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 Maya Harrington, and she is one of our idol courses Academy member that has come here today to share her idol success story. So Maya, will you please do a better job of introducing yourself?
Maya Haritan 0:37
Yeah, so my name is Maya Haritan. I'm an Instructional Designer at Apple now. And I was part of the January idol cohort, January 2021. I should specify.
Robin Sargent 0:52
And I am here to tell you my story. Okay, so we have to start at the beginning. And so you joined in January? And then when did you land your, your job at Apple?
Maya Haritan 1:11
Yeah, so I had kind of an interesting journey, which is one of the reasons why I appreciate idle so much. I signed up for the January cohort. Two months after I had my second child, thinking that while I was on maternity leave, I'd be busy. And I, the reality is for anyone who has had children, it takes a lot of your time. So I, I was part of the initial eight weeks, and it was really involved with my mentor. And with all of the live sessions as much as I could be, I think I was part of the first bit messy challenge. And that really helped me get the kickstart that I needed. But I wasn't able to really dive into building a portfolio or job hunting until probably around July. So while I started everything, and I kind of got the wheels greased up back in January, I wasn't able to fully dive into the job search process until July. Once I started, then it took about six weeks to land the job that I have no.
Robin Sargent 2:21
Oh my gosh. Yeah. I mean, it's hard to even like, how are you gonna get a mouse in your hands? You got a little baby over here, you got to feed your baby, like?
Maya Haritan 2:31
Yeah, it was my second kid too. I'm not sure why I thought that was gonna be a three time situation. It's actually don't better. But it was kind of nice to have something to work on for myself during that time, too. Because so much of maternity leave, you're giving so much of yourself to the little human that needs you. So it was actually kind of neat to focus on some of my dreams and my goals. That time too.
Robin Sargent 3:00
So where what kind of role did you have before you join the Academy? Or were you a teacher? Tell me?
Maya Haritan 3:08
Yeah, so I've spent the past 10 years in education in a teaching capacity. And I've mostly elementary school. I've dabbled a little bit in middle school here and there in the beginning, but primarily in kindergarten, fourth grade, in third grade. Those are kind of my my favorite spots. So yeah.
Robin Sargent 3:32
So you. Okay, so you are a teacher. And so you went on maternity leave, and you're like, Oh, I'll make the transition during maternity leave, by the way. I've done something similar. Yeah. And, and then. And then. So that happened. Did you go back to the classroom?
Maya Haritan 3:49
before? You know, I decided to take off the rest of the year, this was also 2020 2021 school year. And that I think having that gives me a little extra push for the job hunting once I did start. Not wanting to wanting to move forward with my dreams instead of staying where I was. So
Robin Sargent 4:15
yeah, so what about that? I know a lot of teachers who make the transition to instructional design, they always have, you know, a thing like, Oh, should I finish out my school year or things like that, but I think it's it I think people probably want to know more like just a little bit more about what gave you the courage to just say, I'm not going to go back. I really am going to win this role.
Maya Haritan 4:38
Yeah, well, in full transparency, I was in a lucky situation where both me and my partner we could float for a while without me returning. So I think that's a big part of it. But I think also, just once I invested my time and my energy into idle, and saw that I was able to do instructional All design, I mean, I was fully capable of doing it, that I just kind of had my sights set on it, and then my heart set on it, and I just wanted to make it happen. And the job hunt, and the portfolio building was a full time job for those six weeks. So even when I got there, I had kind of, you know, I had my I think my Google Sites still at the time, from the dirt messy challenge, and I had bare bones of what I wanted to put forward. And I knew that if I wanted to land the job that I wanted, I had to really invest time into making the portfolio, which means not doing other things. So I think because I pulled back from my other job and was able to completely devote my time to job hunting and portfolio building, it made the search time shorter, I think so maybe for people, it'd be helpful just to think, you know, cost benefit as if you're able to put 100% into something, you're gonna get more out of it more quickly, rather than spreading yourself along. Kind of thin along the multiple streams of what you're doing.
Robin Sargent 6:11
Oh, yeah. 100%, right, because the amount of energy and the more you can put in the faster you can get out. I, I totally, I'm with you. My so did you know, the kind of role that you wanted to land where you specific at all about that?
