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Practical Ways to Build Your Confidence: No Need to Fake It!

#becomeanidol #careeerpivot #careerchange #designidentity #education #idolcourses #impostersyndrome #instructionaldesign Aug 18, 2021

When the sixth cohort of IDOL courses Academy started in January 2021, I felt many feelings, none of which were confidence. I was overwhelmed and apprehensive and even excited, but I didn’t yet have the confidence I needed to delve into the major career shift I was about to undergo. I relied heavily on the support of the IDOL mentors and the camaraderie of the other cohort members as I shakily took baby steps towards all things ID, “fake it ‘til you make it” style. Fortunately, confidence is a skill. It can be developed and strengthened and practiced. As I moved through each week of the cohort, my confidence grew and came more naturally. 


Whether you are seeking a major career shift or looking to grow your existing Instructional Design career, your confidence will deeply impact the journey.


I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. When I got the keys to my first classroom and began preparing for my first year with students, I was ecstatic. I was sure that this was my dream job and planned to teach forever. I loved watching my students make connections and witness those moments where something just “clicked”. While I felt equipped with all the best practices and evidence-based strategies that would help students learn, I think any teacher or former teacher can tell you that teaching comes with a steep learning curve. Managing behaviors, balancing limited time and resources while planning and delivering instruction, grading, communicating with parents, the list goes on. 


There is so much more to this job than meets the eye, and while I enjoyed many parts of it, it was clear to me early on that I could not do this job forever.


To be honest, that realization was world-shattering. This job, that seemed as if it were made specifically for me, that I was successful in, was draining me. I knew I wanted, needed, to make a change, but my confidence was crushed. The feelings of disappointment, failure, and even guilt that I experienced over wanting to leave the classroom were difficult to overcome, even paralyzing at some points. Once I committed to transitioning into a career in Instructional Design, finding the confidence to pursue it was one of the biggest challenges I faced. Over time and through practice, I gained confidence and started to believe what was true all along – that I am capable of and qualified for a career in the corporate world. Here are the top five things that helped me gain confidence throughout my journey. 


If you are also looking to make a big career shift, and especially if you want to get into the Instructional Design world, I truly believe that these things can help you gain the confidence you deserve!



I was hesitant to tell people about my decision to leave teaching for the corporate world because #impostersyndrome. I felt that my inexperience in the corporate setting made me unqualified for this change, but here’s the secret: that is a lie! Find some trusted individuals and tell them that you are making a shift. There is something so empowering about speaking your plans into existence that gives life to your journey, and seeing others believe in you will help you believe in yourself. 


  1. Take advantage of the resources that are available to you.

Join the Become an IDOL Facebook group. Listen to success stories on the Become an IDOL podcast. In fact, listen to allllll the ID podcasts. Read a book about Instructional Design. Listening to other Instructional Designers talk about their jobs, describe their processes, and discuss new trends in the field helped me deepen my understanding of the role of an Instructional Designer, as well as gave me ideas for talking points and questions during interviews.


  1. Do something!

Sometimes the best way to learn something new is to simply do it. One of the first pieces of advice Dr. Robin shared with me was to find a volunteer client. Find an organization or a company that you can create something for and get some experience doing this work! You’re probably not going to do it perfectly. But at the end, you’ll have a great experience to talk about during interviews, an asset to put into your portfolio, and the CONFIDENCE that you can do this. 


  1. Speaking of interviews, go ahead and apply for some jobs. 

Seriously. Do it before you feel ready. There’s a really good chance that you already ARE ready! You can research the company and practice your answers to common interview questions, but there is nothing like the confidence that comes from successfully completing an interview.


  1. Join the IDOL courses Academy

If you are set on transitioning into Instructional Design, and especially if you want to make this transition sooner rather than later, the support, resources, and content the Academy provides is invaluable. Investing in the academy streamlined the research I had been doing and helped me confidently jump into action so that I could land a job.


These five actions helped me gain the confidence I needed to transition out of the classroom and into a new role in Instructional Design. I truly believe that they could help you find your confidence as well. 


Now, go out there and CONFIDENTLY crush your goals!


Written By: Rachel Wishon

Rachel is a rising Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer from Indiana. As a former educator, she enjoys finding creative solutions to make learning stick for her learners. When she’s not building new courses or learning the world of Instructional Design, you can find her walking her puppy and catching up with her friends over coffee. Connect with Rachel on Linkedin or check out her evolving portfolio to keep up with her latest projects!