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Become an IDOL 71: Success Story with Barbara Taylor an Internal Promotion

#doitmessy #fortune100company #idolcoursesacademy #idolsuccessstory #instructionaldesign #internalpromotion #learninganddevelopment #podcast #training trainingmanager Dec 02, 2022
Become an IDOL Podcast Episode 71 Barbara Taylor

Guest: Barbara Taylor,  Manager of Training for Talent Acquisition

In this episode, I will be chatting with Barbara Taylor, IDOL alumni from cohort 3. She was able to transform her role within a fortune 100 company through her passion for Learning and Development with the implementation from IDOL courses Academy. She now serves as the training manager for 180 recruiters. Listen in now to hear more details on Barbara’s internal promotional journey.


Listen to this episode below: 

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Let me tell you a little bit about Barbara: 

Barbara has always had an affinity for instructional design and online learning and aspired to succeed in this type of position.  She began working toward her dream of landing a position in the Learning & Development field.  The journey was lengthy, and after receiving her master’s degree in Training and Performance Improvement, she felt that there was something still missing. She discovered IDOL Courses Academy from a peer, and was off and running – never behind became her new mantra and that was the key to her success! She is proud to announce that she recently accepted a newly created position on her team as the Manager of Training for Talent Acquisition – Professional Recruitment for a fortune 100 company! 


Connect with Barbara:  LinkedIn

Enjoy the Episode Transcript below: 

Robin Sargent: I'd love to hear the background before you ever found the IDOL courses to me just kind of like what were you doing? What led you to instructional design?

Barbara Taylor : Awesome. Okay, great. That sounds good. So early on in my career, I've always found that I've had a passion for learning and development, whatever capacity that is, whether it's providing a resource to someone or connecting someone with the right training, and have really had people kind of lean into me for support in that area. Barbara, you're always so resourceful. Can you help us find out how to do this? Or how can we do do something a little bit better. And I started a job several years ago, and found that I was lacking some of the basic training items that I needed to be set up for success. So as I progressed, in my position, I started to develop some of those tools. I didn't know how to call in sick, as simple as that, right? How do I how do I do that? Who do I call? What do I need to know? And realize very quickly, why I can really find this opportunity to add value. I've always had a passion for learning and development. And in doing so, I went back to pursue my formal education, I got my master's degree in training and performance improvement with an emphasis on education. And along in conjunction with that I was able to become the master trainer on my previous team. So I informally developed right with not the expertise probably that I needed to be super successful, but I think just instinctively knew some of the things that were missing and how can I improve for the new team members joining and one of my peers had introduced me to idols, it was brand new hat on the scene. I'm like, boy, I need to check this out. Again, it was early on cohort three and research I found wow, you know what? Robin has the chops, right? I mean, truly a professional she has the expertise, able to fill in the gaps that I was missing through that formal education. So how do I really lift what you're providing, and put it into the workplace and to make it be fast and effective. And not to be so hard on myself? It's okay to be messy when you do it, right. You don't have to you nothing has to be absolutely perfect. And in doing so it progressed my career, I ended up the pandemic hit, being the lead trainer, my team and then moved into a leadership role with another team within my company. I stepped away from the training piece of it but still continued again Never behind in idles continued on to lead that team but still having that training integrated into the day to day so within my pod, I was the responsible for training all the new recruiters coming in, able to give them the tools that they needed through developing those things. And again, using it in conjunction with idols. So I had that on the job really, hey, I need to create this this infographic or job aid. I was able to use idols to develop that to source the crowd to get feedback from all of you which has been absolutely tremendous and such a benefit in order to get the highest quality product out there. And then very recently, I accepted the role of training manager for it. team of 180 recruiters and I absolutely thrilled to jump in with both feet and get started.

Robin Sargent: Oh my gosh. So that I mean, that is an incredible story. I just love how you even stayed in your, in your same company and completely just transform your role, you didn't have to go and apply and go through interviews, they really were just able to watch your growth right before their eyes and say, oh, we need to make a new.

