A question I get asked a lot from freelance trainers who are thinking of working as an associate is ‘What’s a ‘good’ training company to work for?’. In fact it came up just recently again on one of my Webcasts.
There are so many training companies out there and when you first approach them it can be difficult to know for sure if they will be a reliable source of work or if you will be treated right! I had a couple of bad experiences myself in my first year, mainly due to companies not paying travel expenses even though they had promised to do so beforehand.
Generally I’ve found that the small training companies are better to work for than the large ones. They tend to have less trainers on their books and so you are able to build up a much better and closer relationship with them. You can end up feeling like you are really part of their team and organisation rather than a nameless associate – it can help to replace that sense of teamwork that you inevitably lose when you go out on your own as a freelance trainer. In my experience and those of other freelance trainers I know, smaller training companies tend to pay more too. Whether it’s the fact that they have less overheads or the fact that they value their relationship with their trainers more I’m not sure, but it does seem to be true.
If you want to work for any training company as an associate always remember that it’s a two way relationship. It’s just as important for you to decide if you want to work for them as it is for them to decide if they want to hire you. Here are some key questions you should ask:
1. What’s the daily rate?
2. Do you pay travel expenses?
3. How many days work can your provide? is it likely to be on a regular or ad-hoc basis?
4. Do you have to design as well as deliver? Are you paid for design? At the same rate?
5. What is the recruitment process? Are you paid for attending any Train the Trainer programmes?
It’s really important that you find out the answers to these kinds of questions at the earliest opportunity, even before you commit yourself to a face-to-face meeting. The answers sometimes may not be what you want to hear but it could save you time and money in the long run.