Don’t think about a job in training until you’re over 40

How old are you and where do you work?

I’m a young 50. I work for NCR, a communications and IT company, across all of its Europe, Middle East and Africa division: from Moscow in the north to Johannesburg in the south across to the Middle-East and sometimes even further such as Mumbai (formerly Bombay). I am ‘virtual’, and based at Saffron Walden in Essex.

What does your job involve?

We offer a true blended learning environment so I do everything in a trainer’s job description: training needs analyses, workshop development, creating e-learning courses, delivering training, and coaching and consulting.

What types of courses/events do you organise?

If it isn’t a ‘nuts and bolts’ programme, such as technical learning, then its mine. This includes all soft skills in leadership, management, sales, admin and customer service.

How did you get into training?

I answered a job ad in a national newspaper. So thank-you Ron Coleman – he was managing director of Invicta Training, where my training career started.

What course or programme are you working on now?

Advanced presentation – PowerPoint is forbidden.

How and why did you get into training?

Because of the cliche mid-life crisis. I’d had enough of directly managing people and dealing with directors who couldn’t.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

Only working two days a week but earning twice as much as I do now.

What’s the best training event you have attended?

The very first consultative selling skills workshop that I sat in. It opened my eyes to all the things I’d done wrong for too many years.

And the worst?

Finance for non-financial managers – I fell asleep.

How do you measure the impact of the training you deliver/organise?

Increasingly with all four of Kirkpatrick’s levels, plus the fifth level of return on investment (ROI). Last year, I achieved a very respectable 49:1 ROI on one particular programme.

When you were young what did you want to be?

An actor.

What’s your biggest bugbear in life?

Getting a level of customer service, particularly in hotels, which is below acceptable.

What advice would you give to someone setting out on a career in training/L&D?

Don’t even think about it until you pass 40. You won’t have the depth of experience that a truly great trainer needs. All the great trainers I have seen or worked with have been over 40.

Keith Phillips, learning and development consultant

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