Training is my second career. People meet me during workshops ask me how I got started, some have a passion to be a trainer too. I do find that people are in need of this information, they can have a new career; it can make a difference. That’s what I want to share!
I had been working as a corporate salesperson in a multi-national company. Ten years ago, I was in the media, selling advertising sales on channels. I used to read all kinds of inspiring self-development and spirituality books and attend self-development workshops.
As I was reading and going through them, my perspective on life was shifting to a less materialistic approach. I saw that when you have a balanced life, knowing your inner self, knowing who you are, it affects the way you behave in the outside world; the results you get and the relationships in your life. You are able to attract like-minded people and like-energy people attract one another.
During a Reiki workshop, one of my friends suggested that I attend the Landmark Forum. I went there and found it very insightful. I had some very deep inquiries about life; it made me think a lot, be with myself and address these inquiries that were not very easy to address.
It made me look at my life in a way I had not done before, it was truly transforming in nature.
What are the areas in life that are not complete, what are the strengths and some of the potential that is not coming out?
This program started a journey of self-realization, to create success that I had not really dared to think about and cemented my belief that I don’t have to be born with everything I need in life (money for example); I can create it by being bold, unreasonable and sharing the possibility of myself. I can learn to be authentic in my inauthenticity and to admit my fears, and connect at a human level.
I went through the Landmark programs for a long time. I had started being able to ask introspective questions where the answers were not easy but very deep.
One question was, what’s the purpose of my life? I really enjoyed the work I did, had a good salary, good perks, a conference abroad every year felt financially pretty good; a little more than my needs were being met.
But that question I asked, what’s my purpose?
If I keep doing corporate sales I thought, I could ask a question on the day I died, am I feeling absolutely fulfilled? The answer is no.
I had some other talents and creative ideas that I was not able to find expression in the corporate job I was doing. I asked myself, how do people live courageously, live in confidence, skill and competence? I think that in my current job I did not have the opportunity to support this.
So I started exploring what’s the purpose of my life?
A few things were very clear for me. I had done voluntary work and I knew that this was an area of self-expression. When I attended workshops, I saw that the person who led the workshop was truly making a difference. I felt like that would be a powerful place to be. I started researching a lot, reading newspapers and magazines and found inspiring stories of people who had left corporate jobs and gone to the social sector.
In 2005 decided to leave the sales job and go into the social sector and find the answer to the purpose of life. I was looking for somewhere I could truly make a difference.
I worked with NGO’s for 2 years. I had some wonderful experiences that I would never have had in my former life. One that stands out was when I had to interview a child who had killed someone. I met him in a juvenile home and I found that he was such a normal child. Someone had snatched his radio and ran away with it. When this boy got near him (chasing him) he picked up a stone and hit him. That blow happened to kill him. This child was labeled for life as a murderer yet he was a normal human being. These were the kinds of interactions you don’t normally have.
However, in those 2 years I realized that a career in the social sector did not suit my standard of living. I felt that there was satisfaction and fulfillment but I also needed to get rewarded so I could maintain the standard of living I had gotten used to.
It dawned on me that working on human potential was the purpose of my life. My longing to find an answer was resolved and I was at peace with myself. It is a journey to create from nothing, the possibility that I have invented for myself. It doesn’t matter whether there is money or not, this is where I need to be.
I started asking how should I start in Training and Development? I began by meeting people who worked in training and then did the certification on the ‘Magic of Making Training Fun.’
I got my first job in an insurance company as a training officer. I was delivering training programs and as I was about to complete one year I realized that I was not satisfied by technical training but more interested in behavioral skills programs.
I joined another training company as the Sales & Marketing Manager and got some additional training experience. Then the recession hit so there was very little training to deliver.
Later I worked in training education. I had to travel a lot, and with an aging mother at home, and I am the only child it became very difficult. I decided to leave that company to reduce the travel.
That’s when I began free lancing as an independent facilitator/trainer. I worked with training vendors, clients and have done some work with NGOs and educational organizations. My journey has deepened into areas of more creativity, more empathy. I’ve been learning about coaching; skills like listening, observation, and being able to ask good questions. This is a further journey of self-awareness as I follow the path of coach certification.
Being a free- lancer has created a lot of ups and downs in my financial situation, there has been a lot of uncertainty. It is not a very comfortable position but still believe in the value I can offer
You have to be there, you have to face your fears, to feel the butterflies in your stomach.
The feedback I get makes me believe that I add huge value in the lives of the people who experience my workshops. If I create a possibility and stand in that possibility I will be an excellent trainer and coach.
– Mrunal Lamge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org