ID Bookshelf Part 1: Start With These

If you’re like me about a year ago, trying to learn about Instructional Design as a career, I’d bet that you have dozens of windows open on your laptop, computer, or phone, all presenting exciting information, but taking you on a detour.

 If you then decided to focus your search and dive deeper, you might have selected some podcasts or Youtube channels to follow. You might have even enrolled in the IDOL courses Academy to guide you through your journey. 

And then when you get a bit more confident, you want to read books to really feel knowledgeable. 

 I am with you. I was there. 

I used to solely read fiction; I loved stories about unusual characters and different cultures. I still do. But when I started transitioning into Instructional Design from teaching, I went on a Non-Fiction binge.

If you ever googled “Instructional Design books”, you have come across lists of 10, 20, 40+ books, each of which could take weeks to finish when ...

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Interviewing: Land Your Dream Role with these 5 Tips

I don't know about you, but once I felt like my resume and portfolio were ready to share with the corporate instructional design world I knew my next step was to start applying for jobs.  This is the part that scared me the most.  I knew the time I spent learning in the IDOL courses Academy had given me the tools to build a strong portfolio and transition my teaching resume to instructional design.  If your resume and portfolio are not quite where you want them to be, check out these two great resources before jumping into your first interview.  IDOL Resume Writing Guide and Build Your Online Portfolio are helpful if you are looking for a jumpstart. 

I also felt confident in my ability to perform my instructional design skills once hired as an instructional designer in the corporate space.  The problem was that I hadn’t interviewed in over 8 years and that was for a teaching position.  I knew I needed to prepare for my...

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Diving In to the ID Culture

 Prior to January 25, 2021, I planned for a substitute teacher for my seventh grade English classes (which any teacher knows is no small task), so that I could spend the day getting a strong start on my new IDOL Courses journey as a member of the sixth cohort. I was ready to do this! However, in the following days and weeks, attempting to juggle my teacher workload with IDOL modules and creating assets seemed impossible. It was easy to feel overwhelmed and paralyzed by my lack of knowledge and experience. I definitely wrestled with “perfection paralysis”, as validated so beautifully by Tabatha Dragonberry in her blog article from April 2, 2021.

I felt like a clumsy, awkward teenager trying to learn a new dance, a new style, and even a new language. I was attempting to blend in with a new culture, but in looking around, realized how much I still needed to learn before I could become a genuine part of this IDOL culture.

It was not long before I discovered...

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Set Yourself up for Success: 5 action steps to take before IDOL courses Academy begins!

 

When IDOL courses Academy began this past January, I was very pregnant. In fact, my daughter was due during the second week of the course. Becoming an IDOL was something that I wanted badly, but I wasn’t sure that I would be able to meet my goals with a new baby and a two-year-old at home. I burn grilled cheese three of every five times I make it. How could I balance two children and the Academy? 

 

Desperate to get a head start, I emailed Dr. Robin Sargent before the cohort began and asked her if there was anything that I could do. She replied with some great tips and reassured me that, “there is no behind in the Academy!” Because of her guidance, I was able to start IDOL courses Academy feeling confident and ahead. My daughter was born a little early (the second day of my IDOL cohort!) but I was ready for the challenge. 

 

Here are a couple of Dr. Robin’s tips, and a few of my own, for setting yourself up for success. 

...

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Perfection Paralysis

 Many people strive to be perfect. Social norms push people to have this belief that we are less than if everything isn't perfect. Trying to reach perfection can be paralyzing, and most of the time, we do nothing.

Do you know what perfection paralysis is?

A defense mechanism. It protects you from being seen as less than or not seen as entirely perfect. Feelings are complex, and perfectionism paralysis could be similar to the fear of rejection. Don't expect to win the first prize trophy the first time you do something. Practice doesn't make you perfect. Practice makes you better. Better than you were the first day you started. The work you produce the first year you are an instructional designer will probably be a little embarrassing the fifth year in your career (keep a copy to compare). This is called growth, and it's the best part of life.

