Head of Training and Professional Development
00:00:03 I’m Sara P, and I’m Head of Training and Professional Development within FundsNetwork. Day to day really is to decide on the strategy for training our independent financial advisers. What I most enjoy about the job, is the ability to see a change in people. It’s a great, great result to see someone come at the end of a course, or at the end of a programme, that maybe’s taken them six months, and know that they’ve actually achieved something at the end of it, because of your support and your input.
00:00:29 I probably wasn’t a very good student. It just wasn’t an environment that suited me. Maybe I didn’t like the particular school, I don’t know, but it was just something that I wanted to get out, be independent, earn my own money, and I guess you can’t be that independent person at school. I didn’t really think about the qualifications, I probably didn’t work as hard as I should have done, but just wanted to get out and work, and experience life and do – do whatever came along really. So just went and worked in a shop, because it was the first job that came along, so I took it. It was a nice environment to be in, and to be treated like everybody else, I guess. And to be treated like an adult, for a change. Did well, found I could sell, moved into managing the branch at a fairly young age, and then – someone came along to advise me on a pension and I thought, hmm, I can do that.
00:01:14 Found it was something that I was interested in, and it was a skill I could transfer in terms of what I was doing with customers in the store, so that I could transfer that skill into advising clients, and off I went. I worked as an adviser for about – between five and six years, and then realised that if I wanted to move on in the industry, probably what I needed to do was to go and work for a larger company. And to move out of advising, and actually into a more back office role. And that’s when I moved into a training role. And that was quite a challenge, so a new set of skills had to be learnt, a new set of qualifications had to be taken, in order to achieve that role. Gaining qualifications along the way is I guess a must have, and I’ve had to make up for the time that I didn’t take at school to actually do that.
00:02:42 I spent seven years in the Territorial Army, which gave me my physical kicks I guess. Went out to Iraq for six months at the beginning of that conflict. And then when I came back from there after six months away from work, and after seven years in the TA, I thought I probably needed another challenge, in that I’d done ultimately everything I could possibly want to do. So – I tried another uniform I guess. I work as a Special Police Officer, as a Constable, so – and I have done so for about the last three or four years. It’s a challenge to fit it in with work, because you do have to commit to about two hundred hours a year at a minimum, in terms of the police. So I fit it in at weekends, basically. It’s nice to have those – those two sides to your life – where I have a huge amount of control actually, at work, but outside work in my careers, in my hobbies, whether it be through the TA or the police, then I can’t control that. And that gives that spontaneity that I guess I need. Along the way there’s lots of careers I’d have liked to have taken up, that might have been a bit more practical and energetic and physical, but a lot of what I do there I do outside work, so that it enables me to the job that I do now.
00:03:23 You can deal with most situations, and life deals you a lot of different situations, and it’s just a question of thinking it through before you do deal with it. I think I am more resilient with that viewpoint. If I take into account the things that I’ve seen, the things that I’ve done, it makes me view – maybe smaller problems that happen on a day to day basis – in a different way. And it’s helped me put them much more into perspective.
Sara P is Head of Training and Professional Development within FundsNetwork. She went to work in retail straight from school, but decided to try the financial sector after chatting to a pensions advisor. Alongside her full time job, Sara spent 7 years in the Territorial Army, including a 6 month tour in Iraq. She now commits most of her weekends off to being a Special Police Officer.
More information about Vocational and industrial trainers and instructors
The UK average salary is £28,758
There are 37.5 hours in the average working week
The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male
- Assesses training requirements and prepares lectures, demonstrations and study aids;
- Supervises trainee development, assists trainees with difficulties and prepares regular progress reports on each trainee for management;
- Arranges work experience and instructional visits for trainees;
- Plans curriculum and rota of staff duties and updates or amends them in light of developments;
- Advises on training programmes and discusses progress or problems with staff and trainees;
- Devises general and specialised training courses in response to particular needs.
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