As an experienced professional, you know that the reliable way to get ahead in your career is to perform excellently, and to beat all performance expectations. To do this you need to work hard, develop your skills, and show wisdom and good leadership.

Hard work is up to you. However you can learn the rest: you can deliver exceptional performance if you build the right leadership, personal effectiveness and people skills; and get the right training and coaching. But it's not just performance that matters here: these same skills help you grow as a capable, well-balanced, happy person. The problem is that employers aren't investing in long-term skills development, particularly in the current economic climate.

The average working person in the US receives five days training each year. (We believe this is true around the World, not just in the US.) More than three quarters of this is functional and short-term: teaching people to use IT systems, company processes, industry-specific skills, and so on.

This means that the average working person receives only one day's training each year focused on the essential skills that make a real, long-term difference for a successful career: leadership, team management, problem solving, decision making, project and change management, personal effectiveness, communication skills, and more.

So when was the last time you got really good training in these areas?

More than this, when was the last time you got the really close and valuable coaching, mentoring and guidance that everyone needs (and is supposed to get) from their boss if they're to make the most of their careers? Is this why getting ahead can seem so difficult?

So, if you're not getting this from your company, what are you going to do to take control?

Here's the Positive Way For You to Take Charge of Your Life and Career

The Club is Mind Tools members-only area, where insiders get training, coaching and support they need to get ahead in their careers and make personal growth a constant and ongoing part of their lives.

Within it, you can quickly learn more than 1,000 individual skills, download more than 60 focused training packs, listen to more than 450 career- and skills-training audios, and more, all focused on helping you get the very most from your career.

With these resources, you can take control, develop yourself, and take charge of your own life and career.