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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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Resumes: Defining and Refining with Feedback

I have hundreds of resumes that I’ve written, overhauled, and tailored over the years. So, revising my resume for a career shift isn’t entirely new to me. However, this time I’ve been able to do it with the support of a community. That has been a game-changer.

 

I’m a scrappy person (“resourceful,” as Dr. Robin exclaimed) who’s used to sifting through the internet in order to gather reputable sources of information and strong exemplars to emulate and use as inspiration. Thankfully, the learning and development community is full of people like me, and many of them embrace a cooperative, give-and-receive ethos. So, I didn’t have to rely solely on my scrappiness for my latest resume overhaul.

 

First, I went through the lessons and resume-related resources within the IDOL courses Academy. Then I took that draft to my peers in the Academy. Having founded an accountability group, consistently contributed to it, and built...

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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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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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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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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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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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Top 10 Dream Employers: Job Vision Board

Goals, dreams, and dreamers. We've heard about dreaming since we were kids. We've watched a million movies showing characters from Hollywood to imaginary lands dreaming, achieving their dreams, and creating new goals after lessons learned. In entertainment, dreams are teaching tools. In the work world, dreams are goals.
 



Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Before we get to goals and dreams, let's think about basic needs and motivations. What motivates you? What do you "need" to survive? What do you "need" to live comfortably? Everyone is different, right? Well, yes and no. You may remember Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs from psychology class. A five-stage theory breaks down human " needs" into categories: biological, safety, love or belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. The underlying idea is all humans need to satisfy their most basic needs first; then, they can move up to higher-level needs.  

Where do you think employment and job security fall in Maslow's...

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