Monday, November 4, 2013

New beginnings and new inspiration

It's been a while since I posted anything to this blog and I think it's time started using this space again. Over the last few months I've been engaged in a job search and it has been a very discouraging experience. Between the state of the job market and the fact that I had let myself get out the habit of staying connected professionally I was not feeling very confident in terms of finding my next gig. I knew from a strategic standpoint that one of the most critical times to strengthen and build your network was while you were employed but I had allowed myself to ignore that advice from a tactical point of view.

In September in an effort to re-connect professionally I attended a meeting of the MID NJ ASTD; my local chapter. Now, it's important to note that I'd been highly engaged with the chapter in the past but with family obligations and work I'd let my membership and participation slide. While at the meeting I was approached with an opportunity to re-engage with the chapter. I was asked to take on the role of Technology SIG lead. After consulting with my wife I agreed. One of the benefits that came with accepting a board position was that I was able to attend the chapter leaders conference in the Washington D.C. area in October. It is this opportunity of chapter engagement and attendance to a conference of like minded professionals that has given me renewed energy and purpose in my job search.

There were a lot of great ideas and energy floating around the conference. The focus of the conference is to engage the leadership of local ASTD chapters. Things like engaging your membership, increasing volunteerism within the chapter, leadership development plus things like programming ideas, technology considerations for events and a whole host of other topics too numerous to go into right now. The long and the short of this is that I have found new energy in my job search. It's amazing how easy it is to lose your energy and once lost how easy it is to forget what you need to do to get it back. I had gotten complacent in terms of maintaining my network, keeping my eye on the job market and basically being ready the next time I needed to use my network. I'm hoping that by writing about my recent experiences with my job search I won't forget so easily next time. I hope to post at least once a month and more often if I think I have something more to say.  Till next time. 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Question of the Month - February

February's question of the month is:

What is the impact of the economy on you and your organization? What are you doing as a result?

Me and my organization are one and the same. As I mentioned in my previous blog post I am seeking full time permanent employment instead of continuing on the path I've been on for the last five years which has been contracting. The current economy has forced me to think more critically about what kinds of opportunity's I pursue. As time goes on I need to evaluate how much pay I'm willing accept, location and distance from home and even how closely related to my current position future work might be. In other words how far might I need to stray from Instructional Design. If in the coming year I can't find something in the field of Learning and Development I might have to consider working at Kinko's or Home Depot so I can get benefits for my family and allow my wife to pursue her own career aspirations.

There are a number of reasons for this. While I'm not having much difficulty finding contract work there are very few full time opportunities out there right now. There is a good chance that my wife might be told that to keep her job we'll have to move because her company is being bought out by another company. She is planning on changing careers in the coming months and the most likely route for that change will be to take contract jobs to build up her experience. So for these and other reasons I am considering taking actions that in other economic circumstances I might not otherwise consider.

Questions of the Month - January

I am going to start this blog by attempting to answer the question of the month from The Learning Circuits Blog. This is actually the January question of the month but it seemed like a good place to start.

  • What are your biggest challenges for this upcoming year?

  • What are your major plans for the year?

  • What predictions do you have for the year?

I will answer this question in the order presented. My biggest challenge will be finding full time employment with benefits. For the last few years I have been working as a consultant which has allowed me to be fairly flexible in terms of the hours I keep on a daily basis. The primary goal as I see it is to provide the best level of service to a client and provide them with an excellent final product. My challenge in the coming year is find full time employment with benefits. Particularly health benefits. In the current economic climate this is going to be challenging. I need to do this so that my wife can affect a career change of her own. I have had the pleasure of being able to work as a consultant because of her full time employment. It is time to return the favor. Despite the difficulty I do this with pleasure.

The second part of the question was partially answered already by stating that I plan to transition back into corporate life. I also plan to continue updating my skills. I call myself an Instructional Technologist. I view technology with an eye toward how can I use something to further the instructional goal before me. This blog is an example of that perspective. To further that goal I'm hoping to attend a conference this year. It's been a couple of years since I've been to any conference. I will also renew my search for an academic program that fits into my goals. Preferably something on line and that will culminate in a certificate or degree.

The final part of the question was what do I predict for 2009? I have seen a trend over the past year that I think is only going to increase and that is an expanded acceptance of e-learning. Use what ever definition you want of e-learning. I think that the economy is going to force organizations to explore ways to cut costs. That means that some organizations are going to be forced to use a technology they have been reluctant to accept until now. I think this also means that organization that already understand the best time to train is when you are going through difficult economic times are going to expand their use of e-learning. I am not worried about finding work, I'm worried about finding full time work with benefits.