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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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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The Job Search Journey

 It goes without saying that the job search can be a daunting process. Some may describe it as a roller coaster ride of ups and downs, but since I had to work so hard to get to the “ups”, I prefer to describe it as a long journey with steep hills and deep valleys. I learned early in the process that making a career change was no stroll in the park.

After I enrolled in the sixth IDOL courses Academy cohort in January, 2021, I found it difficult to put all of the time and effort that I needed into developing my skills as an IDOL as I juggled my teacher responsibilities. I wondered when and how I would ever find the time to do a serious job search including answering recruiter contacts and interviewing. The thought of another short summer leading to yet another year in the classroom, and putting off my career change, just felt wrong, so I took a giant leap of faith and officially resigned from teaching at the end of May. 

My last day working as a teacher was...

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ID Bookshelf: Part 2

A few months ago I wrote a blog post about my top 3 book recommendations for anyone new to the Instructional Design field. I absolutely loved those books and I learnt so much from them. But to be honest, there had been some other books that I found less of a value despite the hefty price tag. I wanted to read more, but after that disappointment, and with so many books to choose from, I needed recommendations from real people.

So I reached out in my IDOL community and asked members to recommend the one book that influenced their Instructional Designer thinking the most. With just one book to choose from their libraries, I thought this way I could get really the best of the best reads. 

While I am yet to read some of them, I wanted to share them with anyone who’s as interested in ID books as I am. In this blog, I share 5 recommendations from other IDOLs and one from Dr Robin Sargent, founder and CEO of IDOL courses Academy, along with their reviews.

Enjoy the list.

...
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Virtual Interviews: Tips and Tricks for Acing Them

We are all aware of the fact that Covid-19 has changed the landscape of pretty much everything; we are all doing things much differently than before. One of the things that have changed is the fact that many more people are, or want to,  work from home. A recent study by Pew Research Center found that nearly 71% of Americans are currently working from home and more people now are leaving their brick and mortar jobs in hopes of scoring a remote position. Additionally, many industries collapsed or had to close leaving many people unemployed. Currently, in America, there are 7.7 million people unemployed according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This means many people will be faced, or have been faced already, with completing virtual interviews. 

Let’s talk about how to manage those virtual interviews so that you can ace them and land a job!

I remember my very first virtual interview. I assumed we would all have our videos on; I was camera-ready. When the...

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