- Posted Friday December 22, 2017
It’s that time of year again already – everyone’s reflecting on past decisions and visualising what they want to achieve in the months ahead. With that in mind, I decided to share a decision that I toyed with for quite a while before finally taking the plunge and deciding to “scratch that itch” - which for me was to try something new professionally.
I felt I was possibly going a bit stale. Whilst I did (and still do) love my job as a Practice Manager, working with fantastic people and being challenged every day, I started to feel like those challenges were essentially variations on a theme. Even though I’ve got plenty of miles on the clock, I still felt I had a lot more to give – that all of the knowledge and experience I’d picked up over the years could possibly be of help to others.
That was why an advert about becoming a freelance associate trainer with Thornfields really caught my eye. At first I convinced myself that stuff like this wasn’t for me – after all, I had no formal training qualifications at all. On reflection though, I started thinking about all of the training I’d delivered as a PM, be that to my team or to colleagues. I knew that they - and I - had really enjoyed the experience and gained a lot from it.
So as is my style I went back and forth over it in my mind, until eventually I decided it was time to either put up or shut up - I contacted Thornfields and began the process of joining them as a freelance training associate. Since then I have not looked back.
Here I am 18 months later, having delivered 41 training workshops on a variety of topics to a whole range of people and I just love it. I really wanted to share the great experiences I’ve had with others who might be in the same position I was – holding back from embarking on a terrific adventure by that nagging voice of self-doubt.
I have got so much out of this role, but the things that immediately spring to mind include:
Increased Self-Confidence – It honestly feels great to know that my experience really can make a difference to others and I’ve proven to myself that I can take on new goals and achieve them too.
I Get Paid – I get a fee for each session I deliver which is a real boon, because as with many other PMs my earnings have been fairly static for a number of years now. The extra cash in my bank account means I can now spoil myself and my family a little bit more.
Enhanced CV – Having experience of delivering formal training on my CV makes me feel like a much more marketable individual! This is especially true because Thornfields are a nationally recognised and award-winning team, something I’m really proud to be a part of.
Improved Perspective – I can fit in as many training sessions as I want, which for me generally ranges from between one to three a month. After delivering numerous sessions to a wide variety of people, I’ve gained a new perspective on how the challenges we face at my own practice are more often than not common issues shared by many others.
Great Ideas – Whilst I may be the trainer, delivering workshops has given me the chance to pick up so many great ideas from delegates! A lot of the insights shared during sessions have actually allowed me to make changes for the better in my own practice.
For me, taking that leap of faith and responding to that advert was one of the best things I have done for myself in some time. I hope that sharing my experiences inspires anyone who wants to show an interest but keeps talking themselves out of it to be bold and make that first step. Don’t overthink it like I did… why not just have a go? Who knows what 2018 could bring…
Thornfields are currently recruiting for new trainers! If you’re in the same position as our Secret Trainer and have any questions you want to ask them, they have kindly agreed to respond to emails sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you want to take the plunge directly, please contact Thornfields directly at email@example.com putting “Associate Trainer” in the subject line for more details.