Maybe you’ve been working as an eLearning designer for a decade, or maybe just for a year. Either way, you want to make sure you stand out from the crowd. You want to be the person with whom internal or external clients choose to work, the designer your manager selects for the next promotion, or the candidate who gets hired for the coveted eLearning design job.
Here are ten ways to set yourself apart as an eLearning designer:
- Deliver engaging eLearning content. First things first, your content must be top-notch. Learners need to like it, and they need to gain new knowledge and skills as a result of completing your courses.
- Be a team player. Your success and that of the organization depends on you being able to work well with subject matter experts (SMEs), clients, and the training and development team. Focus on building relationships and contributing as part of the team–your efforts to partner will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.
- Talk in lay terms. No one loves the designer that tries to impress others by using words and language that only he or she understands. If you can communicate your message in a way that everyone understands you’re going to make fast friends.
- Learn about the organization. You’re able to be a more capable designer and team player if you understand operational and client needs. The only way to do that is to learn all you can about the core products and purpose of the organization.
- Tell the truth. Even though telling the truth (e.g., if you can’t make a deadline) may be difficult in the short term, it pays off in the long term. A designer that tells the truth—about deadlines or the reality of what is and isn’t possible in design—becomes the designer that people trust, and the person who gets the job.
- Maintain composure. Working well with others is a core skill in any field. Sometimes being an effective partner and team player requires that you maintain your composure. Nobody wants to work with an eLearning designer who has a temper, or who can’t take feedback. Be the content creator who keeps your cool and you’ll earn the respect of your colleagues.
- Think outside the box. Just as you need to be truthful about what design can and can’t do, if you want to be the go-to eLearning designer, innovation needs to be one of your top priorities. When choosing whom to work with, most clients will choose the “can do” designer who has a positive attitude, instead of the pessimist whose consistent answer is, “That will never work.”
- Keep learning. It’s easier to innovate if you continue to develop your skills. Demonstrate your commitment to your professional development and those around you will have confidence that your skills are above average.
- Mentor others. It’s not all about you. By serving as a mentor, you display leadership skills, as well as a desire to improve the industry and create a solid team.
- Enjoy what you do. When you love what you do, it’s contagious. People want to be around the eLearning designer who has fun. If you find that you aren’t enjoying the work, get back to the core of what made you choose this profession in the first place. Find your inspiration and then share it with those around you.
Bottom line: to set yourself apart from other employees and designers, do everything you can to make others’ jobs easier. Help your manager or clients experience success, develop your skills so you can provide outstanding content, and participate as a partner on every project. By doing so, you’ll stand out from the crowd, and you’ll reap the personal and professional benefits.
Liz Sheffield is a freelance writer with a background in training and development. She specializes in writing about everything related to the human side of business. You can contact her via LinkedIn or Twitter.