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James Quinn

GRASP. Learning & Development

Learning & OD Consultant

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Making the transition from “Trainer” to “Training Manager”.


Howdy Peeps.

I've recently found myself in the difficult position of taking the next step up the L&D ladder.

In the current job market it seems most employers are looking for candidates with existing experience in L&D management, which begs the question, "How does the humble trainer make that next big leap?".

Attending a management course such as the CIPD's will equip you with a knowledge of the theories and practices but they can't give you that valuable experience.

What are the TZ community's thoughts on the best ways to sit yourself in the boss' chair?


5 Responses

  1. What’s the question?

    Hi James,

    Probably me, but I'm not quite sure what your question is… happy to give some input if I can.


  2. take the initiative…..

    1. Get out to the management population and actively seek out their problems that can be addressed through learning interventions

    2. Actively seek to understand the organisation's learning strategy (if it has a meaningful one) or to question and initiate one, if it doesn't

    3. Aim to have a greater involvement in the evaluation of the learning you provide….especially with regard to long term retention of knowledge, behavioural change and bottom line/business benefits/outcomes

    4. Where #1 produces probably solutions that are not "stand and deliver" training, be involved in identifying, investigating and facilitating these~don't get trapped into being a "Training manager", aim to be a "Learning Manager or a "Performance Improvement Manager"

    I hope this helps



  3. Hi Rob

    I suppose Im asking what the best ways are of gaining the experience needed to become an L&D Manager. 

    Thanks Rus. Good advice as always.

  4. Ah… OK then.

    OK then, here are a few ideas…

    However, these suggestions are just to spark something, rather than 'you shoulds'.

    Signal to your bosses that this is the direction you want to go in, and ask for projects that may help you towards that goal

    Be better known and networked in your organisation, and make sure that your intentions are 'out there' (some research behind this suggestion, better networked folk get better and quicker opportunities)

    Be better networked outside your organsation, particularly targetting companies who you would like to work for

    Get a mentor who is senior in L&D (wrt to the two ideas the above!)

    Do project work in L&D without permission (like Rus's ID'ing strengths and development areas for L&D)

    Volunteer outside your org in L&D, perhaps in the third sector

    Get a knowledge specialism and be known for it (what interests you most about L&D, then go for it in formal learning specialisation)



Author Profile Picture
James Quinn

Learning & OD Consultant

Read more from James Quinn

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