After 20+ years of experience in several technical field, I would like to transition into teaching/facilitating soft skills training classes. I was trying to understand what qualifications are most sought after in this field. Anyone can help by adding some below? I am searching if possible for personal experiences from people who work in this field.
Paolo, if you're still out there looking for a response to this question I'd be really interested to understand what exactly you mean by soft skills, and I could then probably help as far as whether you need to get qualifications as such, or whether you just need to think about what skills and knowledge you have and how to offer it.
I work in the field of leadership, but I don't have a specific "leadership" qualification, though I do have qualifications in organisational behaviour and coaching, so it just depends which area you want to work in.
Thanks for your reply. I am trying to move into a full-time training position within my current company teaching what they called here "soft" (or "transferrable") skills. In a nutshell, it might range from project management, to time management, handling complaints, how to sell, etc. Of course, this would hopefully be the first step to justify myself getting some training/qualifications in fields such as "occupational and organizational psychology", "organizational behaviour" and the like. I have bought recently a book that is making me understand exactly what I am looking for, at least from a definition's point of view, since different people call things differently it seems!
I am passionate about transferring knowledge and empowering people to better appreciate their job and what it means for them in terms of personal and professional growth. I guess that's why I got interested in this field.
In my past, I have done some formal training in subjects that might be useful in this sense, such as process improvement, project management, but also time management and probably several others that I might have forgot by now!
My biggest concern is that, it may be difficult to move into a role that would more or less embrace the fields listed below unless I have experience and qualilfications. I hope to be able to get at least some experience through the later move that I am planning but I believe that getting some formal qualifications in the field might also help.
I have an MSc in Management of Information Systems (but with a dissertation about the impact of national cultures in the workplace, which might already help maybe a little) so I was looking at a similar MSc in Organizational Psychology but I am not sure if, at this stage, it would be a bit too much of a commitment? I have been also looking at things such becoming certifiied to deliver MBTI training and other things but I guess I am a bit lost about what I would need to do first?
Does it make any sense?
Paolo makes lots of sense, there are almost too many paths to take. It sounds like a first step internally would be great and would give you the time and space to decide which subject would be best for you to study (yes there are lots of different names for the same thing!).
Not to muddy the waters, but if you're interested in personal and professional growth then you might also want to look into some of the career management courses available, Birkbeck do an MSc in Career counselling and management - http://www.bbk.ac.uk/orgpsych/prospective/postgraduate/career-manag.... Having a qualification is always good for credibility and for your own knowledge and skills and is always a door opener.
There's a bit of a marketing thing to consider here too, which is who do you want to work with (individuals inside organisations, or individuals outside) and if you could pick just one topic that you became super expert in, which one would it be?
You may already have quite a bit of the skills and knowledge that you need so part of it will be "repackaging" you! You might want to start there and then work out what needs to be added?
I think it's so important for people to have passion in this field as that is what makes others engage, so it's great you feel so strongly about this.
Shout if you'd like to spend a bit of time on the phone creating a plan!
Thanks Jo again for your offer and help so far!
I will definitely be free in the afternoon (3-4pm CET time - 2-3pm GMT time). I will make sure I remember to login!
My fault, brake got stuck on a car - boy what a smell!
Monday is great for me, so let's catch up then.
It's great that Jo has responded with help - truly the spirit of AMED. AMED isn't about qualifications, but is about offering sharing and supporting the development of ourselves and others.Thanks Jo.
I think you'll find many of us in AMED have made the same or a similar career journey. It is often a contributory factor in why we joined AMED. In 'technical' specialisms we come to a stage where the answers are less about the technicalities and more about people and people interactions - the 'soft skills' you mentioned.
For example, you mentioned 'time management'. At one level this is a matter of becoming better organised, adopting systems / processes to get the work done. But it requires assertiveness and tact (to say 'No' when necessary) , a very clear focus on what it 'important' - the purpose of the role (so a feel for the culture/ direction of the organisation; leadership etc.) , and something about delegation can help. These are just some examples of the 'people interactions' I mentioned.
I think that being open to different perspectives, learning about how others see or might see things, then reflecting on the impact those different views have on your own area/s of expertise - is a rewarding approach. This way you build on familiar ground - as you did with your dissertation.
My own journey started (many years ago) when I learned that in 'soft skills' - "There are NO right answers".