“Do I make the move?”

Staying put and “playing it safe” gets you nowhere, but leaving your secured (but life-draining) job and becoming a trainer is a huge risk. What should you do? It is BIG decision for you to make a career switch from an industry executive or specialist to an industry corporate trainer especially with all the uncertainty it brings - both financially and emotionally - to your family and yourself. Many individuals talk themselves out of it, but only momentarily, as the certainty of corporate grind and the dullness of it catches up eventually. Eventually you come to a crossroad for such a decision.

Staying put and “playing it safe” gets you nowhere, but leaving your secured (but life-draining) job and becoming a trainer is a huge risk. What should you do?

 

It is BIG decision for you to make a career switch from an industry executive or specialist to an industry corporate trainer especially with all the uncertainty it brings - both financially and emotionally - to your family and yourself. Many individuals talk themselves out of it, but only momentarily, as the certainty of corporate grind and the dullness of it catches up eventually. Eventually you come to a crossroad for such a decision.

 

There are many successful trainers that we hear today about their momentous decision to leave their old stifling workplace and join the corporate training industry. There are also a fair share of them we don’t hear about, who return to their former positions, battered, after failing to carve a space for themselves in this industry. There are also others that take a more progressive route to establishing stable career as a corporate trainer - a stable path to potential success, but also a slower route.

 

Life as a trainer is an exciting one. But building a training business, as a self-employed or freelance trainer, or under a training company, is a challenging task. With this article, I hope to give you the necessary insights to help you think of how to make your first move.

 

Imagine you are certain about making such a career switch. What would you do?

 

Make the Move

  1. Quit job - “Time and tide waits for no man.”
    There is not a moment to lose. Collect severance package and open a new chapter in your life. Surely, the thought of beginning again in a different environment is an invigorating breath of fresh air. New challenges, new career objectives, new people, and new life purpose.
    Upon leaving, you may tell your boss about your plans, or not. It depends on whether you expect his/her support and if you trust that he or she doesn’t make a mockery of your decision. What is more important is to figure a way to tell your family. It would be great if they had known in advance, but in any case, their support is important.

  2. Apply as trainer
    Look at what certifications are required for providing corporate training and apply for courses and examinations. Meanwhile, also look out for certifications and skills that are valuable in the training industry. There are seasonal trends for courses and programs that are desired by dominant industries, and so being able to deliver those skills can be we rewarding.
    At the same time, consider your passion: If money isn’t an issue, what is one thing you would like to teach others about?

  3. Apply as a freelance or full time trainer Or become a self-employed
    Either way, you have to establish and grow a client list so that you get paid, or recognised as a valuable asset by your training company. As a self-employed trainers, you may have to network, do door to door sales, market yourself, and even do pro-bono session to build up credibility.
    Develop your program by adapting your knowledge and experiences from your old employment and source for employees that can help you carry out your program. You will also need to find manpower for your human resource, IT and logistical needs. These are all important business skills that you will have to adopt, as a self-employed individual.

  4. Finally, collect your very own check from your client. The reward of your hard work and risk-taking has paid off. This paycheck is for you to sustain your family, yourself and your business. Spend it wisely.

 

Stay in the same place

  1. Stay in your job, for now.
    Put in the extra hours to plan for your move. Figure out your personal finances and put aside emergency funds. Then plan for your business or next career. No doubt you will be exhausted, you will be unfocused and this is a longer route, but this new found purpose is sufficient to sustain you.

  2. Leverage on your company’s network
    While it may be against your company policy and unethical to solicit under your company’s name, nobody is stopping you from building good connections - personal ones - through trust and genuine concern. These are the connections that you can depend on after you’ve decided to venture out on your own. Show bosses of other companies that you are capable and dependable. This impression serve you well when you are making sales pitches about your service later.

  3. Build good relationships internally
    Headhunt for good employees that have potential in working with you in the future because dedicated and purpose-driven employees are too difficult to find. You may decided to share with your boss if he or she is open to employees moving on to start new businesses of their own - find out how your colleagues have reacted to employees that have done the same in the past. Have they been supportive? Or does they secretly hate them and wish them the worst?
    Finally, talk to HR personnels about the company’s plans and about their ambitions for the company. Is there something that they want to do for the company that may be unannounced yet? Are there possible tenders and contracts that you can seize? In any case, it is good to know every member in the HR department, as it will facilitate your sales process, and determine the likihood of securing that contract with your “ex-”employer.

  4. Get educated
    Look out for company training programs that you can go for. Most companies offer use education and reskilling credits for programs that you can participate in. This will give you the skills that you need in the future and provide some savings for yourself.

 

Whether you decide to take the big leaps or little hops depends on your individual circumstances. Some individuals find it easier to start anew, while others prefer the progressive path. Not everyone are risk-takers, but either way, it starts with making the decision and necessary arrangements for such a transition. I hope that this article has given you some food-for-thought.
 

You are not alone in this journey.

 

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