Skills Advice Needed

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redfox

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29 May 2016
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It has been great to read all the posts on the forum so far and I have already gained so much insight into the industry which is fab! So, thanks!

My issue is this - I recently applied for my first trainee driver vacancy with a TOC - unfortunately I was unsuccessful at the application stage.

The TOC was kind enough to provide some feedback (well, because they made an error during the recruitment process) - it was stated that my application was very well written and structured with lots of promise but I needed to show more 'operational skills' transferable to the job of train driving on my application.

I admit that my current career as a primary school teacher is not 'operational' in this sense. However, I am committed and willing to learn - how can I gain these operational skills - would I need to change jobs and professions in order to gain exposure and experience of the skills needed - or are there any voluntary organisation or activities that I could undertake to gain these 'operational' transferable skills???

Does anyone have any ideas?? Any help is appreciated!

BTW, I was also informed that they receive virtually no applications from teachers .... but should this matter?? How can I up-skill in order to make my application stand out on the operational side??

Thanks in advance!
 
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Johncleesefan

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Joined
4 Sep 2013
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726
It has been great to read all the posts on the forum so far and I have already gained so much insight into the industry which is fab! So, thanks!

My issue is this - I recently applied for my first trainee driver vacancy with a TOC - unfortunately I was unsuccessful at the application stage.

The TOC was kind enough to provide some feedback (well, because they made an error during the recruitment process) - it was stated that my application was very well written and structured with lots of promise but I needed to show more 'operational skills' transferable to the job of train driving on my application.

I admit that my current career as a primary school teacher is not 'operational' in this sense. However, I am committed and willing to learn - how can I gain these operational skills - would I need to change jobs and professions in order to gain exposure and experience of the skills needed - or are there any voluntary organisation or activities that I could undertake to gain these 'operational' transferable skills???

Does anyone have any ideas?? Any help is appreciated!

BTW, I was also informed that they receive virtually no applications from teachers .... but should this matter?? How can I up-skill in order to make my application stand out on the operational side??

Thanks in advance!

Hello and welcome.

First of all, you have what was my other dream job growing up haha.
I wouldn't recommend changing professions to get a drivers job unless of course you wanted to anyway.
Think of any similarities between your job now and a drivers job.
Ie. You communicate and interact with confidence in front of a group. Communication is one of the railways favorite things so explore that in detail. Also the leadership and delegation in your job can relate to railway emergency situation scenarios. You must have tasks coming out of your ears at times as a teacher so prioritizing and identifying the most important tasks can be related.

Do some research into a day in the life of a driver (google it) and really pull it apart and look for the similarities even if you think they're not relevent, sometimes they can be key.

When I had my first interview I managed a local cafe and used this method and it worked for me.

Hope this helps and feel free to pm me when you have 5 posts on here.
 

Economist

Member
Joined
24 Feb 2013
Messages
389
Have a think about volunteering your time as a Special Constable or with St John's Ambulance. You could even become a First Aider at work. Wouldn't jack in the day job for anything other than train driving if driving is your ambition.

Out of interest, how did you get feedback from them? Usually they can be a bit reluctant to provide any unless you make it to an assessment, even then, not all are forthcoming.
 

redfox

New Member
Joined
29 May 2016
Messages
2
Thank you for this feedback!

First of all, you have what was my other dream job growing up haha.
I wouldn't recommend changing professions to get a drivers job unless of course you wanted to anyway.

I think that you chose the correct career path. Hehe! I do want to change professions desperately. I have been in teaching for 8 years now and I have had enough. Not sure if you have heard on the news or through the newspapers but there is currently an exodus of people leaving the profession due to a steep decline in working terms and conditions, the rise of the private sector in education and the most significant part for me, a lack of respect for the profession coupled with a huge increase in workload.

The workload issue really affects me as I never feel relaxed! Whether I am at school or at home, I feel I should be working, whether this be marking/planning or resourcing. I am willing to take a dip in pay for the short term in order to get away from this!

