“Ahh, Mandy, I have a recruiter call tomorrow. What do I do!?”
At least once per cohort, I get this message from IDOL courses Academy mentees. Newness can be scary, and I remember how uncertain I felt when recruiters started reaching out for the first time.
Here are some general guidelines that may help.
The First Call
The first call may feel informal, and the recruiter may come across as really friendly. But don’t mistake this tone to mean that you’re not being evaluated on some level. It is an interview. You want to be prepared.
In the first call, they tend to ask some of the basic questions:
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...
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.
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...
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.
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...
There are many websites out there to give you tips about nailing the interview. One of these is IDOL member Amanda Kulik’s blog where she shares many tips and useful links to help you prepare for the interview. You can even check out some common instructional designer interview questions. The Self Made Millennial Youtube channel is another useful resource to help you formulate your answers to some common questions.
However, many of these resources focus on the questions the interviewer will ask you and how you can impress them. But, the interview is a two-way process. So, you should come prepared with some questions too, not only because you will be asked at the end if you have any, but also because you’d probably want to work out how the role...
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...
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...