Training and organizational development jobs are one of the most sought after careers in modern business, and there’s no wonder. Given the new training models being pioneered based off of Schorn’s 90s research, and the constant need for rapid and perpetual training in an ever quickly changing world of technology and industry, and you have a very viable and crucial market for training guidance. There is no shame in capitalizing on this, as the jobs must be filled, and the need is very real and unavoidable.
The question is, do you have the skills it takes to properly work in one of the training and organizational development jobs that are so vital to the business world? Like with any important and involved craft, there are many innate and learned skills that one must have before even entering into the training and preparation for such a career. A certain type of person is ideal for this kind of field, while others may not be. This is just how it is.
So, what kind of skills should someone have, be they learned or intrinsic, in order to work in this complex but rewarding field? Well there are a lot of them, but let’s stick to the larger, more general and key things here.
First, a collected, calculative mind is a must. Strategy and forethought are vital when it comes to training or organizational development. A mind for figures, logistics and assessment are absolutely mandatory. Training needs assessment is one of the most important tasks to undertake, so that one knows what training is needed where, and to even spot when training is needed at all. Furthermore, planning out a strategy for applying training requires this cool and collected way of thinking too.
Second, people skills are absolutely paramount. At a recent European event, senior L&D professionals from around the globe argued that they are first and foremost “people people”. Understanding the human dynamic and how people interact, perceive the world around them will enable you to approach people and present information and criticism in a way they can process. This is also important for guiding team efforts and understanding how to play to personality traits and flaws to get the best result out of training. This also lends to needs assessment as well.
Third, leadership skills are really important. As a training professional, you will be a leader during the learning and the early practical application of this learning. You must be an unwavering and reliable foundation to which the employees can look when they are unsure or feel challenged. Without a strong, confident leader, the whole affair is doomed from the start.
Finally, an understanding of the nature of corporate culture and business sociodynamics is really necessary. Training and new ideas that go against the grain of a corporate culture or corporate philosophy may be unavoidable, but there is something to understanding how to bend both to meet half way. Otherwise, it just won’t take.
It goes without saying that other virtues such as patience, empathy and understanding are necessary in a job like this. One also must have a love for learning and a love for teaching, because learners will either pick up on your enthusiasm, or be hindered directly by the lack thereof. These are just some of the many skills you must to be suited for training and organizational development jobs, but they’re the most obvious and severe.