What attracts me to train driving is the fact of clocking in and out (although I know it is not always as simple as this), but the fact remains that my time at home is for the most part, my time!! I don't mind unsociable hours, weekend working or shift patterns which of course I don't do at present. I am willing to start as a conductor too, but of course, these jobs seem to be scarce as well.

I have come to the point where I am quitting full time teaching at the end of this year in any event. The reason for this is the fact that I have to give at least 3 months notice period if I wanted to leave the job, at this can only be done at the end of a term (Christmas, Easter or the Summer). This makes it difficult to make applications. I am going to do supply work (of which, due to a shortage of teachers, there is plenty) and with this I can leave when I want if a job came up.

I will also have more time with supply teaching to undertake voluntary work perhaps with St. John's ambulance or the police (if this will help my application). I will not have the commitments of a class and all the duties this entails. The income will be less, but I have saved to compensate so this should not be a problem.

Would any of you recommend going for a conductor or guard role first?

Also, I was given feedback by the TOC because I raised the issue that I had been rejected initially based upon a field on the application form that I had not filled in but which was not mandatory. I had been 'sifted' out because of this but they agreed to look at my application again when I raised the issue and they came back with this feedback (whether they fully considered it as when they looked at it the second time, the closing date and sifting had passed, is questionable but as I stated, they came back with this feedback).

Any other ideas welcome....thanks!
 

Johncleesefan

Member
Joined
4 Sep 2013
Messages
726
Thank you for this feedback!



I think that you chose the correct career path. Hehe! I do want to change professions desperately. I have been in teaching for 8 years now and I have had enough. Not sure if you have heard on the news or through the newspapers but there is currently an exodus of people leaving the profession due to a steep decline in working terms and conditions, the rise of the private sector in education and the most significant part for me, a lack of respect for the profession coupled with a huge increase in workload.

The workload issue really affects me as I never feel relaxed! Whether I am at school or at home, I feel I should be working, whether this be marking/planning or resourcing. I am willing to take a dip in pay for the short term in order to get away from this!

What attracts me to train driving is the fact of clocking in and out (although I know it is not always as simple as this), but the fact remains that my time at home is for the most part, my time!! I don't mind unsociable hours, weekend working or shift patterns which of course I don't do at present. I am willing to start as a conductor too, but of course, these jobs seem to be scarce as well.

I have come to the point where I am quitting full time teaching at the end of this year in any event. The reason for this is the fact that I have to give at least 3 months notice period if I wanted to leave the job, at this can only be done at the end of a term (Christmas, Easter or the Summer). This makes it difficult to make applications. I am going to do supply work (of which, due to a shortage of teachers, there is plenty) and with this I can leave when I want if a job came up.

I will also have more time with supply teaching to undertake voluntary work perhaps with St. John's ambulance or the police (if this will help my application). I will not have the commitments of a class and all the duties this entails. The income will be less, but I have saved to compensate so this should not be a problem.

Would any of you recommend going for a conductor or guard role first?

Also, I was given feedback by the TOC because I raised the issue that I had been rejected initially based upon a field on the application form that I had not filled in but which was not mandatory. I had been 'sifted' out because of this but they agreed to look at my application again when I raised the issue and they came back with this feedback (whether they fully considered it as when they looked at it the second time, the closing date and sifting had passed, is questionable but as I stated, they came back with this feedback).

Any other ideas welcome....thanks!

Definitely with the work management in my job I agree, when your days up it really is and you can go home in home mode. I do still revise every now and again as not long qualified and like to brush up but that's my choice. It's a shame to hear about the industry, they seem to have taken a battering lately from what I read in the news. If your serious about train driving and willing to relocate I'd apply for any job in the country to increase your chances. As for other roles no harm in applying for them at your local station and seeing how u feel when it comes to it. Hope this helps
 
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