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My Unexpected Journey (Episode 1): The Trainer Awakes

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This morning I woke up and thought to myself, “What on earth have I done??”

I’ve been with TSG for over 20 years, the last five spent as a Team Leader for TSG’s escalation team, so you could say I’m very much part of the furniture.

Today is my first day in a very different role for the company; replacing our in house Technical Trainer on a two year secondment.

How did this happen? I’m not altogether sure myself…but my intentions were hopefully noble :)

My team are some of the most talented technical support engineers in the country; I absolutely love leading them and working with them. We deal with almost every flavour of IT equipment, from Microsoft to VMware, Cisco to Sophos and much much more.

The escalation team takes over when our support desk has reached the ‘end of its knowledge’, or more in depth work is required.

The ‘end of its knowledge’ is a contentious phrase as most support engineers hate to pass cases across to be escalated. They want to fix the issue themselves, and they love to investigate and resolve problems (that’s not just me preaching by the way – I think we all have that inner geekery where we just want to find the resolution ourselves).

Knowledge is key, whether it be experience gained from years on the support desk, or from the latest training course on the latest release product. And that’s mostly what prompted my decision to move to my new role of TSG’s Technical Training Officer.

Training and mentoring is, rightly so, seen as vital to developing our people at TSG. It’s crucial to help them grow their knowledge, and therefore improve the service we provide to our customers.

My decision to move into the new role wasn’t taken lightly. I see it as the perfect opportunity to pass on my knowledge and help the whole team improve. It will also allow me to develop my own skills, learn the latest products, and then customise the courses to fit in with our environment.

With Windows XP already fallen by the wayside and Windows Server 2003 about to follow, the next new challenge will be Windows 10. And which self-professed geek wouldn’t like a chance to be one of the first to use it!

The journey starts here. I have just over 3 months to be become certified to allow me to teach ‘official’ courses, whilst planning a training schedule relevant to our business requirements.

My first goal is to achieve my Microsoft Certified Trainer Qualification, something I am already making progress on courtesy of the training I received from the last incumbent in the role.

So, although I did wake up this morning thinking ‘What on earth have I done?’ – moving away from my relative comfort zone (although comfort isn’t the first word I’d use to describe the escalations team!) and stepping into a brand new challenge.

But, I firmly believe that you have to scare yourself from time to time, and push yourself to try new things. I can’t wait for this new challenge, and it will give my team the room to develop and fill my shoes (size 10 docs by the way!).

Most importantly, I’ll be able to use my skills and experience to help make the whole team even stronger ready for when I return.

I hope to update you with my progress over those months, and let you know just how I am getting on.

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