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Would you?


After 10 years in sales and related jobs I want to change career and become a trainer.

My thinking behind it is that I am good with people and interested in learning and developing others. I think also my sales skills may be a plus.

My initial plan is to get a CTP, join a training agency and specialise in soft skills (time management, sales, perhaps negotiating, etc)

I have a few questions though:

  • Can I follow this career path without a very deep knowledge of the areas that I might be training in (e.g. obviously I couldn’t train in brain surgery…)?
  • Are the short and long term prospects for this as a career good or has/will the industry be decimated by recession / elearning/ etc?
  • Is my described route (CPD then training agency) the best?

Many thanks

2 Responses

  1. Changing careers

    To me, changing careers is a huge issue and much bigger than the 3 questions you pose. But I will give you my thoughts on these first:

    • You can follow a reasonable career path by understanding a few core skills in depth and being an excellent trainer – that is where your skill is; no brain surgery might be difficult, but you also need to be sure about what else you don’t know enough about, eg leadership or management development?
    • Many trainers are finding the current market really tough – some a bit down, some a lot down and some unchanged in total, but might be working harder to find new clients; elearning is a different issue – developing elearning is a long-term investment for a long-term payback which many companies are now beginning to discover as they try to switch from F2F to "e" 
    • Your described route might be best for you – there are other options, such as doing first and studying later

     As for the rest …

    • Do you want to work as an associate / assistant to others – do what they require, at their agreed rates etc
    • Ultimately work for yourself? – do you have all the skills you need to run your own business?
    • How will working in a new career make you feel in comparison to the old one? What do you think will be better? What might be worse?

    I will pause there – and suggest you talk it through with a coach of some sort to help you decide what you really want and then what the best way is FOR YOU to get there.


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  2. Thanks

    Thank you both for taking the time and effort to reply.

    I would definitely be looking to work for others (perhaps as an associate, if that is the easiest way in).

    To be frank I would not say that I have extraordinary depth of knowledge in any one area (although my sales skill would be pretty high – but I’m trying to get OUT of that!).

    I feel really strongly that I have the core skills needed to be a trainer (ability to design a course, listening skills, good communication skills, ability to sell ideas, etc). With the CTP I would hope to solidfy that.

    Is it feasible that I read every book I can on something where I have a "good" knowledge, say time mamangement, and become an expert (relative to the layman)…? I think if ther answer to that question is "no" then there is not really an aveneue into training for me…

    Thanks again.

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