I landed my first job as an Associate Software Developer in a renowned technology company after I graduated in Computer Science. I had always had a passion and love for technology especially in the Learning & Development/Training field. On my first day in the job, I was excited to attend my induction and onboarding training followed by three months language specific technology training.
I found, however, that the training materials lacked learning objectives, and there were no images and no assessments. They were just heavy reading materials. I sent an email to the Head of L&D/Training and shared a small design of learning materials on one topic and mentioned this is how it should be done to make it more effective and relatable. A month later, after several discussions and meetings I was asked whether I was interested to change career path, and within no time I was in a new department with a new role.
From there I started to build small programs around the content like PowerPoint presentations, job aids and structured assessments. I was able to start giving feedback on the training content.
Now my days include many varied tasks. I usually start with a cup of tea by first checking and replying to important emails and phone messages and looking over recent trends/learnings in instructional design. This is followed by meetings, calls, and some developmental works. Regular activities include consulting with the SME’s/project owner’s for online/blended courses. Other things like following up on the ongoing projects, defining the learning content, storyboarding and other parameters.
I also dedicate a few hours in my day to think and work on blogs for my LinkedIn page and new things to add in my personal website like free templates, new trends in instructional design, and some examples of my latest work.
What I enjoy most about this role is the chance to collaborate with people of all skill levels and helping them achieve their goals/objectives. Also, I get to teach and learn as I work. It’s not like you have only one thing to do and master. One needs to be good at developing skills in aesthetics, graphic design, authoring tools, and a level of coding makes life easier. Every day is new, and every piece of work is filled with fresh thoughts which is why I love this profession. This job requires you to be very socially interactive and be good with people.
My advice for anyone new to this profession is:
Have a love for technology – what I did five years ago is not the same now. Technology keeps changing and we need to be flexible and adaptable.
• Be nimble to learn and implement new trends in designing and delivering courses.
• Have an active online platform or website of your own where you can showcase your work. This can include e-learning modules, template design, graphics, and learning guides.
• Attend webinars and events to gain new insights.
• Try to connect with other instructional designers to build a support community for yourself.
• Keep an eye on contract or freelancing jobs for projects to build your portfolio and connections.
Chaitra Dixith is a Content Creation Specialist and can be contacted via LinkedIn.