Barbara Taylor : Absolutely. And you know, that's what I love. Nothing's impossible. So I think you know, when you know where your passion is, and where your talent lies, you can begin to create your own position within the company you currently work in.

Robin Sargent: Okay, so we actually know more about your journey, because I just think it's so fascinating. And I just love hearing that your that the never left behind really worked for you. Because sometimes you think, well, if they're never going to be left behind, are they ever gonna finish? Right? And when I hear your stories and other people's stories, like they do eventually, like so many people do. Whatever works for them. And so what is it? Okay, so you enrolled in January 2020? And then what kind of happened? Like, did you come back to it? Did you slowly build that? You take a long hiatus? How did you have that? 

Barbara Taylor:  It was, you know, it was a little bit of all of the above, I think it was the combination. So, you know, I started out strong, and I'm very much a perfectionist. And that's one of the things that really resonated with me, it's okay to do it messy, it doesn't need to be absolutely perfect for you to move forward. And I think initially, that was one of my obstacles I had to be, I had to get to a space that I was okay with that I had to accept that and know that it was okay. And you know what I did it, and it was okay. And it worked for me. So again, I don't think I had as compelling a reason from a work perspective, you know, I was happy with my position, doing what I love to do, it was more complementing the work that I was doing. But then as these opportunities became available to move into that professional manager of training role, I knew that I had to be more serious and to really assert myself with the idols Academy and get the things that I needed to be successful.

Robin Sargent: So, so as soon as all the above is just kind of, you know, as needed, you just log in, did you ever create a portfolio?

Barbara Taylor: I have kind of a portfolio. So this is where this is one of the one of the opportunities, I think I have to better understand and may be helpful for others that could be in a similar situation. So the work that I'm doing for the company that I am with is proprietary information, how do I showcase those items that I've spent so much time developing, in a way that's not impeding the proprietary rights of the company? Or do I just to create additional items percolate?

Robin Sargent: Is that a question for me? 

Barbara Taylor: It is a question I asked myself. And again, I think being able to take the time, so I have some items in my portfolio. But again, it's not populated with all of my examples.

Robin Sargent: So really, it was an internal portfolio, right? Because you got a you got a new role in your same company, you're essentially creating an internal portfolio of material that you had already created for the cup. So they were seeing your work. And that's the whole point of portfolio anyway.

Barbara Taylor: Absolutely. So I do have a portfolio. It's not publicly shared. 

Robin Sargent: Yeah, that makes sense. I was just curious, you know, because there's so many, everybody's journey seems different. And I would imagine, yeah, there seems different from others as well. 

Robin Sargent: There was a little bit of competition.

Barbara Taylor: Yeah, we had to go through an exercise to get there. The initial role I had with the company and my previous team. I wasn't I was crowned in that role. So they're like, No, my God your thing and this is what we want you to do and keep doing what you're doing in the new position. Certain, again, because it's a larger team a little bit more competitive, right. And that I think has changed the face of how we operate as a team giving everybody fair and equal opportunities that positions. It definitely, definitely was a rigorous process.

Robin Sargent: So you're so you're training manager for all these recruits like 150? I think you said, Barbara, encourage anybody that works with you to build this training? Are you on your own?

Barbara Taylor: Right now I'm on my own, but they have given me the autonomy is I need additional team members, I'm able to acquire them. So if I need, right somebody that's, that is an expert in a particular area, I'll be able to hire my own crew. So I'm super excited about that as well.

Robin Sargent: Oh, that is that is pretty excited. And is there another learning and development department in your company? Or did they just kind of just now? 

Barbara Taylor: Yeah, you know what it's, it's because it's it's a fortune 100 company, there are several segments, and they all have different training divisions, but they don't have offshoots of those divisions. So somebody that has the true knowledge and expertise to be able to stand up training. Prior to pandemic, our team was about 45 people. And now we're that 150 plus, so the rate at which we've grown, and the culture of the company, being able to transfer that knowledge is definitely been an opportunity. And I know one of the things that's really frustrating and corporate training is always on the chopping block, right? When things get tough trainings gotta go when you got to pull in our belts, yeah, we can we can hold on training. And we've been able to tell that compelling story of why it's so important and so critical that we have training in place that's specific to the location that I'm working at. 

