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Be a Phoenix Not a Pigeon: The Superpower of Transitioning

 

“Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cheshire Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
Alice: I don't much care where.
The Cheshire Cat: Then it doesn't much matter which way you go.
Alice: ...So long as I get somewhere.
The Cheshire Cat: Oh, you're sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.”
Lewis Caroll: Alice in Wonderland

 

Ever wondered why and how transitioning to another field widens your perspective and changes the way you set your future goals? How might the skill of transitioning help you in other fields of your life? Let’s look at the superpower of transitioning to another field or career switching from a skills perspective. 

My journey as an instructional designer started in early 2021, when I enrolled in the IDOL Courses Academy. When I completed the eight-week program and transitioned from higher education to instructional design, I did not have a clue how it would transform...

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Mentor Reflections: 5 Lessons from my First Year as an IDOL Mentor

Career transitions can be scary. Sometimes you just need someone to guide you who’s been there, done that. I’ve made the career transition. I transitioned from teaching into instructional design. I can still remember all the feelings associated with a huge professional change - both good and bad. That’s why I can really speak to the importance of having someone in your corner to guide and support you while you walk down a new unfamiliar professional path. That’s where a mentor comes in.

 

In the IDOL courses Academy, the IDOL Mentor has a unique and vital role in the growth of the mentees in their group. IDOL Mentors are IDOL courses Academy Alumni who have achieved their IDOL goals and are now giving back by mentoring a group of aspiring Instructional Designers. Once a new cohort begins, mentees choose which IDOL Mentor is the right fit for them. They are encouraged to attend that mentor’s sessions throughout the cohort. 

 

IDOL...

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You Have Permission: To Make a Major Career Shift

For as long as I can remember I knew I would be a teacher. As the oldest in my family, I’ve always felt like that teacher trait was embedded into my DNA. Teaching came so naturally to me, and I loved it! No one was surprised when I pursued a degree in education after high school. Three months after I received my degree, I walked into my first year of teaching with the confidence of a twenty-year veteran. I felt unstoppable. 

Then, reality hit. I realized that there is more to teaching than you can see on the surface.The physical, mental, and emotional toll teaching takes on a person is tough. In a lot of ways, it felt like the deck was stacked against me before I ever started. It became clear early on that this job was not the forever career I had planned.

What followed was the process of changing my mindset, determining a new career path, and transitioning out of teaching. I had built my identity around my job as a teacher. It was who I was. It impacted the ways I...

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Do It Anyway: Crossing a Line

Hello. Let me introduce myself and imagine. I’m 41 and starting a new career path. I have no name, no title, just I’m 41 and changing careers. It seems like such a mountain to climb and everything I’ve known up to this point is now changing. If you’re reading this, maybe you are in the same boat. Plans are put on hold, and now every free moment is dedicated to this new thing in my life. If you think about it, it is sort of like coming home with a newborn baby. And the anxiety of doing everything right and needing to know everything all at once! It can be overwhelming. But, do you stop parenting? Heck no! You do it anyway because you love that drooly, little, big-eyed creature!

To give you an idea of what it is like to be 41 and changing careers, here I am sitting in my teeny tiny chair that feels like it is made for a small child. It’s uncomfortable but I’m here! The room is big and cold and full of space. The space is filled with content,...

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Netflix and Build, An Untapped Source for Portfolio Topics

Uncategorized Feb 10, 2022

In Season 2, Episode 2 “Stress Relief” of The Office, we watch Dwight Schrute heat up the door handles, break the locks, and start a small fire because “Powerpoint is boring. People learn in all kinds of ways, but experience is the best teacher.”

 

I happened to be rewatching this show during my first cohort with IDOL courses Academy when a lightbulb hit. 

Dwight is attempting instructional design! Albeit, poorly. Traumatizing employees to get a point across is far from best practice. 

But my lightbulb moment didn’t stop there. So many sitcoms about workplaces are filled with topics one could use for a portfolio build!

Take The IT Crowd, a British comedy about an IT department. A running joke in the show is that they always answer the phone in the same way:

 

A very rough Google search tells me that an IT Specialist in the US makes $20.45 an hour. If they have to answer at least ten phone calls daily and all of them start...

