Taking The Piss
One of my current bugbears is the trend in professional workshops and seminars. I see it over and over again in my particular area of business (film and television post-production), but it probably exists in every industry shop.
I have paid for my fair share of these courses in the past and am happy to do so in the future. There's nothing wrong with getting skilled-up, whether you're looking to move up the career ladder or embarking on a new career. However, the seemingly casual way in which organisations spring up to prey on those who have more money than sense (as well as those who have more sense than money) doesn't seem right. New entrants to the film and television industry, it seems, are not only expected to work for free but also to shell out money from second and third jobs on 'industry training' that will get them recognised.
It's great that industry professionals are willing to share the secrets of their successes and failures. Thankfully, they are usually engaging people on a personal level and are able to give real insight into their field. One of the best training methods there is, is to do it and get it wrong. Obviously that won't go down so well if you're a heart surgeon but, more widely, we need a 'less training, more doing' kind of attitude. It just feels as though training is a circus cycle aimed at keeping the restless and temporarily jobless docile and hungry. A sweet stick rather than a hard carrot.