Saturday, January 23, 2010

When I Grow Up I Want to Be an Instructional Designer.

girl at windowWhat did you want to be when you grew up? 

(And maybe you’re still asking yourself that.  And maybe you haven’t really grown up yet.)

As a 9-year old kid, did you think, “I wanna be a firefighter, a doctor, a teacher…or maybe…an instructional designer!”

I suspect that few of those who now practice the fine art and science of instructional design, started off early in life with that vision.  In fact, many of us found our way here by accident.

At what point did it dawn on you that this was your calling, your passion, your profession?  Or, at least, the way you would pay your bills?

Me?  I wanted to be a writer or a teacher.  I feel lucky that I now get to do both in one neat little package.  I’ve shared my story before – my route to instructional design.   Although my post is a few years old, the past hasn’t changed.

I’m interested to hear your story.  Please share in the comments here or post on your blog and leave a link. 

Photo:  “Girl at Window” by Cammy Bean


Taruna Goel said...

Inspired by you. I am an Instructional Designer - This is My Story.

Shelley Gable said...

Fun post! For a long time, my main interest was writing. My "secondary interests" were always seems I was a bit curious about everything. Then in late high school and early college, I wanted to do something with psychology and/or sociology. In my second year in college, I stumbled into a training job...and I realized that the field could bring my various interests and broad curiosity together! I've been working in training ever since. And, I've recently ventured into freelance writing.

Wendy said...

I wanted to be a roadie for Led Zeppelin when I grew up. Nevermind that Bonham was dead and Page and Plant weren't speaking to each other at the time.....

I fell into the field because I was bored doing AV work and happened to be working at a University with an instructional technology program.

I realized that Instructional Design and Technology was the "holy grail" I had been seeking - a field where I could apply the skills and theories to any topic my heart desired.

I love it. I'm decent at it. I can make a living. And it is much easier on the body than dragging road cases in and out of trucks ;)

Clark said...

Cammy, I blogged it, but briefly: intended to be a scientist/engineer. I've ended up studying lots of approaches to learning and consider my self a learning design reflective practitioner (studying the science of learning, engineering the design of learning solutions, in an action/design research paradigm). So I guess I ended up doing what I wanted to do.

Unknown said...

The long, strange trip of a former Junior HS History/Spec. Ed teacher and Veterinarian wanna be. Read the gory details here:

How I became an ID

Allisun said...

I reflected on my "aha" moment a few months ago here

I have only ever seriously considered two careers - Sudbury School co-founder and Instructional Designer (from early on, knew that I wanted to be involved with learning, but in a different way from traditional teaching). I tried to start the Sudbury School for a while, but the opportunities just didn't present themselves compared to how my path to eLearning unfolded :) And I am very happy to be on it.

Rob Bartlett said...

I was inspired by the comment of Mom's client, but that comes later.

I had always been interested in figuring out new things, and taking in as much information, or as my wife calls it "who knows stuff like that?".

I did a degree in kinesiology where I learned the science and art of instruction in the physical world. After school I went to work as a salesman, for three reasons, to travel, to push myself out of shyness, and because it was the only job I could find.

I then went on to fulfilling a dream of working on the family farm, to support that I worked as temp for Kelly and Adecco to give me the flexibility to farm while maintaining cash flow. Dropped into various work environments I has to figure out who to get the job done with a wide range of instruction, it was like grad school in performance solutions.

Once the farming dream became died, (although I still own and rent my farm)I started work in a warehouse and had risen to the Office/warehouse/warranty manager. It was completely unfulfilling but it filled a need. It was a job, not a career.

Now back to my Mom, she was a nurse and for most of her career she worked as public health nurse. A few days after she passed away I was on the street in my hometown when an elder in the community my mom served approached me. This elder stopped me and said, " Your Mom always helped our community and it is a better place because of her work"

It hit later that I had been missing the connection in my life to making it a better place. I thought of many different paths to getting that feeling.

I still wanted to maintain my meager lifestyle so full time at school didn't make sense. Then I thought if I could figure things out and show other people how they could do it to.

I took a job as a sales coach, enrolled in the St. Francis Xavier adult education program.

Then I got lucky, the sales coach job had training added to it, so I gained experience with delivery and with design. From there I was on my way to be an instructional designer, or as I call it solution agnostic learning architect.

Rob Bartlett

Kim Worthy said...

Great post! Here is my story

Cammy Bean said...

Thank you everyone for sharing your stories. We're a motley crew...and no I didn't want to be a roadie for Motley Crue.

Anonymous said...

my history:

and now i am considering continuing my studies to gain the skills and knowledge. As you mentioned in another blog post, if only companies would be schools to continue learning and developing their employees skills then I wouldn't have thought abt getting an advance degree but considering that my working environment does not consider much of this need to upscale its employees I want to get a wholesome experience of gaining some education and skills to be a better instructional designer.