One of the topics for this week is to talk about our career.
I’m new to the Learning and Development field, so the decision to pursue this new career and possible trajectories is still quite fresh.
When I think about the areas of development needed to thrive in this new career I see three distinct themes: Continual Professional Development, Experience, and Community.
Continual Professional Development:
I teach and train others, so it is important to also be a good student. One of my commitments is to continue along with my own education, both formally and through self-directed study.
I’m already shopping for graduate programs. With my technical background, I would like to focus on educational technologies. It is likely that I will be enrolling in a Master’s program shortly after completing the PIDP.
I am also very interested in Leadership and Organizational Development. I am already an avid reader in these areas and this is something I commit to continue throughout my career.
Another step I plan to take is to certify with the Canadian Institute for Performance and Learning. The process of certification focuses on the development of core competencies vital for professionals in the learning and development field. While there are other similar organizations that also certify, I selected this organization as it is Canadian. Not to say I am not interested in International Opportunities because I am 100% (if a recruiter reads this pretty please! travel is my friend). Rather, I prefer the idea of a tight knit community with more mentorship opportunities.
One of the most important things is to gain experience! Get out and practise the valuable skills the PID program teaches. I work for a great company who has been very supportive throughout my transition. They even created the Learning and Development role for me when I expressed my interest. Being the first, allows me to gain experiences that may not be readily available for me at other companies with well developed Learning and Development departments, which is super cool.
Experience is also a vital component of the certification process at the Institute for Performance and Learning. With completion of the PIDP (this reduces the experience requirement by 1 year), I will need 3 years of experience to certify.
Community I also feel is very important for career development. We’ve talked and created a community of learning throughout the PID program. This is an important part of being an educator who is looking to continually grow and improve.
The institute of performance and learning offers many community offering. Membership gains you access to local meet ups and mentorship opportunities. They also have a yearly conference in Toronto, which I’m hoping to attend regularly going forward.
Another great community I am involved in is E-Learning Heroes. This is a community that was set-up by Articulate, which creates e-learning course authoring solutions. I am an avid user of this product suite (and LOVE it). The community is one of the reasons I selected this software over others on the market. It is a place you can share work, get feedback, post problems, and seek solutions. My learning curve in this industry would have been much steeper if it did not exist!
Finally, I want to give back by creating learning content online. I want to continue building this blog, as well as my video library. The fact that learners can create their own content is one of the concepts that fascinates me the most, so I want to continue to study and share my journey with others.