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, Anne Marie black, and she is one of our recent idol success stories and brought Emery on here today to share her full story and how she made the transition to become an instructional designer. Amory, will you do a better job of introducing yourself? And tell us a little bit about your background?
Annmarie Black 0:44
Yeah, of course. Hello, Robin. Hi, everybody. So I started off as a teacher, I like so many idols that I know, it wasn't necessarily a lifelong dream, it just kind of my mom was a teacher. And I just started, I wanted to try it out. And I liked it. And I felt like I was a really good teacher. But what I started doing is so I was a teacher in a private school at a Waldorf school, actually. And in this type of school, the teachers are also asked to participate in like the running of the school in the administration. And so on the committee that I was on, I actually started working with the professional development of my colleagues kind of helping people find resources, and in a way doing kinds of training. And it turns out that I actually really enjoyed it, and did more and more of that work until they wanted me to spend more hours doing that than I was in the classroom. And so for me, it was a very slow transition into training and instructional design. Yeah, I really, really liked it liked what I was doing. But it was, was all very hard copy paper, or standing up in front of people and presenting an idea or having a conversation with a group of people. There wasn't really this eLearning element to it and till. And you guys probably know what I'm going to say till COVID happened. And at that point, of course, like everybody, we went 100% remote. And I was still wanting to get this information to my teachers and teacher's assistants, and board members, and all these people I was working with. So I had to, I had to learn new tools, and I had to explore out of the box ideas that I hadn't before. And I loved it. I had so much fun teaching my teachers how to use Google Classroom and teaching them how to use Zoom and making little videos for them. And so I thought, hey, what if I, what if I stepped out of the classroom entirely, and started doing this? And that's when I started researching. And that's my found idol. And yeah, that's kind of where my story starts and instructional design.
Robin Sargent 3:01
Oh, my gosh, Emory, this sounds so similar to my own story, where they just tasked me with basically putting everything online. And then I was like, How can I do this full time? Is this a job? Is that kind of how it was? It's like,
Annmarie Black 3:15
yeah, that's, that's exactly how it was. I love it, loving it. And then I just, I think in the process of researching things like, Oh, how do I train people remotely? How do you know, how do I do this? Instructional design just kept coming up as like a job that people just that's what they do. And so yeah, I wanted to learn as much about it as possible.
Robin Sargent 3:35
Okay, so how long did you do research? And then which cohort Did you sign up with?
Annmarie Black 3:41
I really started researching all through, like most of the year 2020, because I was just scrambling to find tools that were going to work for what I needed. And again, instructional design just kept coming up. And then at the end of the see would have been spring of 2021. I was just I was so ready to dive in. And so I made the leap. And I said I'm going to leave my teaching position, even though I don't have a job, which was very, very scary. But I knew I wanted to do instructional design, and I felt like I was really ready. And so I thought so. But since I was leaving my job, it also meant that I probably had to move I decided to move back in with my parents. So that was the end of June of 2021. And I thought about I was like should I join cohort seven that was starting that summer. And I was just, I was too scared. I was like, You know what, like, I'm moving. And I think this is what I want to do. But I you know, who knows for sure. And so I didn't do it. And I actually wrote to Rob and I was like I don't know what I should do. I'm moving What should I do? And you said you said wait like give it a bit and it was truly the right decision because I was able to move to southern back to Southern California. You and just take the summer to take a breath from that crazy year that I had had kind of get all my ducks in a row, do some more exploring, and then I really dived in it think it would have been covered eight. So within the fall of 2021, and I was so ready. I was like, I think when enrollment opened, I was like, Okay, where are the courses? I want to start taking it right now. But I was so ready.
Robin Sargent 5:27
Oh, so you are so you just finish? I mean, you were like, basically, almost our last cohort because we are just, we just finished cohort nine. All right, so you did it, you got settled in and oh my gosh, moving is such a chore I moved last year. And I swear I'll never move again. Like I'll just put add ons to my house. So I never have to. So I understand completely why you would wait and see that, oh, that is a good decision. Because moving is stressful enough. And then, like the top stresses in our life, like moving, changing jobs, like why?
Annmarie Black 6:08
It just allowed me to really focus on it. Like when I did sign up and I wasn't in the cohort. I can focus all my attention on it. And that was that was what I wanted.
Robin Sargent 6:17
Okay, so we finally opened up class because yeah, we basically make you wait two weeks, before everything opens up. And then so class starts. So what were kind of your initial feelings? Your What did you do first? How did you approach it? I'm always curious.