Maya Haritan 6:32
I think the answer is yes. And no. The reality is, is coming from the education world, I had no idea what what instructional design really, really means and what it meant to hold a job in that sense. I think that's one area that I'll help to help fill the gaps for me, between, you know, my skills and how I was going to have to apply them in this new setting. But still, like as I was looking at job descriptions, it's hard to really understand what these different roles are. So I kind of applied to everything that sounded interesting and sounded within the realm of what I had been training to do in terms of learning, authoring tools, things like that. But then, at the same time, I think part of the new that I wanted. I live in Silicon Valley, so I wanted something in the tech industry. I knew that I wanted something that still felt meaningful to me. I think being coming from teaching, I didn't want to let go of that. But I didn't quite know what that meant. And actually a combination of my mentor Christy, Olivia, Billy Ilieva. And
Robin Sargent 7:54
so, yeah, I was with you all. Yeah. Chrissy Oliva
Maya Haritan 7:57
Oliva. Yeah. And Nayla Spooner has a episode on this on her podcast, too. They both kind of oriented me by advising me to create a portfolio that told the story about myself. They said, when I look at your portfolio, I want to know who you are. So I think initially, I was trying to create things that I thought people would want to see. And ever since I got that advice from Christie, I change the topics in my portfolio to be things that I was really interested in. So again, coming from the teacher world, it was a lot of things like empathy and sales and how to have a growth mindset, like the topics that I knew a lot about, and that I could hopefully apply to the tech world. And that's actually how I landed this role at Apple. I'm currently creating leadership training, onboarding within the services or, and so all of the topics that were in my portfolio are things that I'm making presentations on now. I know and a recruiter found me through all of my LinkedIn activity and searching. And when I interviewed for this job, I was like, You kidding me? I have to get I have to have this role. This couldn't be a better fit. The fact that they were prioritizing these topics and the fact that I already cared so much about them. I think it just ended up being a really good fit. So I think that advice was probably some of the best ones. I got to help me find the right role for me.
Robin Sargent 9:36
Yeah, okay, so you started in July six weeks that's that's pretty fast. So you only have like the bare bones like yeah, Google Sites up. Maybe I'd like some icons, some links. Yeah. What did it actually look like? What did what happened in that six weeks? What did you focus on? How did you manage you know, Have a balance between building portfolio assets and applying and interviews? And oh,
Maya Haritan 10:05
yeah, yeah, I just hit the ground running, I took all of the advice that I heard from all of our sessions in terms of networking on LinkedIn, in terms of utilizing my network. So again, being in Silicon Valley, I reached out to all my friends and all the different tech companies and ask them who they could connect me with. Also, my partner works in tech, he connected me with people who he knows, I just had exploratory coffee chats, I guess you could say, where I just learned what different roles did in tech. So it could have been someone from marketing, it could have been someone from sales from engineering, not necessarily an instructional design. But I asked them how they interacted with an instructional designers what their role was like, and that helped me understand what it was like to work at different companies. So I could kind of narrow the scope. Understand, like if I wanted to work in a startup or a bigger corporation, just kind of the pluses and minuses of both of those certain startups that I was really interested in because of the name, realizing that wouldn't be a good fit, because they don't even have instructional designers. You know, they have, they have enablement, but they only would like for their sales enablement, they really preferred people who had sales experience. And that's not me. So at first I was like, Yeah, I can make assets for sales teams, that they like, well, we want our salespeople to trust the things that you're making. And you need that background experience. That was their perspective, other companies didn't always feel that way. So just having these conversations helped me get to know the playing field, I guess you could say. And so then as I was applying more and more, was applying to the right places. And I was making connections where if I saw something someone could refer me. And more than anything else, I learned how to talk in a way that showed my skills to the tech world rather than from, from education. Like, if you look at my resume from teaching, compared to now it's completely different. It's the same things, but just completely different. Because it's for a different audience. So there's also so I did a lot of personal networking, which was just again, information, I built my portfolio, I just started looking at as many as I could get my paws on, and collected that my favorite parts of each, there I, per your advice, I started really expanding my network on LinkedIn, there's an amazing instructional design community on there, or lnd community. And there's lots of people offering free content to support new instructional designers. So there was a few there even on how to create the best portfolio which I had already had a good one coming from idle, but it gives you another level, or another lens that you could look at it through. And then I just applied I applied far and wide. I tried to choose things that were interesting. But I also thought that any interview would be a good opportunity for practice and that I never knew. I could always learn more about the company through the interview process, and then decide later on if it was a good fit, rather than you know, mixing it from the beginning before even trying. So that was kind of my three pronged approach the hard core networking, the building the portfolio on the side, and just as many interviews as I could.
