are working and need to attend seminars to prepare for a career change, try to find the ones that are organized during the weekend or even attend the ones offered online. These have the advantage that are often cheaper (both due to the lower admission fee and the fact that you do not have to travel there) and you can also attend them while wearing your pajamas. You can also take as many notes as you like, as organizers often send a video link of the seminar to the participants.
Seminars for freelancers
If you are a freelancer, you are your own boss. You are the one deciding where to invest your time and money. This is why you should make sure that a seminar is relevant to your goals and ambitions, before paying the admission fee. Searching on line for reviews about the organizer of the seminar and the background of the speaker always helps. Mailing the organizers and asking for details will also help you understand if they are really experts in the topic they are presenting. Keep in mind that a high quality workshop or seminar organizer should be able to provide the goals in clear bullets. If there is a lot of general information and no focus, save your time and money for something else.