“Ahh, Mandy, I have a recruiter call tomorrow. What do I do!?”
At least once per cohort, I get this message from IDOL courses Academy mentees. Newness can be scary, and I remember how uncertain I felt when recruiters started reaching out for the first time.
Here are some general guidelines that may help.
The First Call
The first call may feel informal, and the recruiter may come across as really friendly. But don’t mistake this tone to mean that you’re not being evaluated on some level. It is an interview. You want to be prepared.
In the first call, they tend to ask some of the basic questions:
As a freelance artist who has studied and produced art for years, I thought visual design would come naturally to me and yet it was the one thing I neglected in instructional design. In fact, when it came to visual design in the courses I created, I failed, miserably. The reason is simple. I didn’t pay attention to it. I was solely focused on instructional design principles, content, and assessments. I am embarrassed to admit that I didn’t even realize that I was neglecting something so important until someone pointed it out to me. I mean who neglects CRAP (contrast, repetition, alignment, proximity) and doesn’t even know it?! Surely not me… I joke.
I decided that I was going to have to go back to my roots. As an artist, when I got stuck, I turned to the works of artists I admired such as Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Francisco Clemente and Elizabeth Murray. Their work inspired me and gave me new ideas. This time, I turned to magazines and...
As you look through job postings on LinkedIn or other job boards, you begin seeing two types of roles. Many job listings are for full time positions and others are short term contracts. You see contract durations ranging from 3 months to several years. Some others may say contract to hire. You aren’t sure what this means exactly, but you’re beginning to wonder if you should give these jobs a shot or stick to full time positions.
I’m going to be honest, I was where you are after completing the IDOL courses Academy’s 6th cohort in spring 2021. I made the decision (without any research) to dismiss contracts because I wanted stability, health insurance, and a W2 position. I only applied and networked for full time positions and I was able to secure...
In my current role, I’m developing a solution that’s event-specific. The event happens every year, but every year they may need to leverage the event differently.
The problem I’ve always run into with annual asks like this is that I tend to forget the process until it comes up again, which wouldn’t be an obstacle if the process were exactly the same year after year. But the hope is our learners will build on their learning each time the event happens and deepen their practice.
So how do you get learners to remember something that happened a year ago?
My answer: You don’t.
Like myself, a lot of my family and friends are neurodivergent. Asking many of us to remember learning from a year ago is a big ask, and I assume it’s likely a big ask for neurotypical people too.
Instead of hoping people will just remember, build self-reflection mechanisms into the workflow.
Since my build is event-specific and the event happens...
“Wait, Churches use Instructional Design? But how?”
I remember when I 1st begin to volunteer with the church, I walked in thinking the office staff would be at their desk with Bibles open talking theology and praying for people when they called. I remember thinking the pastor and board members would be in a room voting on new leadership and responsibilities. Boy was I wrong! So here is a little breakdown of how the local church uses the ADDIE process to accomplish its “business” goals?
In my 1st week, the staff was meeting about the 1st community job fair the church was hosting. Because of the magnitude of the project, it was important to have all our ducks in a row, from the participants to the employees, to the volunteers…everyone needed to know what their responsibilities were. So in a planning room, with a whiteboard of information about who is in the community (leaner analysis), and the goal of the event as it...
Within the first few minutes, I determined my classmates didn’t know how to read. I clearly meant for this line to be said with anger, another one with relief. The discussion after the reading (me still silent) showed me they had all misread my theme and empathized with the wrong characters.
Seeing me become increasingly frustrated, the professor brought the discussion to a close: “How well can the Work live without you, Mandy? As a playwright, you create the blueprint. But you can’t follow your work everywhere, making sure everyone interprets it correctly. The Work must live the way you intended without you. If you’re upset by the results of today, you have more work to do.”
I imagine what Professor Hood put me through...
I have hundreds of resumes that I’ve written, overhauled, and tailored over the years. So, revising my resume for a career shift isn’t entirely new to me. However, this time I’ve been able to do it with the support of a community. That has been a game-changer.
I’m a scrappy person (“resourceful,” as Dr. Robin exclaimed) who’s used to sifting through the internet in order to gather reputable sources of information and strong exemplars to emulate and use as inspiration. Thankfully, the learning and development community is full of people like me, and many of them embrace a cooperative, give-and-receive ethos. So, I didn’t have to rely solely on my scrappiness for my latest resume overhaul.
First, I went through the lessons and resume-related resources within the IDOL courses Academy. Then I took that draft to my peers in the Academy. Having founded an accountability group, consistently contributed to it, and built...
Starting something new is scary. When I start something new, I’m afraid I’ll fail. Worse, I’m afraid people will know I failed. So why bother? Some don’t. Some let their fear take control and prevent them from taking action. But for those of us who persist, we have to let go of perfectionism to take the first step.
There’s a misconception that recovering perfectionists like myself have, that the first draft we create must come out perfectly. Of course we know that’s not the case. My favorite Simpsons writer, John Swartzwelder, said he wrote “crap jokes” for his quick first drafts, all 59 of them! Every finished project started somewhere messy: TV, movies, books, apps, and yes, elearning courses.
The IDOL courses Academy Do It Messy challenge is built on taking action: Create an asset, receive feedback, implement feedback, and repeat the cycle until there’s a polished result. This was exactly what I...
IDOL courses Academy has a nonlinear curriculum, which means that the steps and speed of learning are up to the learner. The nonlinear curriculum works well with adult learners who usually take responsibility for their learning and like to be involved in their learning process. It also goes deeper than just that. If adults own their own learning, their learning will be more effective.
Learning from a nonlinear curriculum can be scary for those of us used to learning from a linear one. In a linear curriculum, there are strict steps and timing for each of the learning phases. You can’t skip steps without losing content. You could try, but the chances are high you’d have to go back and complete the missing part...
IDOL courses Academy has taught me much more than instructional design--and I’m not talking about anything found in the modules.