As a Training Consultant, I often find myself sitting silently when I hear my friends complain about their jobs. It’s because I’m one of those rare people who loves what they do. The projects are varied and interesting, it’s a flexible workplace, you work with absolute legends every day, and pre-Covid, the travel opportunities were abundant. If you’re thinking about a career in learning and development, read on to find out what we actually do on a daily basis.
What Training Consultants Do
Our founder Alice Hodgson describes the role of a trainer as someone who might know all the makings of a car: “They’re aware of everything going on under the hood but their job is to distill everything they know into a fraction of the details the driver needs to know to get from A to B”.
When you’re transitioning teams into new systems, it’s tempting to share every detail. But training consultants filter only the necessary information their audience needs to know. They translate technical jargon into terms that are easy to understand.
As Training Consultants, we often kick off a project with a Training Needs Analysis and design a curriculum to meet those needs. From there, we’ll design the training materials. Some projects are more complex than others but these three elements are often the recipe to a successful training program.
A Typical Day as a Trainer
As a trainer, you’re either preparing to deliver training or you are delivering training.
The schedules for both are different.
Let’s start with a day of a trainer who’s preparing for delivery:
9:00am-9:30am: Catch up with your Engagement Manager to update the status of the project. These morning catch-ups are often a time to highlight any challenges or roadblocks.
9:30am-10:00am: Review emails from the team and clients.
10:00am-11:30am: Attend system walkthroughs or meetings with a client. When you’re preparing for delivery, a lot of time is spent getting to know how systems are built and how they support a client’s business process.
11:30am-1:00pm: Review business processes and system-related documents. Often this involves dissecting the information available and deciding what the audience needs to know.
1:00pm-2:00pm: Lunch break.
2:00pm-3:00pm: Develop training materials.
3:00pm-3:30pm: Catch up with the client’s subject matter expert for any pending questions.
3:30pm-5:00pm: Develop training materials.
The days are packed with meetings and material development when you’re preparing for delivery but when you get to delivering training, the schedule is completely different:
Let’s look at a day in a life of a trainer delivering training:
9:00am-9:30am: Prepare to log in for training i.e. get the training presentation ready, log in to the system, review the attendance list.
9:30am-10:00am: Log into the meeting platform and greet attendees.
10:00am-12:00pm: Training session kicks off.
12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch break.
1:00pm-4:00pm: Training session starts again.
4:00pm-5:00pm: Training session debrief. Make edits to the training presentation if necessary.
As you can see the days are very different depending on whether you’re preparing for training or delivering training. It’s great to have a balance between the two.
How to Land a Dream Job as a Trainer
Convinced that training is your calling and that your dream job is just one CV away? We caught up with TrainTheCrowd founder Alice Hodgson who shares what she looks for in a candidate.
The technical skills TrainTheCrowd looks for depends on what type of courses you’ll be delivering. Our trainers deliver standard courses and custom courses. Standard courses are available to the general public and follow a set curriculum. All training exercises are completed in a standard training sandbox. Custom courses on the other hand involve creating a training curriculum and materials that are specific to the way a client has configured their system(s).
“For someone who will be delivering a Salesforce standard course, it is important to have more of a technical background. For example, the ideal ADX201 instructor is someone who has been a Technical Consultant (done configuration) or a hands-on System Administrator in previous roles, plus as a minimum, is a Salesforce Certified Administrator. For someone who will be working on a Salesforce custom project, experience as an end-user, a functional consultant, or a system administrator is ideal”, says Alice.
Other than technical skills, what we also look for are people who have a dedication to teaching. In previous roles they may have found themselves as the go-to person for learning a new system, as the dedicated trainer, and/or as the person responsible for onboarding new team members. The traits of a great trainer are often those who:
- have a positive and outgoing personality – have a good sense of humour
- are able to engage an audience
- enjoy teaching and helping others
- have a passion for technology
- engage in ongoing learning and personal development
- are flexible
- are up for a challenge
- enjoy working autonomously and in a team environment
- have great presentation skills
- and excellent communication skills.