Annmarie Black 6:38
Yeah, well, I actually, like I said, I really wanted to start, and the only thing that was open was the beyond like module. And so I went all the way through beyond because I was just like, I'm gonna learn something and start, just like that week. That's all I did. And I absolutely loved it. It's such an amazing tool. And I was just so excited to get into the meat. So at the time, I was actually subbing and that first week that the the cohort actually opened, I had like the most subbing hours that I had for like the entire fall, it was so frustrating, because I was like, I this is what I want to be working on. But you know, I was so excited about it that I just like found the time. And working through it messy was scary, because I don't have a big graphic design background. So I feel like that's kind of one of the things that I'm always looking at my work and saying, Does it look right, you know, how do I how do I change it? Maybe? I know, it doesn't look right. But I don't know how to make it better. So do it messy was scary for me. But having the feedback of the community was absolutely invaluable. All of my assets were so much better after reaching out to the community and getting their feedback. It was just like across the board. That helps so much. Yeah. And then at the end to do it Massey, I really started just applying for jobs super consistently. Yeah, I hit it really hard. Every day I was applying for like multiple jobs.
Robin Sargent 8:03
So did you did you actually just do do it messy and the new like, Alright, I'm gonna do, I'm gonna just start applying.
Annmarie Black 8:11
Yeah, that's really where I was. So I had broken up into in my day. And I feel like this was advice from the Academy, I camera lawyer. But I put down like all the things that I wanted to get done in my day. So it was like, new, like new work on assets, and working on my LinkedIn, applying to jobs. And then like refreshing, adding feedback from assets that had already submitted. So there was like four or five things, and I kind of broke up my day. And I was like, Okay, I'm gonna spend two hours doing this, and then half an hour doing this and half an hour. And so every day, I kind of had this process where I was either learning something new, or working on something new from the Academy. So I kept working through it while I was applying, but I definitely spent time every day, making sure I was applying to jobs, and working on my LinkedIn as well.
Robin Sargent 9:02
Now, when you say working on your LinkedIn, are you talking about updating your profile? Are you talking about building your network? A little
Annmarie Black 9:09
bit of both? I mean, in the beginning, it was definitely more towards getting it up to that level that you talk about in the academy. But after I felt like it was kind of in a good place, it was networking and trying to think of posts and just communicating with people. Yeah, just trying to have a presence on LinkedIn.
Robin Sargent 9:27
Okay, and so you are, I mean, you're just applying as much as you can, which so much of it is that game. I don't care what people say. And so So do you think that you started applying like probably like the third four week, fourth week of the academy or?
Annmarie Black 9:47
Yeah, just about Ben on policy went up and down. Sometimes it was like 1015 and a day and sometimes it was just a couple?
Robin Sargent 9:57
No. And so when did you start getting interviews was it almost right away, or
Annmarie Black 10:04
I probably started getting interviews, or at least I definitely started getting recruiter calls like the middle to late a part of October. I started getting a lot of recruiter calls, I started getting people reaching out to me, like recruiters reading, reaching out to me on LinkedIn. And that was very exciting. And started really interviewing probably in November.
Robin Sargent 10:30
That's about on track. And that's like, what isn't it? So it's like, you started in September, October, you started getting the reach out to November, you started doing interviews. Okay. So how many of these interviews did you do? Can you remember?
Annmarie Black 10:44
Oh, gosh, I don't know that. I can remember it. But there were so many. And they all kind of blended together? Yeah, I had. For each one. I had to be like, Okay, who am I talking to? And what is this job about? But I definitely like had, I had a ton of recruiter calls. Like, I didn't keep track of those. But I definitely had a few I have like three or four interviews that had like, I was several, like interviews in. Like, I think I had like three companies that I got to a third interview with them. And then I had I had a whole bunch of like, first interviews, but cut I don't know, I probably talked to like, 20 different 20 Different companies. I don't know, like all together. So I was very busy.
Robin Sargent 11:28
Do you feel like you got better as the interviews went on? Or do you think you just kind of got closer to the type of job that you wanted? Or what did that
Annmarie Black 11:35
I definitely think I got better. I mean, I think I got better at interviewing, because you kind of tend to anticipate the questions they're going to ask. Yeah, so yeah, I definitely think I got better at interviewing.
