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    Tuesday
    Nov082016

    Consider Changing Career Lanes

    The regular desk job has become a fairly regular norm for the workforce. Many of us want to escape the humdrum. For those who love driving, there could be the perfect escape route from the 9-5: as a driving instructor.

    Naturally, like all jobs, it does have its advantages and drawbacks. The first, and most obvious advantage is that you can be your own boss with no-one telling you what to do and what hours to work – it really will be up to you – although, obviously, the longer hours you work the more you will be able to earn. While a figure of £30,000 a year is often mentioned this is probably only achievable after a few years’ experience – but you can still make a decent living from day one.

    It’s also a job that’s a great fit if you like meeting new people – the constant stream of new pupils will see to that – and with over 700,000 driving tests being taken each year you won’t be short of custom either. Then there is the satisfaction of the teaching itself and seeing someone go from barely being able to head off without stalling to becoming a safe, proficient driver in the space of a few months.

    What about the disadvantages? While many love self-employment, for others it brings the burden of admin, for example arranging your own tax payments. There are also none of the perks of being an employee like paid holidays and sick pay so if you’re not working, you’re not earning. The hours can be long too, especially if you want to maximise your income and, because you’re fitting round your pupils’ days too, this can mean early starts and late nights.

    Some driving instructors also discover that they may not have exactly the right temperament needed to teach. For example they may be impatient with pupils who take some time to grasp the basics or simply find it boring going over the same lessons with different drivers again and again. Fortunately, this tends to be something that you can discover early on in your career.

    There are also some practicalities to deal with. First you will have to pass the tests to become an approved driving instructor. These come in three parts: a theory, a practical and an instructional ability test. There are a wide number of places that will train you to prepare for these but it is another initial outlay of cash.

     

    Once passed, you’ll need to invest in a car with dual controls, which allow you to take over controls if your new, intrepid students lose confidence and you find yourself in a difficult or dangerous situation. While your car will also be insured for your own driving (it’s a legal requirement after all), you may find this doesn’t cover a lot of the situations you find yourself in on lessons. Reviewing whether you have appropriate driving instructor insurance is essential.

    Finally, how you grow your customer base is the next pressing challenge. Since you’re self-employed, you need to make your own business. Getting your name out there, setting up a website so you can be found, and marketing yourself to a potential audience will you’re your services more visible. Before long you should start to pick up your first pupils and, once established, it’s often word of mouth that brings in more and more custom and helps the business really take off. A lot of this will be because of your quality as a driving instructor, and the relationships you form with your students.

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