Emergency Planning for IDs

Recently after taking a leap of faith and taking an on a new role in a different institution, things did not go as expected. After trying to stick it out and not wanting to return to my old job I walked away with no job lined up. Risky? ABSOLUTELY! I quickly found myself with an outdated portfolio and outdated technology skills.

I was an instructional designer and like many instructional designers know, you will master the skills that you use everyday. But you only use skills that fulfill the mission of your distance education program. It’s great because you will excel at producing whatever elearning materials you generally create. So what’s the downfall? You excel at using only a limited number of skills UNLESS you actively pursue new learning opportunities while practicing new skills. So if you storyboard all day, then you’re great at it BUT then you’re not working in Captivate, Articulate, Lectora, or Adobe Creative Cloud products and you won’t be as efficient in those tools.

So what did I do as soon as I realized I was like like a CD player living in a live streaming world? I did what any person would do…..I cried! Not really, but I felt like it.

I did an informal GAP analysis. I identified my current state, identified where I needed to be, and developed an action plan to address the GAP in my skillset.

How exactly did I do this?

1. I identified my current state.

I quickly jotted down a list of all my skills pertaining to instructional design therefore assessing my current skill level.

2. I identified where I need to be.

I started looking at job descriptions for positions I would be interested in. I created a list of skills I needed for the desired positions. You will quickly see common themes and trends for instructional design skills trending in the job market. It was easy to see that I was somewhat outdated. The most common skills will be the skills I will work on obtaining first.

3. I developed an action plan based on the GAP.

I created an action plan consisting of updating my portfolio and learning some new skills including learning the Creative Cloud apps, Captivate, as well as video production and editing.


Simple right? Give it a try even if you’re not looking for a new job.

Yours Truly,




Jessica Fernandez, PhD

eLearning GEEK

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