My undergrad degree is in electronics technology. How in the world, you may ask, am I in the learning industry? I wonder myself sometimes! I stumbled my way into a training position purely by accident. I started out as a call center supervisor and was promoted to a business analyst for a large health insurance company, and I hated it! To begin my supervisory position, I went through a 16-week training program. I became friends with the trainers, and I really liked the idea of sharing what I knew in a controlled environment. About a month before my year was up as a business analyst, which would make me eligible to apply for another position, a training position became available. I begged the human resources director (yes, begged) to allow me to apply early, sharing all the shenanigans I endured in my current department, and he relented.
I trained call center new hires, and I loved it! It was the most fun I had ever had at work. As I think back, I didn’t realize how much instructional design I was actually working on. I talked to the supervisors about what they thought should be included in the training program. I revamped and developed training modules. I developed job aids to support my students in class, and evaluation tools. I even created process manuals for my training team. I did all this with no formal knowledge of ADDIE, and, somehow, I was using the ADDIE system. I did earn a master’s degree in teaching and learning with technology along the way, but I still didn’t feel very confident with all aspects of my field.
Fast forward to my current job. I was unemployed for about four months prior to starting my current job. The recruiter, for some reason, spent a lot of time prepping me for this opportunity. I had to Google a lot of concepts to prepare for my interview, only to find out I knew about everything the job required. I just didn’t know the correct terminology. My current job is where I faithfully began to use ADDIE for developing learning events. For some reason, I still wasn’t confident with the knowledge I was using every day. I found myself in meetings having ideas and suggestions that I thought would work, but I remained quiet because I didn’t want to embarrass myself. After a meeting, I might ask someone I trusted if my thoughts and ideas were relevant to a topic that was discussed, and I would always receive confirmation that I was on track. Something had to change.
I had researched the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential off and on for years, but I didn’t think I was eligible to apply. I finally took the plunge and earned it, and my professional life has changed for the better. I feel so much more confident with the knowledge I have. I share in meetings, and I make recommendations to challenges we have as a team that I can support with information I learned while studying for the CPLP exams. I believe the credential has made me more attractive to recruiters, as well. Although I’m not actively job hunting, when I’m ready, this credential will be a huge selling point. The knowledge I’ve gained from having this credential has made me love this vocation even more. There are so many options for what I can do to make a living in this field, and there are so many facets of this field that I really enjoy. My skills and ideas have been stretched since I earned the CPLP credential. Now, I feel like the sky’s the limit!
Learn more about the CPLP certification.