Life before training


I’m talking about my work life here, and before I became a trainer, I can honestly say that work was hell.

Before I go any further, I just want to establish one fact:  I disagree with the whole concept of work as something that we have to do to earn money, pay bills, and be a ‘productive member of society.’  I have no problem with work itself.  I garden; I help my spouse renovate the house; I’m writing a novel.  That’s all hard work and I don’t shy away from it.  I just don’t like the necessity of selling the better part of my life so I can live the rest of it the way I want.  It’s a devil’s bargain.

When I was young, it was retail, after school and on weekends.  In university, it was seasonal, contract jobs.  Now I can’t say that I hated all the jobs that I had.  I enjoyed working in the library, working as a student counsellor, helping students write resumes and find job placements, I enjoyed the pet stores I worked in, and the veterinary clinic.  Retail and food service, not so much.  Being a security guard was the worst, despite the canine companion.

I enjoyed some of the things I got to do, like designing Web pages (in the old type-it-out-in-Wordpad days) and desktop publishing.  I liked filming and editing horse shows.  I was good at teaching, but aside from the subject matter, I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the rest of it.

The problem was that until I started working for my current employer in 2001, all of my jobs were short-term, with no future.  I was always worried where my next pay cheque would come from.  Plans were out of the question.  I ended up on Employment Insurance. Twice.

So I got my first real job … in a call centre.  Six and a half years and varied, frantic applications for internal job postings later, I became an adjudicator.  While a vast improvement over my previous position, it was still a job, something I did to pay the bills.  A year and a half later, I was successful in another competition and obtained my current job.

I started off monitoring new trainees but soon had my first experience as a corporate trainer.  I liked it!  I immersed myself in my job and tried to do my very best.  Soon, I was rewarded with further opportunities for certification, new toys with which to deliver training (SMART Board) and the means of developing a collaborative work platform for my virtual team (SharePoint).

From there, I dove into the world of free Webinars on various aspects of learning, course design, and training delivery; I started writing courses, creating videos, and designing in SharePoint.  I became a social learner, a mutant learner, and, as I’ve dubbed myself, a learning mutt.  It was my day-job that brought me to the world of social media, platform-building, and this blog.

I’m now well on my way to becoming a certified trainer through my employer’s program, I’ve taken courses on curriculum design and project management.  I’m about to become one of a group of trainers who will be delivering a newly developed business writing course.

I’m having as much fun now as I did in university and everything that I’m learning feeds my creative soul.

I still don’t like working, but if I didn’t have to work, I might still choose to be a trainer and course designer.

Go figure …

Have you found, or lucked into, a job you like?  Are you still searching?  Share your journey!

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