No matter what you do in life, there are challenges that you would face in it. Knowing about these challenges can help us be more prepared for facing them. In this post we are looking at the Key challenges faced by trainers, especially freelance trainers
Once upon a time, the profession of a doctor was the most popular one. Every second person we knew wanted to become a doctor. Doctor was succeeded by an Engineer which was then followed by an MBA professional. In recent time, becoming a ‘trainer’ is the new profession.
I speak well, I know my concepts, I attended some workshops, and conducted some others. So, let’s become a trainer!
There are a lot many areas where one can become a trainer; such as:
- Stress Management
- Positive Thinking, Secret
- Facilitation or just
- Train people to become trainer in any of these areas
As in any other profession, this one also comes with
some expectations lots of expectations. Those wanting to become trainers imagine themselves coming out of a BMW, holding conferences in 5 stars, having hundreds of fan like candidates around them, cheering and hooting! But soon after becoming a trainer, reality hits them like a hard rock. This is because before one begins to enjoy the bed of roses, most trainers have to go through the bed of thorns.
Most successful trainers (specially the one’s who conduct train the trainers programs) mention all the positives and give out stories on how they are living a happy, healthy life earning a lac or more per day. But many fail to talk about the journey they experienced from start to today.
So, in this article (based on our experience and interactions with many other trainers), to give you a more realistic picture of the freelance training industry, we are highlighting the Top 10 challenges faced by trainers before and at times even after establishing themselves.
Challenges Faced by Trainers
- Putting yourself out in the market
New in the field, the main problem is to find your candidates. If not getting associated with anybody and working independently, making people aware of the services you provide is a tuff job.
- Setting up a place to hold sessions
Getting your own place to actually conduct the training sessions takes a lot of investment, both financially and emotionally[a1] . It may not be a good idea to use your own house for the same because that way keeping your personal and professional life separate becomes very challenging. Though some people do that and are successful but it is not a very recommended option.Quotes from a trainerI didn’t realize how emotionally draining being a self help trainer will be, in the beginning, listening to all that others are suffering made me want to help them personally; sometimes even out of sessions. It took me some time adjusting to the fact that I am only a trainer and it’s not my responsibility to take care of all of my clients needs outside the session,
- Catering to different populations
Clients come from all castes, colours and genders and the trainer has to be equally accepting to all. There is no room for any discrimination in the classroom and the trainer sometimes fails to make all his clients comfortable. Many a times, pre held stereotypes and biases come into play and the trainer starts acting upon them. For example, one of the interviewee mentioned “Once I had conducted a session with 6 people attending it and all 6 of them belonged to different sub-castes. They refused to interact with one another and eat the same food as the other”.Another trainer mentionedI come from a very orthodox family where certain religions are considered to be ‘impure’. Ironically, my very first client belonged to one of these ‘impure castes’. It was extremely difficult for me in the beginning to forget the beliefs I inculcated since childhood and help my client on an individual level.
- Extras required along with the knowledge of the field
A good trainer is expected to have all the abilities that are associated with a good teacher. These abilities include keeping records systematically, making proper use of stationary and using fair amounts of PPTs. Most trainers get stuck with this aspect of training! They may have the skills to do their job, but other things required to make the job even better, can be taxing.
- Maintaining quality of the session
The trainer should be able to conduct the whole session with a smile on his face. No matter what is going on in his personal life, when in session, the trainer can not show any displeasure. As this is a client centred profession, there is hardly any scope for any error. Trainers do not get second chances and if they lose a client, they lose them forever.The matter being taught should be up to date and presented as interactively as possible.
Trainers sometimes fail in making a connection with their students which might lead to an unhealthy environment in the classroom.
- Decorum of a classroom
Even though this is not a school, basic classroom decorum is still needed to help everything go smoothly. The young trainers might fail to get respect from his students due to lack of adequate amount of strictness. The trainer might even him/herself feel that he/she is too young to correct the older clients.Many a times, the beginners might not be able to handle the questions being put across to him which in turn would show his/her incompetence as a trainer.In the words of one of the trainerI once had another trainer attending the course, there were time when he would try to out do me and make me look foolish. I felt very uncomfortable in the beginning and that bit of the session was not upto the mark. I sailed through it and handled the situation but it was not a pleasant experience.
- Follow up with the clients
Follow up becomes very important because many techniques and processes need to be repeated in order to create a sustainable change. In most cases, participants feel charged up till few days after the workshop but then the motivation fades away. Being in touch with the participants can help them remain focused on outcomes and serves the purpose of a booster; adding credibility to your work. All of this requires a lot of investment, both financially and time wise.
- Imbalance between the work expected and the money paid
Most institutes demand a lot of work from the trainers in exchange of very less pay. There is hardly any scope for promotions in this field and the base salary might not be enough for the monthly expenditures. Conducting training sessions is even more of a gamble for free lance trainers as they do not have a steady income. When the number of clients signing up for the workshop goes up, the income for the trainer does too. However, there is no guarantee that a lot many clients will turn up forever session.
- Setting the cost of the training session
Due to the diverse ages that come in for sessions, setting a base price is a difficult job. The students wish the price to be as low as possible and extremely low prices might make the professionals feel that something in the session is not up to the mark.One of the trainers interviewed recalledThe most difficult bit was trying to decide the amount to charge from the clients. Some want it to be as financially feasible as possible while others want the quality of the session to be above the moon. Meeting at the intersection of money and quality was like crossing the Bermuda Triangle.
- Expectations verses Reality
Most trainers think that they will gather their own niche crowd as soon as they get into the business. They feel that they will be able to cater to all of their competitions by being a part of exclusive group and training only that selected group. However, this hardly ever comes through. In order to meet their ends and to get food to the table, most trainers start taking up whatever work they get, thus delaying their goals.
All said and done, becoming a trainer comes with its own pros and cons. Like any other profession, all it requires is a bit of hard work. For some tips on how to overcome these challenges, check out the article “How to Promote Your Work as a Trainer” in the blogs section at our ICHARS website.