Job Titles: It's Not Only Instructional Design

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...

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ID Bookshelf Part 1: Start With These

If you’re like me about a year ago, trying to learn about Instructional Design as a career, I’d bet that you have dozens of windows open on your laptop, computer, or phone, all presenting exciting information, but taking you on a detour.

 If you then decided to focus your search and dive deeper, you might have selected some podcasts or Youtube channels to follow. You might have even enrolled in the IDOL courses Academy to guide you through your journey. 

And then when you get a bit more confident, you want to read books to really feel knowledgeable. 

 I am with you. I was there. 

I used to solely read fiction; I loved stories about unusual characters and different cultures. I still do. But when I started transitioning into Instructional Design from teaching, I went on a Non-Fiction binge.

If you ever googled “Instructional Design books”, you have come across lists of 10, 20, 40+ books, each of which could take weeks to finish when ...

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Interviewing: Land Your Dream Role with these 5 Tips

I don't know about you, but once I felt like my resume and portfolio were ready to share with the corporate instructional design world I knew my next step was to start applying for jobs.  This is the part that scared me the most.  I knew the time I spent learning in the IDOL courses Academy had given me the tools to build a strong portfolio and transition my teaching resume to instructional design.  If your resume and portfolio are not quite where you want them to be, check out these two great resources before jumping into your first interview.  IDOL Resume Writing Guide and Build Your Online Portfolio are helpful if you are looking for a jumpstart. 

I also felt confident in my ability to perform my instructional design skills once hired as an instructional designer in the corporate space.  The problem was that I hadn’t interviewed in over 8 years and that was for a teaching position.  I knew I needed to prepare for my...

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Soft Skills: Important to an Instructional Designer

One aspect of being an Instructional Designer that is rarely talked about is soft skills.

Soft skills, which can also be called emotional intelligence (EQ), are important to instructional designers because even though we may feel as though we are in a silo, we actually work with various people across different departments.  Instructional designers are constantly collaborating, giving or getting feedback, checking in with stakeholders, and communicating a message.  This means a level of comfort and skill is required when interacting and working with others.

Here are my top 3 soft skills important to the instructional designer role.

 

Empathy

One reason why educators make great instructional designers is because they are empathicIn fact, the first step an educator takes when teaching a class is to fully understand where their students are. An instructional designer is not any different. Knowing where the learners are starting from and understanding their...

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Interviewing: Why am I Not Making It Past the First Round?

Applying for jobs is exhausting, stressful and soul-destroying. These could have been my words, but instead, they came from Google. Even Google understands every jobseeker’s frustration at spending time on tailored Resumes and Cover Letters to carefully analysed Job Adverts only to be rejected. Repeatedly.

 

 

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...

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Become an IDOL: Top 5 Podcasts of 2020

 It’s the last day of 2020. What a year, right? Life is full of events creating a wild ride. This year has felt unreal, like it was scripted out of a movie. The year has been challenging in ways many of us would have never imagined. Now we are on the eve of a New Year. 

This is the time most people set goals or resolutions for the next 365 days. I started this year by talking about kicking self-doubt to the curb. I know it is not always easy to overcome your self-doubt or imposter syndrome. Sadly, to say, many of us create self-doubt in our heads, negatively affecting how we perceive ourselves. The Women Talking About Learning Podcast ended the year with an episode on imposter syndrome. Twenty-five industry women talk about imposter syndrome, what it means, the effects, and overcoming it. This was one of my favorite podcasts this year because it shows others ….. guess what, you aren’t alone in your self-doubt. The question is,...

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Starting our Freelance ID Business: 5 Key Takeaways

A few years ago, my wife (Chantel) and I (William) talked about running a business together. Instructional Design and eLearning was a natural choice: we had corporate and not-for-profit teaching experiences, we had transferable skill sets from related fields, and instructional design experience.  Most importantly, we loved helping people learn and grow. But, since the timing wasn’t right, we set the business idea aside.

Then, 2020 hit like a Category 6 hurricane. COVID-19. Massive unemployment. Worldwide lockdowns. I lost my job. My industry, which was heavily dependent on tourism, was gutted. We had a wonderful newborn son and a mortgage. Since we had some savings and my wife had a great job, we had what so many others did not: the luxury of choice. We were incredibly grateful. After prayerfully considering all options, we knew it was time to start the business.

A few months later, we had successfully launched a freelance Instructional Design, Online Learning...

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The Multiple Personalities of an ID

 What is an Instructional Designer (ID)? I get asked this question often by friends and family that are not in the industry. For fear of boring them with a passionate rant using a lot of industry jargon, I typically respond with the extremely truncated answer – I build training for professionals. 

Those of us in-the-know understand if we posed this question to 100 different people within the Learning and Development industry, we would probably get 100 different answers. Yet, they would all be correct to some degree. This is due to the multiple personalities of an ID. Rather, the many roles we fulfill from project to project. 

The crux for all of those answers would be “Instructional design is the design, development, and delivery of learning experiences. It constructs those experiences in such a way that learners acquire either knowledge or skills,” according to getsynapse.com. “Instructional designers follow various academic theories and...

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Work-Life Balance: Teacher versus ID

          A few years ago I took a leap of faith. I left a decade long career in Education to become an Instructional Designer. Since then, I have been desperately trying to convert my teacher friends as if I found a new religion or something. I am that passionate about what I do. I want them to have what I have – lower stress and a more balanced life.

         Teachers are teaching during their eight hours at the “office.” So where do they fit in the time to plan lessons (A.K.A. design instruction), grade students’ work, make phone calls to parents, and all of the other things for which they are responsible? They do it in the evenings by staying late at the school, taking their work home to do after dinner, or both. They show up early in the morning to prepare the day’s lessons so class can run smoothly.

         Personally, I used to arrive...

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Building Your Brand: Part 2

Maybe you did or didn’t read Building Your Brand: Part 1 in July. Here is a quick recap:

  • Branding is about the value you give to clients.
  • Branding is about the problems you are skilled at solving.
  • You want to focus your brand around something.
  • You need to be a life-long learner to keep up with changing technologies.

 

If you are in the brand-building or revamping your brand, I suggest the book Digital You by William Arruda. The book is a great guide to help your brand building process.

 

Using LinkedIn in Building Your Brand

LinkedIn is a repeatable way professionals connect across various industries around the world. Your LinkedIn profile provides a first impression, especially when you can’t be there in person to meet. Whether you are on the job hunt or not, you can leverage LinkedIn to build relationships to make business connections.

 

Keywords

Did you know the words you use in your profiles make a difference? You want to use the right keywords...

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