Robin Sargent 11:48
Okay, so you are down to 30 interviews with three companies? Yeah, how was what happened?
Annmarie Black 11:55
Actually, I had, it's kind of was kind of a bad experience, I think with two different companies that I had gotten to like the third interview, and one of them I'd gotten to the third interview and done like, like an assignment with them. And I thought they were great. I was like, for sure. I'm gonna get this job. I really clicked with the people. I I just felt like it was amazing. And I heard nothing. Wow, nothing back. And I reached I did the whole, like, Thank you for sitting down with me. You know, here's a thank you email. Contact me if you have any questions about whole thing, didn't hear anything. And then like, two weeks later, they've sent me like a survey, like, how did how was our interview process for you? Was like, not very good. But it happened twice that I got to like the third round and didn't hear anything back. So that was pretty frustrating. But yeah, and then, of course, the other one that I had interviewed and got to the third round, they did get back to me. And we're like, actually, we're gonna pivot and we're not hiring an instructional designer, we're gonna do something else. But we're going to keep you in our records. And we'll reach out again, when we do open this roll back up. So I took a break for the holidays, and didn't really do a lot of applying. I just finished up interviews that I already had scheduled. And then my goal was starting the beginning of January, I was gonna get back to like, really applying and really interviewing. So the first week of January, I had like several interviews scheduled. And then I got an email from one of the places I had interviewed in December saying, can we can I talk to you later today? Let's schedule time. And I kind of felt it in the back of my mind. I was like, I feel like they're gonna offer me something. But I had like three interviews that day, so I didn't really think about it. But yeah, so I had a phone call with them in the afternoon. And they offered me a position and it was really, really exciting. Wait a
Robin Sargent 13:56
minute. So this is one of the three companies that got you to a third interview. They said,
Annmarie Black 14:02
this is nothing. This is a company I just had one interview with. And it was like they they they said, you know, thank you. We're still we're still looking. We're still interviewing, we'll let you know. And then that was in December, and I didn't hear anything until January. But yeah, so it was very exciting.
Robin Sargent 14:19
They didn't even make you do a second interview. They didn't make you do a project. No. Oh my goodness. People like you know, kind of jerking you around three. Nothing and this other company. They knew in one interview that you were the one for them. That's right, that's wild. Okay, so tell us about it. Tell us about I mean as much as you feel comfortable. Tell us about like your job the company. What do you do with
Annmarie Black 14:48
Yeah, oh my gosh, of course. So the company is over j consulting. And we are a consulting firm. Our client is in the utility space. And they're really big player in the utility space. So we have lots of different contracts with them. And over j is trying to kind of grow their instructional design branch. And so they had someone that was contract. And then she ended up leaving. And so they decided that they wanted a full time instructional designer. And so that's where they brought me on. So I've been working with our client. And I've had to learn a whole lot about engineering, because I didn't know anything about engineering. But I really had to immerse myself in this kind of new content, new material. And I've been doing a few kickoff meetings with our client and talking about what they want, and how I can solve their problems. And I've actually created a couple of courses already. And they're really pleased with my work. So a really good feeling.
Robin Sargent 15:57
Oh, my gosh, so Emory, you are working at a consulting firm as the only consultant in instructional design, online learning. You're telling me that you're their first hire?
Annmarie Black 16:09
I am. Yep, that's it.
Robin Sargent 16:11
That's wild. i So basically, you have to be the unicorn.
Annmarie Black 16:15
Yeah. Oh, definitely. I'm doing everything. But the client has been so pleased with the work I've been producing, that they're starting to give us more projects, more contracts. And so my bosses saying, we need more instructional designers. And so I've been interviewing for new instructional designers, and I've been asked to participate in building this team from the ground up, basically. So yeah, that's kind of my that's my job right now. It's very cool.
Robin Sargent 16:45
Did you post it to the Academy members? I'm just curious.
Annmarie Black 16:49
I did. I did. And I actually got a couple of people. The thing is, because we're such a growing company, we're still kind of getting all of our ducks in a row. We want everybody to be in person. Oh, yeah. It's it's limited to people who are willing to come to downtown LA, I think I would have gotten more people from the Academy if that wasn't the case. But I did get a couple people interested.
Robin Sargent 17:14
How fun. So now you're already on the other side of the table, which sounds like you might even end up in a leadership position pretty soon.
