Interviewing: Why am I Not Making It Past the First Round?

Applying for jobs is exhausting, stressful and soul-destroying. These could have been my words, but instead, they came from Google. Even Google understands every jobseeker’s frustration at spending time on tailored Resumes and Cover Letters to carefully analysed Job Adverts only to be rejected. Repeatedly.

 

 

When I started my job search, I felt confident. I was ready. I had a full portfolio with several assets, I optimised my LinkedIn and I ditched my teacher Resume for a fresh, Instructional Designer CV that I had engineered to specific jobs, following Jay Lash’s method.

 It worked! I was contacted by a few companies who had liked my profile, thought I had potential and were impressed by my experience. I was excited.

As you can guess, I didn’t get any of those jobs. Not only that, I didn’t even make it past the first round of interviews.

I knew I had to change something and that’s when I came across IDOL Academy Member, Niya...

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Surprises During My First ID Job

 Before you get that first job in Instructional Design, you might have a lot of questions and wonder what reality will be like. What skills will I use on the job? What tools will I use the most? What will the role really be like? Will my actual job be close to the job description? Will there be any surprises? I mean, what in the world does an Instructional Designer even DO?!

Of course every job, company, and person will have a different experience. But I will share my own experience so you can get a glimpse into what you might expect in your job from my perspective. For more experiences, check out Gretchen Johanson’s blog post Lessons Learned During My First Big ID Project or check out the IDOL series: Diary of a New IDOL by Kristi and Veronica.

Some things I expected or assumed going into my first Instructional Design job. However, some things surprised me.

 

The Top 3 Things that Surprised Me:

1. You might be the only instructional designer on your team....

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Recap: The Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge

 This has been an exciting week for IDOL courses offering the first free Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge. Over 1400 people joined the challenge. The crowd has been diverse, with teachers, graphic designers, instructional designers, and others who want to jump start their careers in 2021.

As part of the challenge, everyone received a workbook, and every day this week, Robin held a live training session empowering people to take the first steps in creating a hiring manager avatar, identifying their ideal IDOL role, and developing portfolio items for the job hunt. The transition to becoming an instructional designer is a challenge, but it is easier when you are not doing it alone. 

This week has been full of community and working together toward goals, asking questions, and learning more. Strangers formed accountability groups and helped each other on the path to a career in instructional design. This is a significant first step in networking. Networking is an integral part...

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Become an IDOL: Top 5 Podcasts of 2020

 It’s the last day of 2020. What a year, right? Life is full of events creating a wild ride. This year has felt unreal, like it was scripted out of a movie. The year has been challenging in ways many of us would have never imagined. Now we are on the eve of a New Year. 

This is the time most people set goals or resolutions for the next 365 days. I started this year by talking about kicking self-doubt to the curb. I know it is not always easy to overcome your self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Sadly, to say, many of us create self-doubt in our heads, negatively affecting how we perceive ourselves. The Women Talking About Learning Podcast ended the year with an episode on imposter syndrome. Twenty-five industry women talk about imposter syndrome, what it means, the effects, and overcoming it. This was one of my favorite podcasts this year because it shows others ….. guess what, you aren’t alone in your self-doubt. The question is,...

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Starting our Freelance ID Business: 5 Key Takeaways

A few years ago, my wife (Chantel) and I (William) talked about running a business together. Instructional Design and eLearning was a natural choice: we had corporate and not-for-profit teaching experiences, we had transferable skill sets from related fields, and instructional design experience.  Most importantly, we loved helping people learn and grow. But, since the timing wasn’t right, we set the business idea aside.

Then, 2020 hit like a Category 6 hurricane. COVID-19. Massive unemployment. Worldwide lockdowns. I lost my job. My industry, which was heavily dependent on tourism, was gutted. We had a wonderful newborn son and a mortgage. Since we had some savings and my wife had a great job, we had what so many others did not: the luxury of choice. We were incredibly grateful. After prayerfully considering all options, we knew it was time to start the business.

