Gone are the days when the owner/Director of the Company were used to take all the decisions & directed the day to day affairs of the Company. In today’s ever-changing dynamic economic world scenario changes are made & implemented at a rapid pace. No Company or Institution wants to lag behind the competitors. Every Company picks candidates from the society who becomes future employee. Each candidate goes through Academic education which provides a basic framework that is communication which has been directed at reading and writing skills that are used least in the workplace. After completion of any academic course candidates are not getting suitable jobs and it becomes vain for them.
Employees who can express their ideas orally and understand verbal instructions make fewer mistakes, they adjust more easily to change, and more readily absorb new ideas than those who do not. Most professions today need certain specific skill sets that have to be learned in the classroom or through experience. While we still need to invest time and effort in acquiring knowledge and functional skills specific to an industry or environment. Companies are challenged by the rapidly evolving & changing internal/external environment. There is an ever increasing need felt for somebody who can bridge the gap & convert knowledge into action called Skill.
That’s when a Corporate Trainer comes into the picture for bringing the employee an understanding of himself, his environment, converting the knowledge into Skill. A corporate trainer is a specialized skill development position in a corporation where the goal is to help improve the performance of the employees. The performance areas can range from “soft skills” or “people skills” to “hard skills” relating to specific technical tasks. The term is generic and could be applied to nearly any skill whether technical, physical or otherwise. Also, the role is not solely reserved for corporations. Other organizations such as non-profit groups or government organizations can make use of a corporate trainer’s services. An effective corporation or other organization functions as a system and lack of the skills mentioned above and others can keep the organization from functioning as an effective system, and thus keep the organization and its members from reaching their goals.
An effective corporate trainer can remove these blocks and be very valuable to the organization. In order to effectively support the team, corporate trainers work as a business Partner/Consultant of the organization they are training. In other words, Corporate Trainers operate in real environment with their clients. Depending on the evolution a Corporate Trainers can be either internal or external & they can share their training experiences as partners, depending on the needs of the organization. Internal Corporate Trainers have the advantage of knowing the organization and employees inside out. They usually enjoy a long-term relationship with the organization and continue to support skills improvement over time. External Corporate Trainers have advantage of an outside fresh perspective. These Trainers can effectively deliver training or intervene in a way that is difficult for internal trainers. Corporate Trainers can help employees learn new skills but to have an impact on broader organizational change, they need the essential support of senior management.
Some employees become corporate trainers through their expertise in a particular subject matter and an interest/passion in instruction. Others have formal education in Instructional Technology, Instructional Design, Organizational Development or Human Resources Development. There are two professional organizations that help guide this profession:
American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) International Society for Performance Improvement. There are several ‘Train the Trainer’ programs available for aspiring trainers. Most certification programs last anywhere between 3 to 5 days. Academic bodies like ISTD (Indian Society of Training & Development) and XLRI (Jamshedpur) offer such certifications. These certifications are also offered by several Training and Consulting firms. Getting a certification is a good start for new trainers and usually helps them understand ‘training’ as a function and also helps them acquire ‘trainer-like qualities’.
Training certifications typically verify that their holder has an enough grasp of essential fundamentals, at a certain acceptable level. A certification program will equip you with the basic knowledge of how to make presentations effectively, design training courses, how to conduct a training needs analysis, how to set objectives for a training program, how to deliver training effectively and evaluate the effectiveness of training. Professionals must note that certification says nothing about quality or richness of experience and does not measure or reflect the hard-to-quantify characteristics that distinguish a ‘seasoned trainer’ from a novice. It is, however, a great ‘starting point’ for those relatively new to the field. In the words of the famous author, Mark Twain, “There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angel ship” Corporate training is an elusive art. There is no checklist to follow in order to excel in this profession. You not only need tremendous confidence in your level of expertise, but also in your ability to entertain and educate an audience.This in return increasing adaptability & efficiency of the organization as a whole. If you thought that anyone with above average public speaking skills and humor could become a Corporate Trainer, think again, because there is more to it than what meets the eye (An outspoken person handling a crowd by some tricks or acting.)
