Training sessions: How can I make the most out of them?

If you have been invited to training courses, you need to make sure you take the most from them so that you benefit further in the long term. However, with many of them being so mind-numbingly boring, you will need to put in the extra work in yourself to get the most value from them.

Before the course

When choosing what course is right for you, you need to identify the gaps in your own skillset, rather than what looks the most entertaining. Your main focus should be on what you will get out of the course rather than how riveting it will be when you are doing it. Base where your gaps may be on recent feedback or on an appraisal. What determines what course you pick may also depend on the credentials of the person giving it or if it has received any positive reviews in the past.

Once you have chosen the training, make sure you put some time aside to prepare for it as you will go in more focused. The training description will give you an idea of what will be covered so you may need to do some preparatory reading beforehand to get a wider picture. Other important information you will need to find out is if you need to take anything and how you will get to the session.

The course

During the training, it is one thing to listen and another to actively take it all in. A  good way to ensure this is to take notes; not necessarily everything the speaker says but the main points. The point of this will not be to remember everything which was said, as you will probably receive a handout at the end, but it is more to absorb important stuff in. Whatever topic is talked about, always ask yourself the question: how will this relate to my job? These are the thoughts that should be dotted down.

Do not be afraid to ask questions. Know that for everything you are wondering, there are probably other people thinking the same thing, so be sure you understand everything. The only way you will look stupid is if you just nod your head without a clue.

As part of the session, there will be lunch or coffee breaks, so use this time to talk to your fellow trainees. By asking how they are planning to use the course, this could inspire you to view the training in a new light. If this is not the case, they may either become a new contact or just a nice way to pass the day.

After the course

Once you have left the training room, your learning should not end there. As soon as you go back to work, you should actively implement what you have learnt, while also re-reading the handout and reviewing your notes on a regular basis. If it is easier for you, make a plan for how you will embed the training into your everyday working life with your manager.

After a while, review back on your work and see if the training has changed anything. If not, you may need to change your plan of action.

Berkeley Scott provides specialist advice and support to help you find hospitality jobs.

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