In the time of recession, the media has been awash with negative and depressing stories about the UK job market. A recent study found the that, for each graduate job advertised, there are typically around 70 applicants. The reductions in the public sector have resulted in a lot of people who have transferable skills are seeking new jobs. Naturally, people decide to change careers all the time, however, there is a significant rise in people changing jobs that require management, training or other people-based skills behind their backs driving instructor blacktown. The training to become a driving instructor is a popular choice for a lot of these professionals since the ability to instruct people on new skills and also have good interpersonal skills are crucial to the job.
Flexible working hours, high earnings potential, and constant satisfaction with work are the main advantages of this job. What exactly is it like? We spoke with Leigh Honeyman of RED Driving School located in Wallington close to Croydon to find out what's involved when switching professions and becoming a driving instructor.
So Leigh What did you do prior to becoming driving instructors?
"Before joining RED I was in the Army for 13 years. I joined an Army Cadets Unit when I was in school and then when I was 17 I joined the British Army where I worked as a Heavy Weapons Instructor."
Being a driving instructor following having been a Heavy Weapons Instructor is certainly an adjustment! What were the major differences when teaching people to drive as opposed to teaching people how to use anti-tank missiles?
"The difference in attitude; soldiers in the army learn because they have to learn, in some cases their lives depend on it. When you teach people to drive they want to learn but sometimes they aren't as focused as soldiers so you have to be a bit more patient."
Your career change may have been somewhat unusual Do you think those with backgrounds different from yours might be able to become driving instructors?
"Certainly, anyone with a background in any sort of teaching would be well prepared for it. To a certain extent anyone with kids should be able to do it as they spend a lot of time teaching their children!"
Would you suggest that soldiers who are contemplating leaving the army to be driving instructors?
"I would, particularly if they have an instructor background like me. The results in this job are sometimes a lot more rewarding than meeting your goals in the army. I know it's a cliche, but when you teach someone to drive you really are passing on a life skill. In the Army things are changing all the time so something you teach someone today might not be any use in a few years time."
What was your experience in training as you learned towards becoming an instructor?
"Training with RED was great; they provide a lot of support if you struggle with anything. I found certain aspects of the course difficult but they provided extra sessions and teaching, which obviously paid off as I made it! I think its one of those things where you get out what you put in. If you work hard and put in a lot of effort you will be successful. If you don't work hard you're probably going to struggle."
Many people believe they'll struggle with training because they feel it difficult to master new skills, especially learning to teach. Do you think that the education you received will prepare the majority of individuals?
"To a certain extent, you can't just turn up and expect to be a driving instructor by the end of it. The more you put into it the more you will get out of it; you've got to work hard to do well. I grabbed the bull by the horns and gave it my all, it certainly paid off. Essentially if you want it then the support you need is there as long as you apply yourself."
Leigh's experience shows that being a driving instructor can be extremely rewarding. Leigh's story shows that with the right amount of determination and hard work , you can get great outcomes as a driving instructor regardless of your education or prior careers.