Robin Sargent 13:49
Okay, and so, and this is all happening in six weeks. And so I just love that you said that you did these informal five minute coffee chats. Now, how did you a lot of people probably feel a little intimidated or kind of shy about initiating these things. So did you have like a method that really worked for you about getting people to just come talk to you?
Maya Haritan 14:15
Yeah, I started off by asking people for introductions, mutual people for introductions. I was a little shy to just reach out. I think I even asked my husband to help me write the emails because I was like, how do we how do people outside of education talk to each other? I have no idea what's what's acceptable on LinkedIn? And yeah, I so that helped with the first few having somebody mutual that can introduce us and kind of vouch for me having set of questions when I arrived, so I knew that they they felt like I wasn't wasting their time. And then was kind of interesting as each one of those they wanted to introduce me to more people For two that could help. So there's one in particular, who was a founder of ad tech startup locally. And he said he was three people from my org that you could talk to, and they'll tell you about the different roles and how they hire for them. That was great. So I know. So after I had my first few, it was easier to reach out to other people, but most of them were not cold coffee chats, they were some person had done an introduction, at some point, the the cold reaching out was more to my friends will be like, Hey, I know, we haven't talked about this, but I'm transitioning careers. And if you could introduce me to anyone at your company that might be able to give me some insights into how instructional designers work at your company. That's really, and that took a little bit less bravery, because I already knew the person. Maybe like a mid step for that.
Robin Sargent 15:58
That's brilliant. I think that's a that's a great tip. I mean, even if I mean, look at all the conversations and people you're able to connect with, and you didn't even have to do it in a scary way. You just like, Hey, friends. Yeah, me, too. That's way easier than doing.
Maya Haritan 16:16
And I think what's interesting is that, you know, I didn't end up landing my job through that process directly. But I think indirectly, it prepared me for those conversations. So I did end up getting a job through a recruiter, not through a referral. But if I hadn't had all those conversations that to help orient me into this new world, I wouldn't have been ready when that opportunity came up. So it did help.
Robin Sargent 16:43
Sure, even just understanding how business works, and like, what is a product manager and things like that, the way you show up to your interview. Okay, so you the recruiter reached out to you. And they say we've got this gig at Apple. And then so what does that process? Did you do three interviews, one, would that look like
Maya Haritan 17:07
there were four total, including the initial on whatever, with the recruiter, this is actually a recruiter I had been working with since May, which is interesting. Before my hardcore search began, she reached out to me in May, because I had started building my LinkedIn profile back then. So she found me through LinkedIn. And since between May, and mid August, she probably reached out to me about four different roles that she thought I'd be a good fit for. And nothing came out of any of them until our August opportunity. So that's another thing to keep in mind building relationships with those recruiters. Definitely, that's probably what helped me the most, the interview process. So I interviewed with her again, to make sure it was a good fit for this role in particular. And then I interviewed with three other people who are on the employee experience team at apologist. Now the team that I'm a part of, one of them was a hiring manager. And two of them were other teammates that were in charge of other parts of content creation, for the team, but not necessarily on this project. So it was kind of interesting, because they had insights into how they do things, but they hadn't worked directly on the one that I'm working on now. So it gave me space to show them my creativity on how I would create it and bring it engagement since these are all IoT instructor trainings. And it allowed me to, to meet the team and the people who I'd be working with and they were just so lovely. I really wanted to make it. So I'm glad it worked out.
Robin Sargent 19:00
Were there any questions that they asked you that made you go or that you were really prepared for and you were like, glad you had done XYZ to prepare for those questions, anything like that?
