Robin Sargent 0:00
Welcome to become an idol. I'm Dr. Robin Sargent, owner of idle courses. This is the place where newbies come to learn and veteran share their knowledge.
I have here with me today, April black, and she is from our next cohort. And she is an idol success story. And so, April, will you please tell us a little bit about your background and who you are and just give us a better introduction
Unknown Speaker 0:42
than what I did? I sure Well, well, I've spent my whole career in education. I started as a classroom teacher. And then after 13 years, I moved my way up. And I've experienced different roles in education. I was an instructional facilitator. I was in charge of federal programs for a couple of schools, I did tell paths here in the state of Texas. I became an instructional coach after I completed my master's in curriculum instruction in 2011. Then I got a wild hair and moved overseas. And I worked on the small island of Jeju, South Korea, I helped to open an American International School there as their instructional coach, which was an amazing experience. And then COVID hit. And so I came back home after having a great experience of doing some extensive travel. So I've had about nine years of experience with adult training, doing in service, lots of onboarding, I get some PR work while I was in South Korea for the school. And so I came back and came to the same district where I worked previously, here in Texas, I'm in the North Dallas area, and came back and just was not super happy and ready to make a big change. I'm asthmatic, and with COVID. Just with all the we came right back to school doing hybrid model of instruction. Such a struggle is such a hard year. And I was looking for a big change. And I started searching and LinkedIn online and I found the idol Academy with all of the great kudos all the great recommendations. And so technology has always been one of the things that I've loved in education, it hooks people, it supports teachers, supports learners supports adults. So I started delving into researching what I could do with my skills that I currently had and what I needed to brush up on. I took the two week Jumpstart. And off I went so I started I enrolled over Christmas, I believe it was and I jumped right in in January, New Year New Beginnings. And I haven't looked back. Did you try to do anything yourself?
Robin Sargent 3:09
April like before? I know you started doing research, but did you try to like, oh, I can build my own portfolio or any that kind of stuff or you just didn't have time to waste your like, I know, really.
Unknown Speaker 3:21
I waited. I knew I needed help. Because I did not really know how to build a portfolio. And all the reviews, everything that I read everything online was so positive about the idle Academy, that that was the really the most positive experience that I had read about online. I did research a couple of other academies, but they just weren't for me. The vibe wasn't right. It just wasn't a good fit for me. I did a couple of the other kind of freebie intros and just wasn't I just connected, you resonated with me. And all of the great reviews that were online. And the success stories, the portfolios were stunning that I saw a lot. I thought, oh, that I, I love something that looks beautiful. That's stunning. That's going to get employers to look at me.
Robin Sargent 4:21
And now you're one of those. So I want to hear your journey. So you enroll in the courses Academy. You like committed to it. So how much time did you devote? Like, what did your journey look like, all the way up until, you know, you started applying and getting interviews?
Unknown Speaker 4:35
Well, I set my goal to have a job by July 1. And so I started of course the academies started, what mid January, January 23. I think that's right. 26. And so I started dabbling. And once I commit to something I jump in the deep water both feet first. And so I told my husband, this is what I'm going to do and this is my goal. Oh, he's like, oh gosh, here she goes again. Because that's how I roll. And once I started, most weekends are committed to idle to learning to research, I ordered a few of the books that were recommended. I started reading everything I could possibly, I tried to commit to one hour every day, some days, that just wasn't possible with my workload. So some days, I would get up extra early and spend like 1520 minutes in the mornings, because it is a lot of hard work. Even though I had tons of knowledge. Under my tool belt, and I had years of experience with adult learners, there's still a lot to learn, even though I felt technology was one of my assets, still many, many, many tools that I needed to really go deeper with and have a greater understanding of. So I started first, of course, with the duet messy. And I had to first get over my perfectionism, and my fear of failure. And right away, I submitted assets, and oh, my gosh, they were so bad and so horrible. And I got over that quick at first, you know, when I first received feedback, the first instinct was to just take them down and delete what I had posted. That was, you know, that fear of failure. And I thought, No, I'm going to just keep doing it better and improve. And I just kept posting more iterations receiving feedback.
