“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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
When I first came across the title “Instructional Designer” while looking for alternative career options, I was just as confused as anybody would be hearing about our job for the first time. I remember asking questions like: What does an Instructional Designer do? Why is it called Instructional Design? Wouldn’t a title such as Learning Experience Designer or Training Content Developer suit them better? How are their skill sets different from curriculum developers like teachers’? etc.
Then, the more I learnt about the different roles of Instructional Designers, and the more job interviews I had, ironically, the less clarity I had over the companies’ expectations of us.
The truth is that the role of an Instructional Designer varies from company to company. What a person hired with the title “Instructional Designer” ends up doing depends on a range of factors such as the company’s training portfolio, the profile...
Podcasts are awesome
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.
When I started my job search, I felt confident. I was ready. I had a full portfolio with several assets, I optimised my LinkedIn and I ditched my teacher Resume for a fresh, Instructional Designer CV that I had engineered to specific jobs, following Jay Lash’s method.
It worked! I was contacted by a few companies who had liked my profile, thought I had potential and were impressed by my experience. I was excited.
As you can guess, I didn’t get any of those jobs. Not only that, I didn’t even make it past the first round of interviews.
I knew I had to change something and that’s when I came across IDOL Academy Member, Niya...
When I decided to leave teaching, I had a mix of emotions. What else could I really do? Teaching had been my life for seven years. I knew teaching like I knew how to take care of my children or like I knew how to drive. I could do it really well with minimal effort, and I loved it. I loved the excitement my students had for learning, and I loved creating lesson plans. Lesson plans gave me the opportunity to bring learning to life, whether I was teaching financial literacy or marketing concepts.
There came a time I became mentally exhausted. Professionals call it "teacher burnout," and it is real. Teacher burnout usually happens around year five, but I made it to year seven. So, wasn't that an accomplishment? I asked myself often to justify staying. But what I realized is once my heart wasn’t there anymore, I had to leave because I’d lost my passion. When you lose your passion, everyone suffers, from your family to your students, the community and the parents. I...