Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Working Smarter: Don't be a Gifted Amateur

Many years back I attended a "train-the-trainer" session intended to train me in corporate procedures so I could return to my office and train others. At the time I was a training manager with a decade in Technical and Further Education teaching and degrees in education, training, and business and a diploma of teaching. I considered that I had earned the right to call myself an "expert" in adult education and training, or if not, at least a "specialist".

So it was very difficult to sit through a training session that consisted of 75 PowerPoint slides, each of which had an illegible image of a document page. "Death by PowerPoint" as it's called.

I couldn't believe that a person calling themself a "trainer" was delivering such rubbish under the guise of training. I later found that the so-called trainer was in fact an administrative assistant who had been appointed to a training role without any training qualifications, experience, or skills. Worse, the "training package" had been designed by a consulting firm at an exhorbitant cost. A complete waste of money.

Over the ensuing years, I have met many of these people whom I sarcastically call, "Gifted amateurs" and I've developed a complete aversion to them. Why? Because they are taking money under false pretences.

These days there are plenty of opportunities to learn about almost anything. There are open universities and literally thousands of other accredited training and tertiary organisations.

If you are doing a job for which you are not qualified, don't be a gifted amateur, enrol in a course and learn to do your job well. The knowledge that you have done an exceptionally good job of something is well worth it.


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