Robin Sargent: This is so incredible. So what were some of the things that as you were going through your journey to be land your current role? What are some of the things that were really important to you, that you that you learned along the way? Was there any like aha moments or anything like that?

Barbara Taylor: Oh, hundreds of them. So you have to address all the different learning styles, you can't focus on just one learning style. And that really becomes complex. When you have people that are working remotely, they're virtual, they need the tools that they need to be set up for success. And that can't always be in a face to face. Right. So what other ways can we give them the tools to be set up for success?

Robin Sargent : And what kinds of things have you had to build? Did you build elearning? And webinars? Or what kind of places?

Barbara Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. So definitely learning, we are revamping the learning management system to make sure it's accurate, timely, effective, and up to date. I think that's one of the biggest challenges and just that basic onboarding from as simple as day one, you start with the company, this is what your training plan is going to look like the 3060 90 day, do we partner them up with a mentor? Do they have a buddy recruiter that's going to help guide them through what resources are we going to provide? So my leaders, the folks that I report to definitely are not subject matter experts in training and development and learning and development. So this is an education for them as well, in the process of not only being able to get the tools I need to be set up for success for the team, but also to educate those leaders why what we need to do is important how we need to think about it. They're like, Oh, yeah, we'll do a learn to start that next week, right? It's like, no, we need to talk right? We need to talk about this and really understand what is it exactly you want the team what their vision of the team is going to be? And how do we back into that for them? 

Robin Sargent : So what were some of the things that you did? I think this will be interesting to other people who kind of earn other roles in their companies, but would love to kind of move to the learning and development side of the business? Yeah. What were some of the things that you did? Did you just take on projects, like just out of your own initiative, or and I know that you kind of hinted to, also resourceful borrow, like, help us teach us these kinds of things. So were there any things that you did? 

Barbara Taylor: I did, yes. Everything was intentional, for sure. I knew like it fills my cup. They you my coworkers laugh at me, because I'm like, My hobby is learning, like learning and development. I just am so passionate. I'll teach anybody anything, right. I make I make my grandson at home just for fun, right? Being able to do that. But you know, intentionally becoming involved with the onboarding team. So hey, you know, I want to be on the training team. I would love to be able to start there. And that's where it started for me. It kind of evolved from there. It's like oh, we're We're doing it this way. I have this great idea. Could we try this to see if it's going to work? Right and just slowly planted the seeds of what might be effective? How can we do it better? And get getting everybody there more as a consultant? I guess? Yeah, more so than I hate. This is what we need to do, offering the solves for certain gaps, and then having the team recognize, hey, you know what she was right. And I think we need to tap into her again. So those projects kept coming, and just one built upon the next upon the next. And next thing you knew, it's like, we're giving you this position that we've never had before. But we, based on what you've been able to do. 

Robin Sargent: How do you balance the role of being a director for all these recruiters and also volunteering your time for the l&d department for that onboarding project? How do you? How do you balance those things?

Barbara Taylor: Absolutely. So I was very fortunate that it was integrated as part of my position. So it was very seamless in that regard.

Robin Sargent: Okay. And so you had to go through the interview process, you did go through an interview process, and you want to just kind of share what that was like, just to go through an internal interview process?

