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Training for the Job
Learning Is the Key
Training is a major part of the process of getting from where you were before Wycliffe to where you need to be to do the work of your assignment. There are several categories of training that you as an IT professional may encounter:
- Orientation to Wycliffe: Depending upon your Wycliffe organization, members have some kind of orientation. It may cover the methods, history and purpose of the Wycliffe family and partnership development methods.
- Cross-Cultural Training: The Bible translation effort today brings together working partners from every corner of the globe, representing a diversity of individuals, not to mention those for whom the work is done. Understanding, sensitivity and respect for many cultures are essential components of every Wycliffe member's perspective.
- IT Training: This is typically a self-directed study of topics customized to the needs of each IT member and the specific assignment. An evaluation is done of the member's IT background and specific skills are identified that the assignment requires. A training plan is developed to cover the skill areas that are lacking which might also take the form of an on-the-job apprenticeship. This is particularly true for workers assigned to IT jobs in "field" locations because very few IT professionals have the needed breadth of background (particularly in Wycliffe's linguistic software tools). For example, a network administrator leaving London may well not have experience dealing with solar panel installations, low-tech ISPs and Unicode character keyboard mapping.
- Linguistics Training: An IT worker who would be working in an area requiring a background in linguistics (some kinds of software development, computational linguistics, language application consultant/trainer, etc.) may well need linguistics training. Often in conjunction with universities, Wycliffe runs training schools in the many areas of the world. This training can require a single semester or as long as two years, depending on the job requirements.
- Language Training: Members assigned to "field" locations may need to live and work in a language different from their mother tongue. Consequently, the national and local language may need to be learned. Training time varies and could be at a formal language school or time spent with nationals in specific locations within the country itself.
- Field Training: Field training is designed to help the member (and the family) make the cultural adaptation once they are overseas. The shape it will take will vary, depending on the location of assignment, but every entity requires and provides assistance to new members in learning how to live and thrive in their new environment.
- On-The-Job Training: Many IT jobs in the Wycliffe world, particularly those on the "development" side of the domain (software, websites, training materials, database systems, etc.), require knowledge for which Wycliffe does not provide specific training. The average IT workers assigned to these roles often do not need additional formal training, but learn what they need by simply doing the job. They may be sent to professional training courses at times, as a change in technology occurs.
Some of the above types of training may be required for every Wycliffe member. Training will be a significant time component of the IT missionary's beginning service, and it is important that both the members and their partners understand this.
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