Unknown Speaker 6:32
My first portfolio look like the color wheel threw up all over it. It was so terrible, because being you know, my background and being a primary teacher, everything was centered justify, everything was bright rainbow colors, which I still love. Obviously, you can see I love the bright blue, I have touches that throughout my home. But now I have a clean classic portfolio that I was complimented on with my job. That's one of the reasons they said I was hired because of my very clean, elegant design in my portfolio, and just multiple iterations. And you just have to get used to that, because that's exactly what work is like, I think that you
Robin Sargent 7:15
now you know, that is what work is my work is
Unknown Speaker 7:19
not called there's like this, can you change this, and it's, you know, multiple times throughout the day. So and you have to be ready to pivot in a second. And so everything you do in idle is so very helpful and crucial to your success at work. And I found that out within the first this is my third week at work. And I'm building my first module totally on my own. I started my storyboard last Friday, after I had my first SME meeting last last Thursday, and I started with my storyboard. So, of course, I thought, you know, Canva was amazing. And working with Canva I thought that was so much fun. I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels, spending too much time on Canva and learning to design. Don't do that. I know, because it's so fun, right? Yes.
Robin Sargent 8:15
So okay, so you, you you did the hard work. I mean, that's really what makes it a success. Right? I think that's why it's so important. Like, you know, bring people that commonly on jobs, just even just to say that, like, this is not a passive process. It really is, you know, showing up every day and doing the work getting that feedback. And so, you set your goal for July 4. When did you start applying? When are you like, Okay, I'm ready. Like, what date was that?
Unknown Speaker 8:45
I didn't feel I was ready. But I started applying spring break in March. That's when I first started applying. I was having some health challenges. And I thought I can't do this another year. I thought I have to have a change. And I know Tabitha Dragon, very one of the coaches, she was my coach, the in the sixth cohort. She shared a quote, successful people do things before they're ready. And I was terrified. And I thought I know I'm not ready. But I started applying anyway. So I started really taking the advice in the cohort to really come through. Look for those jobs that you have about. Well, some of the indicators that you're ready for, I don't remember what the percentage was. But I remember a quote that stuck with me that men apply for jobs, even though they have less than maybe half of the qualifications. And women only apply when they have about 85% of the qualifications. And that just really stuck with me that I wasn't I didn't think I was ready and didn't think I was qualified. And I probably was qualified. I thought, I don't care if I'm ready or not. I'm applying because I need to practice interviewing. Now. So let's started applying. And every week my goal was on Sunday afternoon, I would apply from five jobs. And I set up my Trello. Board and started applying. So almost every Sunday afternoon, after dinner, I would apply, apply, apply. And I kept track, I see why we needed a Trello board for that, because it's a time consuming process.
Robin Sargent 10:22
So how many did you apply for? Did you? I mean, did you happen to anima? Over 200? Oh, my goodness. And when did you start?
Unknown Speaker 10:31
Did you start getting callbacks right away? Or it was probably closer to the end of April before I started getting callbacks, lots of rejection letters, which they were well deserved, because my resume wasn't quite ready. I did get I went through lots of iterations on my resume. J is amazing at that. Tabitha was amazing at that. Yes, lots of great feedback, lots of work on my cover letter to get it just right to go through the applicant tracking system.
Robin Sargent 11:02
And so how many, how many times did you go through the interview process? Or did you kind of, though, when you went through the interviews, you that's the job you landed? So tell me about that?
Unknown Speaker 11:14
Oh, I went, I had about 30 interviews. But I only went through the No, I only went through the long interview process with three companies. One, I had one screen or interview. And then two interviews that I decided the company wasn't for me and I went through. Good for you another another company. I went through the interview process fairly early on, that was in May. And then I think I probably sabotage myself with them because they were trying to they were in the middle of a business pivot. And I think I fairly well told them, or we discussed what they probably needed to do. They really were needing an entire learning department and with the changes that they needed to make. And so the once I shared that with the lady in HR, who had been my boss, she said, Well, I think we need to probably make some, some hard decisions with our in our company. She said, I want to keep you in mind for any changes we do make. And she said, so before you take another job Keep me posted. I thought well, good luck, because I'm ready for a job. And then I found that recruiters were starting to knock on my door at this time. So this was the end of April. So the LinkedIn profile is crucial
Robin Sargent 12:50
is that we're all ultimately got to the interview that for the job you have right now. Yes. Okay. So
Unknown Speaker 12:55
tell us your title. I am the Instructional Designer for branch alliances for Educator diversity. And we're a nonprofit. And we're trying to bring more educated diversity into public schools, that I work with university partners all across the nation. So ultimately, I'm building coursework for professors, from professors for future educators. So I'm still in the educational field, which is right up my alley, because I've worked with teachers and coaching teachers for years and years. So
Robin Sargent 13:33
I found it sounds like a dream Abraham we are you just like over the moon. I mean, you're still in education. It's a nonprofit, you're like, doing good in the world. And and you have your instructional design job. I mean, you tell me how you feel?