Barbara Taylor: Yeah, absolutely. So one, you know, talking with my manager, does this make sense? Are you the right person, let's talk a little bit about what your career goals are. So having a clear vision of what you want your future to be, I think it's going to be so important, but not to speak about that. At the time that you're going to apply for position, you need to plant those seeds very early on. So your manager right away from the get go, man, I have a training. And if those opportunities became available, any projects, Hey, I am I am your person, please pick me to be considered for those opportunities, but had to go through I filled out the application for the internal process, and met with the recruiter initially. And she did a preliminary meeting to say, hey, you know, what, is it about this position that that's appealing? And why do you think you'd be the right person for the for the opportunity and shared a little bit about my educational background, talked a lot about idols, and felt that I could really make a difference on the team. Next up was a meeting with two of the senior managers, I had an opportunity to chat with them. And they when you look at our overall training and how we approach it, what are the first things that come to mind? What would be different? And what are the first things you're going to tackle while you're in recruitment? So obviously, any crisis from litigation, right? Is that a legal issue that we need to solve? And do does the team have the resources, they need to be able to efficiently perform their job, I don't need to be digging through a learning management system. And I'm unable to find the tools that I need to be able to do my job, right. So it has to be that balance as well. And then understanding our director is new to the company are not new to the company, but new to her role, but finding out what her vision is, what does she want the team to look like? Right? Do we need to throw out training and start over in certain regards? Do we need to revamp and you know, resuscitate anything, and how we're going to approach it and what that training is going to look like for that. After I met with those senior managers. That's when I was able to introduce my portfolio to them say, Hey, look at all that amazing stuff I did. And I did a proposal, you know, the things that I would do if I were selected for the opportunity. So I had a little 15 Slide PowerPoint presentation to say, hey, this kind of so they could understand how my vision worked, and how I would implement those changes. So you know, it's picking those simple things. First, what we could do quickly, the low hanging fruit as they like to call it, and then what do we need to spend more time on to get the team where they need to be and then ended up meeting with the director, it ended up being between three of us that they had narrowed it down to it took about seven weeks before they decided which was absolutely killing me. It's like somebody just needs to tell me like, what's happening. And when they did offer me the position, they said hands down with a combination of idols with my education and my passion for learning and development. They said absolutely a no brainer when they had to make their decision. And I was absolutely thrilled.

Robin Sargent: Well, that was gonna be one things I asked you like, what was your feedback when they hired you? 

Barbara Taylor: They were like you were the only one that you had a portfolio and a proposal. 

Robin Sargent:  The proposal was like next level that's about a director of training. That's how they show up to an interview. Because you're your manager. That's how they that's that role. And I think that's such an important thing that you took the initiative, you created proposal, you showed up like the boss that they were going to hire you to be. Of course, that's I mean that impresses anybody right? To know that you're going to be able to play somebody in a role, and they're going to hit the ground running. And that's exactly what you demonstrated for them. Oh, my gosh, are what a lot of incredible story. What do you think are your biggest takeaways that you'd like to share with those that are listening? As far as I? Yeah, like your biggest takeaways, and maybe your little your pep talk and the your journey took? Yeah, I mean, your full journey for the, you know, the permanent role that you're in right now took you a couple years. So what would you what would you tell people? 

Barbara Taylor: To never give up. And know that in life you're never behind. Right? So not only that's, that's a phrase that definitely are a quote, I guess, that has never left me, you're never behind. And it's okay. If it takes time. Anything that's worth it is going to take time, you've enrolled in idols for a reason, you have a passion for learning and development, and never lose sight of that passion, you'll get there. And it might be in the simplest ways, maybe it's volunteering for a project at work. Maybe it's volunteering at a school for your kids, or a nonprofit. I know one of the things that you shared and do it messy, find that you know, find that nonprofit, to be able to help and to be able to create for it's so rewarding from a personal but also what you're able to give back to the community as well. Knowing if you are effective, how incredible that feels when you're able to do that for somebody else. But never give up. If it takes two years, five years. It's okay.

Robin Sargent: Oh my gosh, the persistence and belief and just love of learning that you have already just like given all the fields today, I just love that you came and shared your story. And I I just am so happy for you. So congratulations.

Barbara Taylor: Thanks so much. I am I am thrilled to be part of that part of the idols community. 

Robin Sargent: Thank you again, Barbara. Appreciate you. 


Thank you so much for reading the show notes for this episode.  If you enjoyed this episode, you may like:

Episode 66: IDOL Success story with Laura Wilcez

Blog Post with Marilyn Day: Ways to Overcome Perfectionism

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We have a wonderful and friendly community of expert and novice IDOLs in the Become an IDOL Facebook Group. We would love to have you join us in the group or chat with IDOL courses on of our social media channels.  any of our social media channels.