To be honest, I’ve always been the type of person that has cast a glance over professional training and thought – not really my thing. The truth is, I just never really thought that spending a day listening to someone talk about your job and develop your skills would ever be anything that would benefit me, and being the sceptic that I am I just figured “I’m never going to learn anything from this anyway.”
Well I’ve never been the kind of person that’s afraid to admit when I am wrong – and to be honest when it comes to professional training courses I was. After five minutes with a professional trainer I realised that I had been missing out some of the most basic skills that I thought I had learnt years ago – and that my job could be made a great deal easier by simply employing practical techniques and embracing the benefits that modern technology can really offer me.
And to be honest, the catered lunch wasn’t too bad either… well, except for the distinct lack of cake.
You see sometimes in life you have to go back to basics to really appreciate your role and I think that many of us can fall victim of trying to be too advanced in what we are doing that we forget the simple things that can turn a good piece of writing into a great piece of writing.
I’m thinking: time management, punctuation and grammar, planning, research… all of the extras that really have the ability to shape your content and make it punchy rather than making it just another piece of writing on the page.
You see after eight hours of having these techniques drilled into my mind, they stuck, and I realised that while we are so consumed with using modern techniques and initiatives, we often forget the basics of best practice and that simple is often the best basis on which to build a professional piece of writing.
So – how can I really get the most out of a professional course?
I think the key concepts that you have to understand about any type of professional course is that you are only going to get out of it what you actually put into it, you have to go in with a completely open mind and you have to be prepared to learn.
And of course you are going to be going over some stuff you already know, if you didn’t know anything on the course already then it would be concerning – perhaps you are actually in the wrong course? Courses are designed to build on your existing skills and teach you something new, if you don’t have experience as a copywriter then an eight hour training course isn’t going to make you one overnight.
Network, network, network…
… at the end of the day you can use these types of courses as a great opportunity to get to know other people who do your roles and even put yourself out there a bit. You can meet like-minded people and who knows, you might even score yourself a job.
I’m always disappointed when I see people sitting around at their lunch desks tapping away on their laptop or just playing away on their phone – at the end of the day it’s only eight hours of your life, so get out and get involved! You never know who you might meet or what you might learn, and in this industry making a name for yourself is a great way to grow and develop and eventually land yourself that dream job.