This month Elaine Code Trainer at Primary International Age "In spirit, 30-something."
How long have you been in training? About 10 years.
How long have you been with your company? One year.
What does your role involve?
Primary International provides travel insurance products and packages for the travel trade and insurance brokers. I’m involved in training travel agents in product knowledge, providing training kits for our clients’ trainers and supervisors and providing in-house IT training.
What is the best thing about your job?
There is plenty of variety and it feels good to be in the position of imparting knowledge.
What is the worst things about the job?
There really aren’t any!
What is your current focus?
Learning our bespoke computer programmes and ensuring everyone has basic skills in Windows, Word and Excel.
Development. Some people are turned off by the word "training", simply because they think it will take time. What many people forget is developing skills saves time and inevitably helps both the individuals and the company. We should all be developing constantly to move forward; we cannot lag behind and stand still.
Are you good at self-development?
I think so. I love learning and gaining knowledge. I never believe in standing still – life is too short to pack everything in, but you have to have a go.
What self-development have you done in the last six months?
Because I use DTP in my work I have been studying graphic design and Photoshop. I am now desperately searching for time to learn more about the various software packages I use.
Where do you want to be in five years time?
Developing training events. In previous jobs I have been involved in organising events for companies such as Virgin Holidays, Golden Wonder and Motorola. I would like to develop training experiences that consist of imparting knowledge, experience, and virtual experience of situations, combined with fun.
What was the most useful course you ever went on?
Holway Associates interested me in the fun element of using a game format in training. It is a great way of ensuring travel agents read a brochure or policy for themselves in a relaxed and informal manner. I also attended a two-day train-the-trainer course by Office Associates – the emphasis was on IT training and the trainers flew in from the States. They were excellent.
What was the worst course you went on?
I tend to remember the good times. I learn something from every course and I honestly cannot remember a "worst" one.
What did you want to do when you left school?
I didn’t really know. My worst subject was maths and I approached three banks for work, all of which said yes!
What was your first job?
I worked in a bank. It was pretty boring and I left to travel around Canada and the US.
What was the best career decision you every made?
Accepting a job with Pegasus Holidays/Saintseal Travel. It was a great company to work for and provided plenty of opportunity to learn new skills and retain my fluent Italian. They also introduced me to long haul travel and I worked as a rep in St Lucia.
What was the worst career decision you ever made?
Spending a year in a job that didn’t offer me any new skills. Most of the time was spent firefighting to avert disasters.
Which of your skills do you most value?
IT. It is the way of the future and without it you cannot survive. Good people skills are important but you mostly gain that from experience and I gained plenty working as a rep/tour leader.
How many minutes is it since someone senior in your organisation said "people are our greatest assets"?
The senior management are very people-oriented here. There is a great atmosphere. We often have nights out together at events such as football, karaoke or bowling.
Evaluation – holy grail or impossible dream?
One strives for holy grail, but sometimes lack of access to the people or time makes it an impossible dream.
How do you think your job will have changed in five years’ time?
Technology never stands still so there will no doubt be more developments on that side.
What do you think the core skills for your job will be in the future?
People skills will always be required for training, plus the ability to keep up with new technology in the workplace.
What advice would you give to someone starting out in training and development?
Always be open and willing to try out new ideas.
If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
Organising events for a charity – I love organising and enjoying the buzz of seeing a successful event, plus it would be good to be able to help a worthy cause.
What is your motto?
Help others and enjoy life.
Describe your management style in three words.
Enthusiastic and lively.
How would you like to be remembered by your colleagues?
As a caring person who contributed to the success of the company.