Tag Archives: instructionaldesign

Lucky Charm, Baby: Pregnant and Promoted

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It is not less than winning a Grand Slam when you get the first promotion of your life! You start feeling a little closer to eminent athletes like Serena Williams, who literally won the Australian Open while being eight weeks pregnant!

Yes, I got promoted to a Senior Instructional Designer while being 25 weeks pregnant!

Not that I perspired on the court for more than an hour without dropping a set, but I simply did my job as good as I could!

In fact, working women undergo a huge dilemma as to when to reveal the pregnancy, will she be given a project during that period, how to deal with the limited maternity leaves, will she be fired for being pregnant and so on! Along with the hormonal turbulence occurring inside her, she has to additionally worry about the career that she has poured her heart and soul into.

Logically speaking, pregnancy lasts only for a few months, what lasts long is the maternity leave followed! But it is still perceived as a long-term handicap followed by a prolonged absence physically as well as mentally.

Personally, being pregnant has increased my enthusiasm for work. I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. I was determined to learn something new every day. I think this attitude helped me climb up the career ladder.

Again, my country and my employer have a huge role to play. Recently, the Indian government sanctioned a 26 weeks paid maternity leave for female Indian employees, along with having a crèche facility in close vicinity of the work place. The policy also allows work from home after the maternity leave.

And my employer considered my last project a huge success consequently appreciating my efforts, skills, and creativity by promoting a level higher!

I’m over the moon, of course…, but then fear sets in! May be my hormones are bouncing around for obvious reasons, or maybe I’m scared of losing the freedom to make mistakes. I think getting promoted is a double edged sword, exciting yet petrifying. It doesn’t matter whether it is your first promotion or the final one where you get the corner office. You realize how little you know about your new role, especially when you’re trying hard to cope with your boss’s big and bold expectations.

Getting accustomed to the new KRAs and being comfortable in your new role needs patience. To be able to swiftly get into your new role, you need to inculcate these new work habits:

  • Be frank to voice your opinion, but not rude to force them
  • Make new mistakes every day and learn from them
  • Don’t just set your goals blindly, meet your expectations
  • Keep yourself open to learn
  • Be bold enough to accept your fears to conquer them
  • Learn to celebrate the small achievements that contribute to a bigger goal

It’s not about how physically handicapped you are, what emotionally disturbing crisis you’re undergoing. All you have to do is be confident that you are the right person for the job.

In my opinion, irrespective of your gender, age, physical potential, and your job profile, you have to be pregnant with ideas eternally!

My aim is to prompt action, not just a thought. Regardless of your time in your current role, what idea can you take from this and apply in your work today?

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Instructional Design: The Art of Making

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Are you struggling to come up with your first branched scenario? Is it mundane to read about the difference between ‘Gamification’ and ‘Game-based learning’? Do you become an eLearning Nazi when people around you use the two terms interchangeably?

Yeah! Then you are doing instructional design the correct way!

This means that you are upbeat with the latest trends; you have the constant urge to learn new things. You are obsessed about the terms and their meanings. And most importantly, you have a constant yearning to learn and make new stuff!

The art of making stuff is not just a point sitting in our job description eternally, but it also is the very reason and motif of our designation.

The stuff that we make is courses, info-graphics, games, micro learnings, infomercials, simulations and so on! For which we have instant access to a plethora of ‘how to’ data on the internet. But what these videos/tutorial/ articles/ discussions don’t have is the emphasis on the importance of actually making stuff! What I mean is that once you have read and seen everything about branched scenarios, you cannot develop a masterpiece immediately. The bottom line is that the practice of consistently making and releasing projects makes all the difference in your ability as an Instructional Designer. Having said that here are three reasons why I think you should take ‘making’ seriously in our field:

Because creativity comes from practice

‘Wait for inspiration’ is closely associated with creativity. And inspiration is regarded as a shooting star that makes you wait to get anything done until it shows up! Well, it turns out that this is a myth. And it is dead wrong!

Creativity is showing up and making things consistently! 

Because you can practice on the job

Any tool, technique, or design trend you learn takes time and practice to master. You have to figure out what works, observe, and implement. At work, we have the opportunity to work on projects after projects. Look at it as a chance to experiment the acquired knowledge and expand your horizons.

Practice is implementing the learnt changes in your day to day work!

Because you can afford to fail

Let me remind you one fact, “You have the freedom to rehash all the stuff you made in a safe environment.” Although spending time on novel options only to fail is not an option for many of us. We can certainly record our failure on one technology and apply it on a new one!

Failure is having the guts to stand up after falling down!

So what are you making lately?