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Helen Campbell

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Associate Work – Where to start?


First post so please be gentle!

I would like some advice about how to go about becoming an associate trainer.  I have been in Learning and Development for 18 years working in delivery and design in large private and public sector organisations.  I've been made redundant and would now like to do some freelance work.  I have no desire to set up on my own and am happy to take the lower rates that associates who don't have to source their own business get paid.  Just not sure where to start with getting on the books with other companies. 

Any advice welcome - thanks

3 Responses

  1. don’t shut this table door before the horse has bolted!

    Hi Elagsoarin

    This is my opinion, and is not backed up by statistics but just gut feel…..

    There are lots of people in your situation and that means that there are lots of people trying to get associateships….the law of supply and demand therefore means that the chances of getting into associateships (and the T&Cs and the fee rates) are not going to be advantageous for you.

    Still go for it and try to get associateships but also try to generate business under your own name…it doesn't have to be expensive to do.

    This is what I did to generate associateship work…..

    A long time ago when I started out I sat down with the Personnel Managers Yearbook and looked at all the training companies that worked in areas; geographical, industry sector and specialisation, in which I had something to offer.  Then I picked out about 30 that sounded 'good' and wrote to them with a proposition.  I then followed up assiduously and persistantly until I got a definitive answer from the decision-maker at each one. Over the next six months I got work with six of them and some of those relationships are still bearing fruit 15 years later.

    Good Luck!

    Rus Slater

  2. Be selective

    Hi elagsoarin,

    Luckily, you have the Internet. Do a search for training in your local area, or for your specialism, and spend some time on the site. In particular of course, look in the About Us/Careers/Working for Us pages and have a look at whether they are recruiting and what their selection process is like.

    Only apply to the ones where you think/feel that you match their culture and you know you are what they are looking for. Be very selective with who you approach. As Rus says (hello, Rus!) there are many freelancers out there but there are also companies looking to recruit more associates.

    Good luck!

  3. Getting work as an associate

    Welcome to your first post.

    I agree with the others about focusing of key firms – and on your key skills/offering – and being persistent. I'd also suggest to look over your network and see you may need to catch up with and, over a coffee, let them know you are now in the market. Some may be buyers, some may be influencers, some may be suppliers or associates themselves who may be able to involve you in some way when needed.

    Best of luck


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Helen Campbell


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