A few months later, we had successfully launched a freelance Instructional Design, Online Learning...

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Diary of a New IDOL: Episode Five--Two Months on the Job

diary of a new idol Dec 14, 2020
 

 

What does your typical day look like? 

This is the number one question I get from people wanting to transition to instructional design. This month we are here to answer that question.


Kristi

Each instructional designer’s day most likely looks different. However, having an idea of what an instructional designer encounters most often can help shed light on what to expect.

 

Kristi

My company works under a “self-directed” policy. All employees are trusted with their positions and to get their work done. Therefore, my schedule is pretty much up to me. As long as I get in 40 hours a week, my boss is very flexible with how and when I get that time done. With that said, I do have team meetings to attend, SME discovery meetings, and one-on-ones with my boss. The discovery meetings with SMEs, while they do depend on the schedule of the SMEs, are scheduled by me so I can decide when I would like to hold those. Other than meetings like this, I schedule my...

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Networking During Webinars

 Want to build your network while attending a webinar?
  • Be prepared to focus!
  • Make the first move!
  • Reach out and connect!

Networking can sound like a nightmare, especially for us introverts. Fortunately, this is one area where 2020 has actually helped us out. With in-person events getting canceled, you can attend conferences, meetings, and professional events from the comfort of your home. 

I’ve been attending several webinars a week, and one unexpected benefit was all the connections I’ve made! The first dozen webinars I attended I simply watched, like I was watching a movie, and did not network in a meaningful way. Don’t be like me! 

Read on to find out how you can use webinars to build your network.

 

BEFORE A WEBINAR

  • Curate your online presence: Google your name and make sure nothing shocking comes up. If your portfolio is published, make sure the link is working. You’ll be sending connection requests, so polish up your LinkedIn....
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The Multiple Personalities of an ID

 What is an Instructional Designer (ID)? I get asked this question often by friends and family that are not in the industry. For fear of boring them with a passionate rant using a lot of industry jargon, I typically respond with the extremely truncated answer – I build training for professionals. 

Those of us in-the-know understand if we posed this question to 100 different people within the Learning and Development industry, we would probably get 100 different answers. Yet, they would all be correct to some degree. This is due to the multiple personalities of an ID. Rather, the many roles we fulfill from project to project. 

The crux for all of those answers would be “Instructional design is the design, development, and delivery of learning experiences. It constructs those experiences in such a way that learners acquire either knowledge or skills,” according to getsynapse.com. “Instructional designers follow various academic theories and...

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Work-Life Balance: Teacher versus ID

          A few years ago I took a leap of faith. I left a decade long career in Education to become an Instructional Designer. Since then, I have been desperately trying to convert my teacher friends as if I found a new religion or something. I am that passionate about what I do. I want them to have what I have – lower stress and a more balanced life.

         Teachers are teaching during their eight hours at the “office.” So where do they fit in the time to plan lessons (A.K.A. design instruction), grade students’ work, make phone calls to parents, and all of the other things for which they are responsible? They do it in the evenings by staying late at the school, taking their work home to do after dinner, or both. They show up early in the morning to prepare the day’s lessons so class can run smoothly.

         Personally, I used to arrive...

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Before You Say YES: Choosing The Best IDOL Role

 One of the great things about the IDOL courses Academy is that you get the tools to land your IDOL role.  There are resources to help you create your portfolio, update your resume and optimize your LinkedIn profile. The job hunt may start off a little slow at first but eventually you will start interviewing for jobs.  

For many of us we want to transition into an instructional design and online learning (IDOL) role because we are passionate about the field. An IDOL role could mean a better overall career including better compensation and work life balance. Once the steady interview requests come in you will start to get excited and possibly overwhelmed. During this process there will be ups and downs and probably a few rejections that can be discouraging.  Sometimes when we get in a down period during the interview process we can get anxious which could lead to us making a hasty decision. Obviously the ultimate goal is to land that IDOL role and join the...

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