Well a Corporate Trainer is a master of converting the knowledge into skill. Corporate Training can be broadly divided into Soft Skills & Technical Skills. There is no one method or way to become a trainer. In my experience of more than ten years so far, I have hardly seen any young professional articulating his ambition to become a trainer at the start of their career. Corporate training is typically a job people come to after they’ve worked for a while and gained considerable experience. It usually happens that most Trainers of today start building their career unknowingly by holding a technical position in the company in becoming interested in training. They become experts in their domains after a period of time and also demonstrate an inherent ability to support & train employees & are promoted as in-house trainers.
A good first step for professionals is to develop a technical or functional skill that they can build on and use as a way to transition over to a training job as I did while executing a Project on Corporate English. Expertise in a field will also improve the credibility of a professional which is critical for the success of a corporate trainer. There is a great need on behalf of corporations to improve the way their employees present themselves to the outside world and training them is the straightforward answer. Corporate Trainers have the option of working as in-house trainers with organizations, join a specialist training firm or even work as independent/freelance trainers. Progressive organizations have realized that training their employees on a continuous basis is the only real way to stay ahead of the competition.
Corporate training as a career
Corporate trainers typically find themselves teaching Soft Skill topics that people don’t learn in their formal education, such as:
Business writing etiquette
and other job-specific functional and technical skills.
How different is this from teaching?
Not touching behavior patterns & Skill sets
Academic interest audience
Authority/Respect is expected
Set Curriculum based
Teaching Tools; Lectures, Books, Boards & Set Study Lessons
Skill based (presence of mind)
Developing new behavior patterns & Skill sets
Mature adult audience with their own experiences & perceptions
Based on building strong relationships among Trainer & Trainees
Customized Training Modules/Solutions
Teaching Tools; Icebreakers, Interactive Sessions, Training-Course notes, Slides, Workbooks, Exercises, Workshops, Games, Practical action plans etc.
There is a difference between conventional teaching and training. The former is simply conveying information, which can be accomplished with a PowerPoint presentation or a classroom lecture. Professional training, however, provides people with the tools and skills they need either to change their behavior or develop new skill sets they never had before. In order to teach other people new behaviors, a trainer should develop these abilities beforehand. Also, most importantly, corporate trainers have to deal with mature adult audiences who have their own experiences and perceptions. Teachers have a certain position of authority because of which students have a natural tendency to follow their instructions, trainers enjoy no such luxury and have to build strong relationships with their learners to get the message across.
Skills required for a career in training
Trainers need to possess a natural ease in dealing with people, an ability to present themselves with confidence, speak before a large audience with conviction, a mature thought process to create training material relevant to their audience, spontaneity to respond to difficult situations with ease, a good sense of humor, loads of enthusiasm and most importantly a passion for the subject matter that is being presented. Most good trainers also have that indefinable ‘charm’ that makes them create magic in a training hall and leave a lasting impact.
Do & let know the people around you-Brand Yourself
Would you agree with this statement? One would assume so. If people don’t know what you are worth, it is unlikely you will make much progress in your chosen profession. How do you get the word out though? And make a strong case for yourself? No genie will come to your rescue. But there are magic lamps out there to make a brand out of you — as long as you know how to rub them right.
Why do you need to brand yourself?
When people want to associate with you professionally, they need to be comfortable knowing who they are dealing with. This could be for a job, a contract, an assignment or a partnership or investment in a venture. The greater your personal brand equity, the bigger break you could get. Gone are the days when people used to get business through social networks in parties & occasions where members were limited. Today we are living in a virtual world & we can connect to millions within minutes & our presence can be felt worldwide through Self Promotion.
Branding yourself does not mean you have to put up billboards of yourself around the town/country or shout about yourself to every person you meet in the day. As we are living in a Global village connected 24/7 through internet. Whatever happens is instantly known piercing the borders of nations, cultures & communities. The virtual world gives you enough standing to do the following and see the difference how you stand taller among your peers & the people will start perceiving you differently.
Set up a public profile
Go to a professional networking site, LinkedIn is strongly recommended. It showcases your professional Career systematically. Sign in, get registered & create an account. Upload your Professional image; write everything about your professional life history, positions held, job roles & profiles in detail as required, your specialties including your special achievements, honors and key skills. Get people to post recommendations on your profile. LinkedIn allows you to have a URL with your name as a part of it like http://linkedin.com/in/avinashkumararvind: get it and point people to this link. Make sure you also build a quality network of good worthy contacts — this will show who you know and who knows you. You are judged by the image you carry & people around you create your image. At a glance others will know all about you professionally.
