Wildlife control operators (WCOs) and pest control operators (PCOs) attend training events to improve their skills and to maintain their licenses.
But as one who has attended many training events both as an attendee and as a presenter, I have a few tips to help attendees make the most of their time.
First, come with an open mind. Sure you may know a lot on a particular subject be it bedbugs or raccoons. Maybe you know more than the person giving the training. But regardless, you should take the time to either refresh your awareness of the fundamentals and you should be open to learning a new techniques because sometimes even the less experienced can offer something of value to the more experienced.
Second, bring a notebook. I am regularly surprised at how rare it is for attendees to bring notebooks. But don’t just bring any notebook, bring a notebook that will become used in the future for reference. I suggest getting a notebook, and using the first few pages as a table of contents. Then regularly add to the material as you attend various meetings. Over time, you can cross reference material so that you can find that bait suggestion for a species you normally don’t deal with. I have done this and found it helpful in reminding of things learned but long-ago forgotten.
Third, bring business cards. I think this is a no-brainer but frequently neglected. Training is about networking not just filling your brain with new knowledge. Sometimes who you know is more important than what you know. Meeting new people, even competitors can be quite helpful in improving your business. Who knows you may need that competitor to help you work on that “monster job” or help you lobby legislators to stop animal rights legislation.
Bottom line. Attending trainings may not be the highlight of your week, but a little preparation can make the experience more informative, profitable and maybe even a little more enjoyable.Stephen M. Vantassel, CWCP, ACE, is the owner of Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. He helps people restore their balance with nature through publishing, training, consulting, and the internet. He has published numerous articles in trade and academic publications along with several books (http://kingsdivinity.academia.edu/StephenMVantassel). He is a sought after speaker and trainer. Copyright All postings are the property of Stephen M. Vantassel and Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC. Text (not images) may be reprinted in non-profit publications provided that the author and website URL is included. If images wish to be used, explicit and written permission must be obtained from Wildlife Control Consultant, LLC.