Maya Haritan 19:16
I think it's kind of interesting. I think that this role ended up being such a good fit, that I could really be myself and the interviewer. I think the things that helped me prepare me the most were the prior interviews that I have had. So I had been through a few rounds with a few other companies leading up to this and actually got an offers in that same week. It was pretty crazy. But all in all, you know, having rehearsed. My answers a few times, both in an interview and with friends really helped with me, helping me articulate what I really wanted to say, and helped me understand. I think Christy helps us appears to actually helped me understand what they're looking for in their questions. But ultimately, for this role, I felt like I could really just be myself and be authentic. So that was, I think, what maybe also helped the interview go so well, too, because I wasn't trying to memorize anything that I had said before. I could just speak to what they were saying. authentically.
Robin Sargent 20:27
Yeah, just be in the now because you didn't have any more nerves. You'd already are X. Yeah.
Maya Haritan 20:34
Yeah, and the first few interviews that I had, I was really like, stumbling over my words a lot and trying to remember tips from from our mentor session, kind of stuff I was in my head. I was. So having that, you know, the dry run, so to speak. Totally helped.
Robin Sargent 20:58
Did you have to take a test?
Unknown Speaker 21:01
Robin Sargent 21:03
Maya Haritan 21:03
I think assessment. So I think, again, I think because my portfolio was so similar to what they were looking for. They didn't ask for that. So I did have that with a few other interviews. And most of those were around just different authoring tools to show that I knew how to use them. This one they didn't, I think, and I think it was because they could see that I already know how to do the things that they were asking. In my portfolio I had, I had IoT. I had some Articulate Storyline, and some animated videos that I had scripted. And I had put all these storyboards and the scripts up alongside the assets. So they could see that I knew how to do both the back end and the front end of things. And I think it kind of reassured them from the beginning that I know how to do it.
Robin Sargent 22:04
Did they make any comments about your portfolio that
Maya Haritan 22:08
gave you? Yeah, cuz I mean, the the program, the training I'm making right now, is exactly on a topic that was on there. It's on the same topic. And they mentioned that they said, we saw that you've done something on this, and we're, this is what your first module would be. What do you think about it, and I was just so flattered and excited that they had already looked at it and, and liked it.
Robin Sargent 22:34
So now you're there. My you have been there? How long? So you landed it one August. Now it's October?
Maya Haritan 22:40
I started beginning of September. So it's just over a month, month and a half?
Robin Sargent 22:47
And what's your is your official title? Like instructional designer? Or what is it?
Maya Haritan 22:51
Yeah, Instructional Designer? It is. Yeah.
Robin Sargent 22:56
We know you do like leadership kind of topics. Is that right?
Maya Haritan 23:01
Yeah, so I'm currently creating in person trainings for leadership, like for managers within the services org. Specifically, topics that kind of arose during the pandemic of things that people felt like they needed support on. And then, as time goes on, hoping to take on more projects that come up, they have some asynchronous platforms that they want to build some onboarding things that will just kind of live there. And I'm hoping to work on that as well. So I'll have both experiences of working with both in person and elearning. through there. And, yeah,
Robin Sargent 23:46
do you work from home?
Maya Haritan 23:47
I do. And that that part is not lost on me. It's great. I actually have another friend who was a teacher who transitioned into tech around the same time as myself, and we're texting each other all the time saying, Hey, I just want to go get a coffee because I felt like I wanted it. And I could go or I just really appreciate the flexibility around being able to balance some of my my life things with, with work and being able to work later if I need to, and take a break to go get my kids or something. So having that flexibility is great.
Robin Sargent 24:29
Yeah, well, I mean, that kind of leaves a note, I was gonna ask you like, how was your life changed? Like, does it feel I mean, I know you obviously worked hard to be where you are, but it doesn't kind of feel a little bit like a dream or like, what is it? I mean, what it's, you've been there for a month. Is it what you expected? Is it more than what's kind
Maya Haritan 24:47
of? Yeah, all of the above. I've had so many moments where I've stopped and just and so they fall in grateful for the fact that I did this for myself. I made the transition and in this role that I'm in now Oh, with an amazing team, doing things that are meaningful to me, all the stars aligned, but it was a lot of, you know, manifesting my own future along the way to a lot of hard work. So yeah, it's very thankful.