Annmarie Black 17:21
Yes. I think that's what's going to happen. And it's really interesting being the interviewer all of a sudden, interviewing all these people. But yeah, it's been a it's been a crazy couple of months.
Robin Sargent 17:37
It's that's a while and I bet you're doing things differently just based on your own experiences, aren't you?
Annmarie Black 17:44
I am I am. And I it's, I feel like I want to be very compassionate interviewer. I'm like, we need to make sure we get back to these people right away. Yeah, regardless of the answer. Yeah, no, go see people
Robin Sargent 17:55
view that you're doing exactly what you're supposed to like being the change, you want to see that I just love this, Emory. This is This is incredible. And I mean, you really kind of had a leadership role before. So really, I mean, it's not that surprising, but it is pretty cool to think you transition to a new field. And all that experience you had kind of in that leadership role. And you're, you know, as a teacher has now just shine through. And that's where you're headed right now.
Annmarie Black 18:27
Yeah, it's pretty incredible. Oh,
Robin Sargent 18:30
my gosh, okay. So what are some of the things that you learn that you want to share with other idols about any part of this process that you're like, this was a game changer for me,
Annmarie Black 18:43
I think just do it. Like the whole duet messy thing is so true. Like, you just have to dive in and get it done. And your first interview is not going to be perfect. It might not even be good. But your next interview, your third, your fourth or fifth interview, you're going to get better, you're going to get more used to it, just start applying to jobs. One of the things that really spoke to me was the idea that when you see a job posting, that is their wish list. And if you don't have every single item on that list, like you should still apply if you feel like you'd be a good fit. Yeah, I think that's really important. The other thing I would say is, yeah, just trust yourself and believe in your own worth. When I originally got offered this position, I was like, Should I try and negotiate the salary? Like I was really, really scared about that. And I did, and I was so glad that I did. Because I really, I don't know. I just think it's it's a part of that I'm worth it kind of mindset and saying, Yeah, I know what I deserve. And I'm gonna produce this level of work. And to be confident in that is so important.
Robin Sargent 19:57
The one thing I hear from people that come out Teaching and I know you're in a private school and worry, but they come out of teaching in California, is they make about the same as instructional designers. Was that kind of the case for you? Like, was it kind of a lateral move as far as salary goes? Or did you actually get an increase?
Annmarie Black 20:14
Well, so I, like I said, private school and private school teachers usually make less than public, but I actually doubled my salary. Yeah. I'm pretty pleased about it.
Robin Sargent 20:30
I love it. I love that you said that. It's like a wish list. And even and you even got third round interviews. And you took a little break. Right? But you didn't give up? And it was almost like, right, when you gave yourself the space,
Annmarie Black 20:46
when you've done that phone call? Yes, that's so true.
Robin Sargent 20:50
It was like you walked all the way up to the edge. That's when you got souped up.
Annmarie Black 20:56
Yeah, that's it.
Robin Sargent 20:58
This is just so inspiring every and so what is do you have any best and final advice for idols?
Annmarie Black 21:06
Do the academy even if you're listening to this, and you're kind of thinking about it, I found it such an amazing investment in not only the time that I was actively working through it during the gmst and during the fall in the in the cohort. But even now, if I have a question about something, or if just if I want to reach out to other instructional designers, it is an invaluable community. It's an invaluable tool. I was really excited about the gamification conference that the idol just had, because that's something that I'm really interested in. And so even though I'm not in the current cohort, that was still something I was able to get information from and learn a bit more from. And I talked to everybody about the IO Academy. It was it was such an amazing decision for me. Yeah, and I love that you do this podcast, after I'd moved from Southern Cal to Southern California. And I was thinking about instructional design and thinking about doing the Academy, I would listen to this podcast like at the gym. And I would listen to all these people and their success stories. And I would try and compare it to my own life as like, well, that doesn't quite match up for me or I'm a little different. But whoever you are, if you put the work in, and if you learn from the Academy, and depend on your mentors and your community, I definitely think that you can do it and you should believe in yourself.
Robin Sargent 22:29
That's it. I mean, that is it's not even a secret anymore as it is like reach out when you get stuck and do the work. Do the work and then reach out again when you get stuck. And that's the formula. And I just thank you so much. And Maria, I just really appreciate you sharing your story. I am just thrilled for you that they already see your leadership potential and you are going to own your own team. And I just think that's so exciting. And I'm just so happy to be a part of it. So thank you so much for coming and sharing. 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 force
Transcribed by https://otter.ai