Are you there Job? It’s me, Amanda: Are you a good student?

Posted on June 8, 2011


Amanda Gunter

Sometimes when you start a new job you luck out and get an awesome trainer.

Most of the time you’re not so lucky. I’m going to talk about the other 90% of the time when you get a terrible trainer.

The reason most companies have terrible trainers is because when a company hits tough times the first department to get the ax is the training team. Additionally companies think they can leverage their rock star employees to do their new employee training… Boy are they wrong.

I just started a temp job a little over a week ago and although I believe in the “baptism by fire” approach to almost any new task I take on, I haven’t really been able to do that because my teacher has not only been holding me back from learning new tasks but her communication style leaves a lot to be desired…

For example, here’s a tiny bit of conversation we had today during my “training”:

ME: “So, if you double click here it takes you into the screen where you can modify the data, right?”

TRAINER PAM: “Well, no, you don’t want to click there, but if you click here [where I said to click] it will take you into he edit screen.”

It’s frustrating but I’m so thrilled to be back in an office environment that I can suck it up. Additionally Pam is one of the sweetest people on the planet and from watching her work, I know she’s awesome at her job. With these things in mind I decided I needed to take matters into my own hands.

Over the past week that I’ve worked at the office I’ve gone through the gambit of emotions from Oh my god I’m never going to get this!!! to This is awesome! I totally get this!! and realized that I need to figure Pam out quick, otherwise I’m going to get the ax, just like their training team before me.

Since having this epiphany conversations like the one above don’t confuse me like they used to. I realized right away that I was right, but somehow in Pam’s head she had to explain it her way because that’s what made sense to her.

Although I’m the student, that doesn’t mean I can’t try harder. I’ve had terrible teachers before Pam and I’ll have terrible teachers after Pam and unfortunately in this economy you’d be hard pressed to find a company that does have a dedicated training team so students, you’d better bring you’re a game to your next job training.

Around May of 2010 after a dramatic rise in the ranks at her previous company Amanda realized that although she was good at her job, it wasn’t necessarily a good fit. Scoffing at the safety net her job provided, she quit in November 2010 and moved to North Carolina to chase her dream in the Tar Heel State. That was when the cold hand of reality slapped her across the face and she came to the realize just how little she knew about finding a fulfilling career. Armed with nothing more than a bad resume and the internet, Amanda tackled every resource she could get her hands on to wrangle her career search into submission. She’s not there yet, but everyday is closer than the day before. 

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