Unknown Speaker 13:48
Well, the team is amazing. They're the most lovely, compassionate, fun group of people. We started off with a health challenge. I have a huge box of swag that came which is always fun right off the bat. 33% pay increase, I get to work from home. Let's see. My direct supervisor is a brilliant woman. She's served on national panels all across the United States. Our founder is a stunningly kind, amazing woman. And we are we're making a real difference in the world for children. So it is a dream job.
Robin Sargent 14:33
That is a dream job. I am just so thrilled for you. So I mean, I think you've kind of put a lot of your advice kind of just as you shared your story April but well, what would be your you know, your final piece of advice for new instructional designers who like watching your or listening to this, what would you tell them?
Unknown Speaker 14:53
Put in the work? Don't think it's easy, because it's not it's hard work. You can't transition In everything that you do for children, you have to learn more about adult education. Study the learning models, study pack tricks, because that's exactly what we use to evaluate, know all the models because you will definitely be asked in interviews, work on your LinkedIn profile. Man, that's huge because those recruiters do work those algorithms work. And I was blown away by how many recruiters reached out and started messaging me and some jobs I turned away, have an amazing, strong group of support, I found a great group of women that I'm really great friends with. Now week, after our cohort finished, we met every single Saturday at the same time. And we still email each other. I needed I was kind of stuck on Tuesday. And so I phoned a friend and said, Hey, I'm having a problem with you. Do you have time to jump on a Zoom meeting time? And she replied, right back and said, yes, yes. What do you need, and so have your group of friends, because you may not be ready when they're ready to hire you. But that's okay. You can learn and be flexible in your skill set. I may not be an expert with storyline yet, but I know PowerPoint. And I know some other I know lumen five, and you can embed that in your coursework. And you can bring those skills into your storyline and use some flexible tools. So be flexible in your thinking. And it's so worth the joy. When you do get that job.
Robin Sargent 16:52
I just have to ask one follow up question. Have you met any of your accountability group in person?
Unknown Speaker 16:57
We have not because we're spread out. One lady lives in Houston, a couple of live in Maryland. So we're spread out a little bit one lives in upstate New York, we practice practiced everything from interviewing and practicing interviewing is what helped me Give me the most confidence, because those questions are way different than you are asked in your teacher areas. So practicing Everything helps a lot. Writing down those interview questions, that STAR method is incredibly helpful. Practice that out and really think about your answers from the job description. Also.
Robin Sargent 17:34
It's beautiful. Thank you so much, April, I really appreciate you coming on and sharing your story. And congratulations.
Unknown Speaker 17:42
Well, thank you. And I want to say thank you again, for the amazing coaches, you have the amazing opportunity because you have truly changed the trajectory of my life and my lifestyle. And I'm beyond thrilled to be living the life of an idol now. So thank you, Dr. Robin.
Robin Sargent 17:58
Oh, my gosh, well, you You did all the hard work. And it is it's my honor to be in a place to help you and serve you. So thank you. Thank you so much for listening. You can find the show notes for this episode at idle courses.com. If you liked this podcast and you want to become an instructional designer, and online learning developer, join me in the idle courses Academy where you'll learn to build all the assets you need to land your first instructional design job, early access to this podcast tutorials for how to use the elearning authoring tools, templates for everything course building and paid instructional design experience opportunities, go to idle courses.com forward slash Academy and enroll or get on the waitlist. Now get out there and build transcendent
Transcribed by https://otter.ai