Robin Sargent 25:17
Oh my gosh, well, what a huge accomplishment. My wife tells me. Just one more question. Actually, I got two more. So what made you pick the ITIL? Courses Academy? So when you enrolled in January, what what made you what made you join us?
Maya Haritan 25:33
Yeah, this part was huge. So what are the things that you guys offered, that I had a hard time finding was both having the mentorship, the in person, or the the live, you know, first eight weeks together, but then also flexibility to access the course, out side of those eight weeks. So a lot of the certifications that I saw, were an eight week program, but they weren't also self paced, or it might have been just self paced like something that you buy into and follow yourself. And I really, this was the only one that I found that more than both of those together. And it was exactly the recipe that I needed. I didn't even know that I needed it at the time, to be honest, as much as I did. But I knew that I needed the in person accountability and a person, a human to talk to who's been in my shoes before. And then I also knew that, you know, my time was limited. And I was going to have to space it out. That is what's I think that that aspect of your program is actually what helped me be successful, the fact that I did as much as I could, but then if I couldn't keep up, I couldn't do things. It didn't mean it was over or I lost my chance at it. Like I've still signed in and make my way through all the things that you do. I love seeing all the new life sessions for the new cohorts, because I didn't miss out on some of those in the past. And it's I'm also someone who loves continuing education. And whenever I can I go back in and I make my way a little bit farther and farther through all of the amazing things that you have in the academy. So that lifetime access, which I don't think I quite understood at the time, how important that was going to be for my success is what made me successful in the end, because then in July, when I was ready, I had access to everything. And I could go back and I could look at
Robin Sargent 27:34
it. So yeah, we had started a new cohort. So you did you join back in with the mentors again in July? Two are
Maya Haritan 27:42
no, no, just I just wasn't ready? No, I, I didn't I've actually thought about it. There are a few of them. That was really interesting. And I had been following them on LinkedIn for a while too. So I knew them by name, like more of a lurker kind of by but yeah, we all do it. Ya know? So, but then your live sessions, I started a few of those, too. All right.
Robin Sargent 28:12
Oh, my. So you have to tell us what is I mean, you've given us a lot of really good tips and advice, like just throughout your entire journey. But what is your best and final piece of advice for those who want to become an idol?
Maya Haritan 28:25
I think just knowing, especially if you're coming from the education world that you already have the skills that you need, and just reminding yourself that I until I started idle, I didn't realize how much instructional design I was already doing. And that's how I was able to talk about it in interviews, I actually had three years of curriculum design as part of my title. And I had another five years of formal instructional design that I was doing for my district that I was able to add to my title and then and so just knowing, not even thinking of things in that way ever until I think you said it, actually. So just knowing that you have what you what it takes to to do this. You have the skills that these industries need, and just believing in yourself. And that resilience to having that resilience to push through. I think those are the biggest things.
Robin Sargent 29:27
That's great advice. Congratulations. They Oh, my. I'm so happy for you. I am just, I mean, you're just such an inspiration to see your journey. A new mother of a new baby.
Maya Haritan 29:40
She's almost a year old now. Yeah, yeah. It's crazy. Yeah, almost
Robin Sargent 29:45
almost. It's not even a year old to be like the year. Right?
Maya Haritan 29:50
in November. Yeah.
Robin Sargent 29:53
Almost a year.
Maya Haritan 29:54
Yeah. Yeah. But thank you, too. Thank you for your vision. Your philosophy and, and just all of the effort that you put into everything. It's not something that happens so easily. And I can't imagine what goes on behind the scenes, but it changed my life. And it was Tuesday, it changed my life. And I really appreciate you, too. Oh my gosh, don't make me cry. I sent you a long email. When I finished the program, I'm just like, gushing, just be like, now you can put the face with the name. But I was just it was really life changing for me. So thank you.
Robin Sargent 30:34
Oh my gosh, well, this will this is what makes it all worth it. So. Congratulations.
Maya Haritan 30:40
Thank you, Robin. Yeah.
Robin Sargent 30:43
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, an 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