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...
In this episode, I'm chatting with Laura Wilczek, a former teacher who transitioned to a new career as an eLearning Developer for Hanover Research. While teaching during the pandemic she realized she had a unique set of skills and a passion for developing courses and training.
Laura shares great pointers for how she navigated the course, purposely applied what she was learning, and landed a new role in 2 months!
Laura is a former teacher who successfully transitioned into the learning and development space after enrolling in IDOL courses Academy. She began her teaching career in 2009 and started developing a passion for creating virtual learning materials during the pandemic. Laura was a part of the 10th cohort of the Academy and is currently...
“Wait, Churches use Instructional Design? But how?”
I remember when I 1st begin to volunteer with the church, I walked in thinking the office staff would be at their desk with Bibles open talking theology and praying for people when they called. I remember thinking the pastor and board members would be in a room voting on new leadership and responsibilities. Boy was I wrong! So here is a little breakdown of how the local church uses the ADDIE process to accomplish its “business” goals?
In my 1st week, the staff was meeting about the 1st community job fair the church was hosting. Because of the magnitude of the project, it was important to have all our ducks in a row, from the participants to the employees, to the volunteers…everyone needed to know what their responsibilities were. So in a planning room, with a whiteboard of information about who is in the community (leaner analysis), and the goal of the event as it...
Within the first few minutes, I determined my classmates didn’t know how to read. I clearly meant for this line to be said with anger, another one with relief. The discussion after the reading (me still silent) showed me they had all misread my theme and empathized with the wrong characters.
Seeing me become increasingly frustrated, the professor brought the discussion to a close: “How well can the Work live without you, Mandy? As a playwright, you create the blueprint. But you can’t follow your work everywhere, making sure everyone interprets it correctly. The Work must live the way you intended without you. If you’re upset by the results of today, you have more work to do.”
I imagine what Professor Hood put me through...
Starting something new is scary. When I start something new, I’m afraid I’ll fail. Worse, I’m afraid people will know I failed. So why bother? Some don’t. Some let their fear take control and prevent them from taking action. But for those of us who persist, we have to let go of perfectionism to take the first step.
There’s a misconception that recovering perfectionists like myself have, that the first draft we create must come out perfectly. Of course we know that’s not the case. My favorite Simpsons writer, John Swartzwelder, said he wrote “crap jokes” for his quick first drafts, all 59 of them! Every finished project started somewhere messy: TV, movies, books, apps, and yes, elearning courses.
The IDOL courses Academy Do It Messy challenge is built on taking action: Create an asset, receive feedback, implement feedback, and repeat the cycle until there’s a polished result. This was exactly what I...
On the ride home, I had an epiphany about one of my Storyline assets. I began working as soon as I got there. I don’t even know if I ate or how long I was working. I just remember I eventually hit a roadblock and reached out to my mentor.
And she didn’t respond.
Individuals in trauma experience time differently because they’re in constant fight or flight. Additionally, as a neurodivergent individual, I struggle with abrupt stops like this, which explains why I spiraled into a panic attack. My vision narrowed. My...
“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...
Career transitions can be scary. Sometimes you just need someone to guide you who’s been there, done that. I’ve made the career transition. I transitioned from teaching into instructional design. I can still remember all the feelings associated with a huge professional change - both good and bad. That’s why I can really speak to the importance of having someone in your corner to guide and support you while you walk down a new unfamiliar professional path. That’s where a mentor comes in.
In the IDOL courses Academy, the IDOL Mentor has a unique and vital role in the growth of the mentees in their group. IDOL Mentors are IDOL courses Academy Alumni who have achieved their IDOL goals and are now giving back by mentoring a group of aspiring Instructional Designers. Once a new cohort begins, mentees choose which IDOL Mentor is the right fit for them. They are encouraged to attend that mentor’s sessions throughout the cohort.
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...
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.