This summer will be my four year anniversary as an instructional designer. It took six years after graduating with a M.Ed in Instructional Technology, to finally get offered my first instructional design (ID) position at a local state college. Thinking about the road taken, I realized that though I almost gave up hope of getting to that point, perseverance was and is the key to success. I also realized that all the various jobs I had worked in education gave me the experience I needed to be of value to some organization and at that point I hoped for any organization.
I remember complaining to my professor how I was unable to get an ID position. He told me, “getting an ID job takes time where you and the employer realize you are the perfect fit.” That was was like telling a lonely single person to be patient and their true love will come. Who wants to hear that? You want it now, not later.
The crazy thing is when it does happen and you get your first ID position, you are definitely glad you waited. You almost can’t imagine your life any other way. With that, it is a great feeling to know someone values your knowledge and experience and appreciates what truly makes you an asset to their organization.
My first day was nerve racking, exhilarating, and empowering. I walked in building and nervously took the elevator to the fourth floor. I sat down with my new team and after I was told I was supposed to be at work at 7am instead of 8am, I listened and tried to understand the vision. After hearing the vision I thought to myself “I hit the jackpot.” We were not just hired to design online courses, but we were hired to design, develop, and run a virtual campus. A little unconventional, but it worked!
I engaged with my new coworkers and tried to understand where I fit in the team to accomplish this awesome goal. Once I knew that my skills complemented the team I realized my wait wasn’t in vain. All those years working towards my goal, had prepared for this new role and from this point on I can’t imagine it being any other way.
It turns out all these years later, I had what it takes to be a good instructional designer BUT it is only with the help of a good team that you become great!
Though my the depiction of the situation might be idealistic, working in a team can be anything but perfect.
Keep up with the blog and you’ll see how 😉
Jessica Fernandez, PhD
P.S. If you have any topics you would like me to talk about or any questions, send me your comments or questions by going to the Contact Me page.