Ptlls is an immensely valuable course to take even if you don’t want to teach. It can be used as a taster for many other jobs and certainly would not hurt a job application. If you have finished with your course and are not quite convinced about teaching or finding the hours hard to come by here are a few options to think about.
Careers advice and guidance: I know several people working in IAG (information, advice and guidance) who have done Ptlls either to help them get in to that career or whilst they were already in the role. There are additional qualifications needed to be a careers or welfare adviser but there are also entry level positions with training on the side. The actual jobs are a bit thin on the ground at the moment with the recession and Connexions being closed down but the new National Careers Service has opened up and some Connexions work will be absorbed in to local authorities so there is still potential.
The advantage Ptlls gives you here is the knowing how to structure a session, how to set and move someone through their objectives, asking great questions and checking understanding, motivating and inspiring people, those crucial bits of psychology, understanding and overcoming people’s barriers and so much more. You’re also in a really good position to continue training because of all the self reflective learning you’ve been doing and you’re still in tip-top inquisitive condition. The two really bounce off each other as well – after I did my Ptlls I did the NVQ2 IAG and the ideas in that really complimented and built on my Ptlls training.
Youth worker or project worker: This is a really broad field covering everything from after-school clubs to charities to local or national projects. Depending on the role and your own preferences it could include supervision, activity planning, advocacy or casework. Any of which can benefit from the ideas you learnt in Ptlls.
A good way to get an insight in to this kind of work is through volunteering so you will need a bit of lead-in time if you are looking to translate it in to full time employment to gain experience and wait for vacancies to come up. For volunteering opportunities have a look at Do-it.org.uk. You may also have a local volunteering centre or your local National Careers Service or council will be able to point you in the right direction. Regardless of Ptlls it is really rewarding work both for you and your community that everyone will learn a lot from.
Staff training and mentoring: This is what I took Ptlls to do and the difference it made was huge. If you are involved in training new recruits in a business, coaching or mentoring staff Ptlls has a lot to teach you. And having done Ptlls this is definitely an area you should think about. Bigger companies have their own staff development departments or as part of human resources and whilst some may require you to have done the job in question not all do. If you are already in such a company that will be a big advantage in terms of contacts and opportunities. Other companies may operate their staff development on a smaller and more informal scale. There are also lots of companies that offer staff training or you can start your own as a freelancer.
There are lots of resources and books on the subject, I really like The Coaching Manual by Julie Starr. Start by reaching out to people in your company / organisation or external trainers that come in.
Client coaching and consulting: From life coaching to top business consulting and beyond this is another wide field that Ptlls can give you a jump start in to. You’ll probably need to do more reading and research and may want to take some additional courses but none of that is mandatory. This may well be the avenue for you if you have a very specific, technical or sought-after skill that there isn’t much call for evening classes in. There are consulting and coaching firms you can look for work with or you can go it alone and freelance or start your own business. Ptlls gives you an insight in to the process of learning, lots of practical skills on how to deliver sessions and all of that motivation and barriers psychology.
If you’re interested in finding out more there’s The Institute of Consulting and various other sites. There are lots of books on both practicing and getting started – again I’ll recommend The Coaching Manual by Julie Starr and there’s also the very popular Getting Started in Consulting by Alan Weiss.
Private tutor: Private tuition isn’t regulated (which has its upsides and downsides) so you can set up shop as a private tutor just by declaring yourself one. Even though Ptlls deals with post-16 education its lessons are still applicable to those younger or you can stick with young people and adults. This can be anything from English and maths tutoring to A level subjects to more recreational music and languages. Having Ptlls under your belt will give you loads of advantages in planning really effective lessons and progression through your subject. If this tickles your fancy check out the free guide from Tutor Pages – How to become a tutor.
Guides: Be it tour guide or interpretation (museum guide etc) it’s exhausting work but it’s all about education and passion for your subject. Ptlls shows that you understand the process of educating people and will give you loads of inspiration and ideas. It’s something you can do freelance, as part of the local council, for a charity or a huge nationwide organisation like the National Trust or English Heritage and it covers everything in the cultural sector and beyond. Have a look at Blue Badge Guides for the tourist side and the Association for Heritage Interpretation’s What is interpretation? page. Local museums, art galleries, tourist information centres and tourist attractions almost always have volunteer opportunities as well.
As always I recommend the National Careers Service for careers advice and ideas about your future. If anyone has any other ideas or their own experiences to share why not leave a comment?