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Career progression - strategy or delivery?

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I’m looking for some advice from any other trainers/L&D folk out there. I have been training for 14 years, always within the same organisation. It started as a fairly traditional in-house training delivery role focusing on in-house systems and procedure training as part of a small team - a role that I really enjoy. Since returning from maternity leave 18 months ago my team has effectively been disbanded and my role has changed to involve far less training delivery with more of a focus on strategy, planning, advise etc – of which I have little experience and feel entirely out of my comfort zone.

I feel like my options are either to learn and develop my knowledge and skills around strategy etc to progress my career, or to stick with delivery (which is where my skills/passion definitely lie at the moment) but not have so many progression options.

Is this a reflection of how L&D works in the “outside world”? I have been in this organisation since I was 21 so have little experience elsewhere! I'm reluctant to move away from delivery as I feel that's where by skills lie but feel like I may be limiting my career options both within my organisation beyond and if/when I decide to move on.
Any thoughts welcome!

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By clive boorman
20th Aug 2018 09:37

Great question and hopefully, I can give you some insight. A lot of this depends on what industry you are in and what type of organisation you have. My Organisation is moving more and more towards digital and multi-channel options for our customers and so my team is embracing the next gen Learning and Development blended learning approach.
So, what does that mean? We no longer have trainers that simply deliver courses and we have people that aid learning through blended solutions. That might still be some delivery but it may be many other interventions.
What we try to avoid is over-loading people with information in face to face/class room sessions and have digital and social learning tools that help embed knowledge.
I do believe that you are limiting your career in L & D if you look for a delivery-only role. I would recommend that you try to develop your knowledge of the Next Gen learning approaches so at least you understand what the L & D World is moving towards. Invest a little time in developing your understanding and appreciation of this.
There's lots of articles here on Training Zone but you also find lots of free webinars and events that help you develop your knowledge. Hope that helps.

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By lauriefiddock
30th Aug 2018 12:15

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I think you're right - it's time to take a look at what's going on outside of my little training "bubble". I'm interested in developing a more blended approach and have already booked myself onto a course to learn more - sounds like I'm heading along the right track at least!

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By clive boorman
03rd Sep 2018 08:55

That's a great start. The future of L & D is moving more towards genuine value added activity to the operation. This means new and different skills. You may want to go down the digital design/creation route but if you want to be in a role that is more direct interaction, it's more about having consultation skills. This is more akin to a sales and marketing approach moving away from simply taking an order for 'training' and delivering what you are asked to by the business. For some people, this is a huge change but that is the way it is moving.

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By perspec1
08th Oct 2018 11:11

Go with what you enjoy, I have been enjp0iotying myself for over 30 years! There are roles which benefit from a good grounding in practitioner delivery and I work on the basis that strategic roles are informed by real time experience in delivery so have always continued to deliver in whatever role I have had.

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