Perfectionism paralysis comes in many forms for instructional designers:

  1. Primarily the Inability to start
  2. Fear of putting your work...
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Spill The Tax Tea To New ID Contractors & Freelancers

 Few of us ever test our powers of deduction, except when filling out an income tax form. ~ Laurence J. Peter

Currently, it’s Tax Season 2021. During this time of the year, some are ecstatic to anticipate a nice tax refund, while others dread paying a balance due to the IRS. Nonetheless, most people will prepare and file their annual income tax returns by the traditional due date of April 15. However, if you are new to instructional design (ID) and you are an independent contractor or freelancer, there are several important things you must consider when filing your income tax this year. Let me “spill some tax tea'' to you.

As previously shared on this Become an IDOL podcast, during my transitional period of becoming an IDOL, I worked as a tax professional for one of the major tax prep companies (and I still do as a side hustle...shhhhh!). When I filed my tax return recently, even with the increased earned income thanks to my current ID contractual job I gained...

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Am I Doing This Right?: IDOL Lessons Learned

 Hindsight is 20/20. Coincidentally 2020, is the year I decided to pivot and fully immerse myself into a career transition in instructional design. I joined IDOL Academy in September 2020. This wasn’t my first trip down the “what else can I possibly do with my career experience and education background” road. Years ago, I started an expensive certification course, which I enjoyed, but I had an opportunity to join a new school, develop a new program, and get paid more so I had to put that on hold. The new opportunity also brought out the same issues I’ve had with my career that made me want to jump ship the first time: burnout, limited career growth, feeling undervalued, and siloed in my classroom. Why did I do this? 

Starting IDOL courses Academy was the best decision I made to start my career transition journey. But it has not been the most of smooth ride for me. Working full time, parenting full time, and squeezing in the IDOL coursework is not...

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The Importance of Accountability Groups & Peer Review

Accountability is the glue that bonds commitment with results. ~ Will Craig

Starting out in instructional design a person may feel overwhelmed and lost. But there are secret weapons you can employ to help you reach your goal: Accountability Groups & Peer Review.

I was part of the the IDOL courses Academy's 4th cohort (June 2020). While I received lots of support and encouragement from the IDOL courses community and my peers, I would have not made much progress without my IDOL accountability group. They were divinely-sent as we all journeyed together to become IDOLs. They became a part of my success and I was to theirs. Even now, we still remain in contact with each other regularly. 

So, I want to share four benefits I’ve gained from being a part of an accountability group in the IDOL courses Academy:

1. Similar Starting Point - My IDOL accountability group consists of myself and four other ladies from different parts of the country. We all had little to no...

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Surprises During My First ID Job

 Before you get that first job in Instructional Design, you might have a lot of questions and wonder what reality will be like. What skills will I use on the job? What tools will I use the most? What will the role really be like? Will my actual job be close to the job description? Will there be any surprises? I mean, what in the world does an Instructional Designer even DO?!

Of course every job, company, and person will have a different experience. But I will share my own experience so you can get a glimpse into what you might expect in your job from my perspective. For more experiences, check out Gretchen Johanson’s blog post Lessons Learned During My First Big ID Project or check out the IDOL series: Diary of a New IDOL by Kristi and Veronica.

Some things I expected or assumed going into my first Instructional Design job. However, some things surprised me.

 

The Top 3 Things that Surprised Me:

1. You might be the only instructional designer on your team....

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Recap: The Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge

 This has been an exciting week for IDOL courses offering the first free Become an IDOL 5 Day Challenge. Over 1400 people joined the challenge. The crowd has been diverse, with teachers, graphic designers, instructional designers, and others who want to jump start their careers in 2021.

As part of the challenge, everyone received a workbook, and every day this week, Robin held a live training session empowering people to take the first steps in creating a hiring manager avatar, identifying their ideal IDOL role, and developing portfolio items for the job hunt. The transition to becoming an instructional designer is a challenge, but it is easier when you are not doing it alone. 

This week has been full of community and working together toward goals, asking questions, and learning more. Strangers formed accountability groups and helped each other on the path to a career in instructional design. This is a significant first step in networking. Networking is an integral part...

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