A personal blog
Get yourself one; these are free and can be set up in minutes on sites like Rediff, Blogger and Word press. Try them; start & gradually grow. You can also get a domain with a custom name, even your own, which is a good idea. Talk about one subject you feel strongly about — it could be about your professional expertise, public interest issues, travel, a hobby or anything else. Set up multiple blogs if you have the capacity to maintain the same. When deciding a subject area, ask yourself this question: Will anyone care to read about what I am writing? Go ahead only if the answer is in the affirmative. Stay clear of personal ramblings — what you write will reflect on the kind of person you are and how you think.
A personal website
It could be an extension of your personality. A showcase of yourself so far. It gives you bigger canvas as compared to the social networking sites. Because you set limits here & can portray your colors/creatively; its your game play it hard. Write a small autobiography, covering your background, childhood, academics, career path, testimonials, clients, and photographs, audio, video, achievements, skills, published works, links to your blog and work-related sites and other relevant information. Make sure your website and blogs are well designed — select neat templates and inviting colors. Don’t be flashy for the sake of it.
Write for publications
Look for any available opportunities to write for websites, newspapers and magazines; in short, get published– people will notice you and this will add to your profile. Media/press organizations/companies are always open to accepting columns from experts and knowledgeable professionals.
Social networking sites
A Corporate Trainer/Consultant shouldn’t be cut from society; meet people, attend social parties/functions. Show yourself to be a multi-dimensional personality. These sites, unlike professional networking ones, are more about your personal side; show all your colors, like your hobbies, interests, holidays, friendships, relationships, your social presence, day-to-day engagements/achievements/honors .
Show yourself to be an expert
There are many online forums where you can actively participate in Question and Answer sessions. Join the ones where business subjects are discussed; there is none as powerful as the one on LinkedIn.com. Leave Comments/Discussions. Show your mettle. Open up; share your knowledge, when you share your knowledge, people start recognizing you for your expertise in your area of work — and you don’t know who may want to connect with you and send an opportunity your way.
Network, network, network
Develop relationships with as many people as you can, with diverse backgrounds and not just relevant to your own industry. Everyone has a contribution to make. And the internet, especially through social networking sites, allows you to do so without moving away from your desk.
Advertise yourself shamelessly
No need to be embarrassed. As long as you follow these three basic principles, tooting your own horn can bring on major success.
1. Be interesting
Consider your followers positive interest; help/support them.
2. Be authentic
Share the real you. Being likeable helps too. Engage other people to talk about your accomplishment.
3. Provide value
Be creative; tell/write an entertaining story, a lesson, or a simple joke, leave smile on people’s faces.
Your business card
Let it mention links to your profile, blogs, personal websites and addresses on the net. Your email acknowledgement signature should also carry all these links; there is no problem of space here unlike in a business card. Every time someone gets a mail from you, let them link further to you at the click of the mouse.
Promote your blog
Blogs attract traffic on their own if the subject matter is popular and regularly posted. But this may take a long time. Visit other blogs on related subjects, and leave comments on posts there — and add a link to your blog too. Also talk to other blog owners and carry links of each other’s blogs on your respective ones. This will drive traffic to your blog and also boost your search engine rankings.
Search Engine Optimization
Search for yourself from time to time, and see where you figure on Google, Yahoo or Bing rating; do Search Engine Optimization — these are structured ways you can use to boost your rankings.
Create a brand when you don’t need it
Don’t set out on a branding exercise only when you need to switch jobs or meet any other career goal. For best results, do so when you don’t need it, because opportunities usually come knocking without an appointment and you should make it easier for them to find you.
Using the resources available on the internet gives you a chance to brand yourself and become more visible to the world that matters. Happy Reading; Learn & Grow
My Blessings to you. Shine like a Star in your Career & life I’ll come back with some more interesting write ups.
Avinash K Arvind
(English Sales & Soft Skills)
E-mail ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Skype ID: avinashkumararvind