What Happens When I Say I'm an Instructional Designer
Before you dive in, here's bit about this post: If you're an Instructional Designer, you can probably relate! And if you're an organization looking to hire one, you might find this funny too (because you're already well aware of the value an Instructional Designer can bring to your organization! Kudos to you!)
I love what I do. And I love working for myself. The one thing I don’t love is answering the dreaded question: “What do you do for work?” If I say I’m an Instructional Designer (ID), people usually do one of three things:
Granted, not everyone responds this way, but depending on their career path, whether they’ve taken recent corporate employee training, or participated in any formal online professional development learning as an adult, they may or may not have a clear picture of what instructional designers do.
Or worse: they may have only experienced poorly built eLearning, something this educator/marketer wants to combat! (Seriously, there’s no excuse for bad workshops or eLearning with all the cool knowledge and tools at our disposal these days.)
Even the Canadian job market is still a little hazy on what the job title of Instructional Designer entails, or even how to ensure someone is qualified. Some of the best IDs and learning consultants out there don’t have a specific degree in Instructional Design. Most consultants will come from a variety of backgrounds and former experience, which is good news for you! Read my post about 7 types of Instructional Designers and how to choose the one you need.
I’ve decided to explain what I do this way: “I design adult learning for organizations.” And then follow it by listing some of the clients I’ve worked with, and some of the projects I’ve worked on. I also choose to use other terms that more accurately describe what I do.
Here are some of the job titles we're seeing more often on LinkedIn and professional networking sites:
Hi, I’m Leah! I’m a…
Even today, despite watching my webinars and previewing some of my eLearning courses, my family still tell people I design websites. Or that I’m a teacher. Or that I make videos. Actually, they still have no idea. I’m starting to think that’s okay – because instructional design means so many things, and involves so many skills. I’m always learning, and I never get bored, and that’s a good thing.
Get in touch if you want to hear more about what this Instructional Designer can do for your organization!
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Leah Chang is a learning consultant with 17+ years of experience designing online and classroom learning. In her spare time she goes on self-propelled travel adventures and tries to grow vegetables.