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Doing it Messy - An IDOL Mentor’s First Portfolio

It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others, especially in new situations like the first week in the IDOL courses Academy. People can discourage it all they want. But when you haven’t found your personal mile markers, it’s far easier to look at someone else’s map.  

Here’s my current portfolio

Two years of polish and I still feel like it needs work. Just the other day someone pointed out a typo in my About section. But even with imperfections (that I see!), I'm proud of it and grateful I worked so hard to build it up.  

 

But if this is your first cohort, you’d be comparing yourself to the wrong map.

And that’s what I told my mentees this week. 

Here is my first portfolio

After eight weeks and one badge, this is what I had to show for it. 

This is how I got my first remote ID job.

It needs so much polish—and a facelift—but I am proud of Mandy 2020. 

 

I was in...

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Adding a Little Bit of Spice: Preparing for an ID Job Interview as Non-Native English Speaker

  • I do not know.
  • I am not sure.
  • My English is not good enough.

Any of these sounds familiar to you as a non-native English speaker? You might have the double burden of imposterism.

The idea of a job hunt was a scary and blurred future event back in March 2021, when I graduated from the IDOL Courses Academy® sixth cohort. I couldn’t start the application process right after the cohort ended, but when I started the job search process eight months later in November, I began by reading all the related materials in the IDOL Courses Academy® Interview section, starting with Jay Lash’s The Resume Game. I deep dived into instructional design blogs, journals, the Become an IDOL® Podcast, and the latest research and best practices, such as the Learner Engagement Summit organized and facilitated by Anna Sabramowicz, in the field. I got hooked on Janette Wilcken’s The Job Search Journey on IDOL Blogs, in which she shares three practices that she found helpful...

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MOVE! Or You Will Be Moved

 “Life will only change when you become more committed to your dreams than you are your comfort zone”  - Billy Cox

Get UP! Move!

Move from what?

- Move from that comfort zone!  Because you know what you need to do to move forward, but you're scared and only doing just enough to get by when you can be doing something extraordinary to reach on to the High!  You hear what I’m sayin! MOVE YOURSELF!  I know right now jumping into it  you’re scared, you’re afraid, you can’t see the outcome, your mind is telling you ‘what if I can’t’… I get it.  But once you jump into it, you create an experience that can take you farther than you could even imagine.  I’m telling you… You Have to MOVE, You Have to GET IT because if not then somebody else will and that’s...your... Opportunity...TAKE IT, EMBRACE IT, CREATE IT AND GO GET IT!

 

Testimony of a Former...

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Volunteering: ID Experience Through Non-profits

Most people trying to break into the field of Instructional Design know that having a portfolio is essential. A portfolio helps you showcase your design skills, how you put together a learning solution and, if you have a good case study, it can help you demonstrate how you solve problems. 

However, building a portfolio without an actual client is challenging. In her blog post, Kristi Oliva talks about how she built a portfolio without an actual client, and members of the IDOL course Academy are urged to get a volunteer client as part of the DoItMessy Challenge. If you don’t know where to start, you can get some ideas from this video on how to get a volunteer client for your portfolio projects.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t get a volunteer client. That’s mainly because I’m from an older cohort where this idea wasn’t pushed yet. Instead, I focused on perfecting my portfolio only to realise that it wasn’t enough for the hiring...

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PEP TALK: Failing Forward to Help Achieve Your IDOL Dreams

 

Trying to take a drink from a fire hose. 

That is how I felt when I first joined the IDOL courses Academy

The content was coming at me so fast and furious, it was hard to keep up. But if there is one thing I have learned over the last three cohorts of being an IDOL, the only way to learn is to dig in just like learning anything else. 

After spending years in public education, I find myself having to practice what I preached. I used to encourage the #doitmessy way before I knew it as a hashtag. When I coached student reporters on how to write journalistically, I would encourage them to write down whatever was going through their minds and accept that it would be their worst version. Because the beauty of learning isn’t in the first draft, it is in all the editing and iterations that follow.

 

FEEDBACK FEELS LIKE AN F-WORD

Although I have experience encouraging learners through their worst versions of their work, it doesn’t stop my...

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