No Pain No Gain: An IDOLs Journey

No Pain No Gain

Learn to accept the pain for the gain when you: 

  • Search your mind
  • Carve out time 
  • Reach out for help 
  • Work out the wrinkles 

 

No Pain No Gain

This old saying implies that gain will only come through pain.

Did you ever . . .

  • Search your mind and soul to find a gain worth the pain?
  • Carve out time in your schedule as a commitment to the gain?
  • Reach out for help when you were stuck and overwhelmed on a gainful journey?
  • Work out the wrinkles when the first attempt failed to gain?

 

Recently, I traveled The Narrows of Utah’s Zion Park. This hike journey rating of “moderately strenuous” did not frighten me. Yet the journey of walking in water and stepping on unknown rocky surfaces did cause some angst.  My instructional design journey presented me with unfamiliar terms and processes. To begin, the kickstart #DoItMessy assignments provided the path of pain to gain.

 

Because of the stunning views, I knew The...

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Harnessing Your Personality Type to Reach Your IDOL Goals

We’ve all been there. You’re trying to get more work done or minimize the amount of time you spend working, so you look at how other people do it, right? You copy them by making lists, using the Pomodoro Technique, working first thing in the morning so you’re not interrupted, etc. And sometimes it works, but a lot of times it doesn’t, and you’re left wondering what’s wrong with you that you can’t get the same results.

Guess what? Nothing’s wrong with you! Everyone is different, and everyone’s work style and needs are different. One thing I have to learn over and over again is to work with, not against my personality and natural tendencies when it comes to being productive. 

So how can you work with your personality type instead of feeling bad that you don’t have a different one? While there are several personality frameworks out there, I’m not going to go into Enneagram types or Myers-Briggs (though if you...

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An Idea Generation Activity for Portfolio Topics

 So you’re burnt out. Decision fatigue is kicking in. Somehow you’re supposed to come up with a topic so you can build something for your portfolio. But all you can think of is K12 teacher stuff. Or maybe you can’t think of anything at all. 

If you’re like some of my mentees, you can’t seem to get out of the teacher's perspective. And I get it. When you’re teaching and creating portfolio items, the desire to kill two birds with one stone is strong.  

But you don’t have to throw out your academic expertise to build something for your portfolio. You just have to shift your perspective a little. After all, a science teacher has a lab safety lesson every year. I’m willing to bet a corporate lab has safety compliance training with similar content.

 

Three Questions to Ask

Remember, instructional design solves problems with learning. So whatever topic you choose, make sure you can provide specific...

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Training: The Employer in L&D

When I began the journey from adult educator to instructional designer, I was merely looking for full-time work. I wanted to continue teaching, helping, learning and growing somehow. I’ve learned more by teaching adults than in doing anything else in my life.

During the pandemic, I went back to school to get a MEd, and I found the IDOL courses Academy. I realized there was much to learn, and that the Academy would help me move in the right direction. It occurred to me that I was undergoing a bit of a career re-calibration. I had many of the skills that I needed to become an IDOL. I’d done graphic design, teaching, curriculum development, and I wrote and published a novel. So I had all of the skills necessary to become and IDOL, didn’t I? Well yes. And no. 

In the last blog I wrote I said Robin and Jay helped me get through several interviews at a job I still work at. Robin warned me that the role, as she was reading the description, was less...

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Using Canva as Your #DoItMessy Website

In 2021, I was a full-time teacher looking for a creative new career for post retirement. I decided instructional design would be a great fit for me! After researching my options, I chose the IDOL courses Academy to help me reach my goals.  

 

The IDOL courses Academy has a jumpstart program called #DoItMessy. It is designed to help you dive in and quickly develop the basic steps towards ID job readiness, and then go back and refine what you have created. One of the steps is building a website for your portfolio. An online portfolio, preferably a website, is part of the art of landing a job in instructional design. Since I was working full-time, I didn’t have the time to learn the ins and outs of website builders.

 

When I began building my web pages on Canva, I discovered that Canva was an easy, quick solution to my website dilemma. I could create my own #DoItMessy temporary website! Here’s how:

...

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Apply the AGES Model

In this Digital Age, we have experienced a paradigm shift in the way we learn as well as consume, and process knowledge. Even if we re-wind a decade from now and look back at how the Learning and Development sector has transformed, we can see a monumental change in the way how learning is designed and delivered and how learners learn and process information. We often come across the new age learning jargon like digital learning, e-learning, asynchronous learning, problem-based learning, gamified learning, blended learning, accessibility in learning, microlearning, mobile learning, adaptive learning, etc. These are not just the jargon; they are today’s reality and need of an hour when it comes to workplace learning or even academic learning. With the advent of advanced technologies like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality, which are currently in their nascent stage in this field of L & D, it is even beyond one’s imagination how...
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The Myth of Ready

I literally got married on my high school graduation date. In the weeks that followed, I found myself in a weird limbo space, like I was playing house and just waiting for the moment when I’d feel like an adult. Seriously, y’all.

Took me a while to decide Adulthood is a myth, to realize we’re all making it up as we go. And it took me even longer to give myself permission to not know, letting myself make it up, to #DoItMessy, maybe even be wrong. 

Perhaps this realization is why it feels odd to me to have mentees. 

I am so proud of them, and I’m honored, truly, that I get to be a part of the journey. 

But I also feel a great responsibility to be forthright in my answers to questions, to be Correct. Some questions I’m fairly certain of. Others I caveat with a “this was my experience as a white, cis woman.”
But each cohort, there is always one question I cannot answer. 

“Am I ready?”

Sometimes...

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Lessons about Visual Design that I Neglected to Follow

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...

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Full Time Employment vs. Contract Positions

 You’ve worked hard to build your portfolio and optimize your resume and LinkedIn profile to show off your instructional design skills and now you’re ready to land your first ID role. 

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...

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Event-Specific Self-Reflection

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...

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