Jayney Wallick has been a member of ATD since 2011. Here's her story in her own words.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I started out facilitating and delivering training for non-profits, then for Microsoft, and later, Aldus/Adobe technical support. I slowly migrated to instructional design. I've been designing training for a variety of companies (Microsoft, T-Mobile, Expedia, Amazon, and Boeing to name a few) in a variety of areas (retail, telecommunications, travel, aerospace, etc.), and for a variety of audiences (technical/customer support, engineering/operations, HR/leadership, etc.) ever since.
What are your personal and/or professional goals?
My professional goals are to grow my skills so I can move into a more senior instructional designer role and contribute more to a thriving and continually developing and innovating learning and development team.
What’s the most valuable thing you’ve gained or experienced during your membership with ATD?
The most valuable thing I've gained during my ATD membership is my CPLP, without a doubt. The CPLP required a work product sample when I attained it and it might have been more difficult to attain than the current credential (though that is mere speculation on my part). I learned a lot about my field in the process, though at the time I thought it was more difficult than it should have been, and I'm happy to see the current changes. I also ended up co-facilitating what started out as a partially virtual, and became a completely virtual CPLP study group, which was a valuable experience as well.
Could you share any professional tips, specific to talent development, that you have picked up along the way?
I can really only speak about the learning and development area, since that has been my only focus as long as I've been in this field. However, that said, I find that many clients seem to have had negative experiences with instructional designers making demands of them. I know this sounds pretty basic, but projects I've been involved with have tended to flow more smoothly with a variety of project team members offering a variety of experience and backgrounds. In this type of environment, more listening can occur. From what I can tell, the more I listen and take the client's and learner's needs into account, the better I can advocate for the learner—which is an important, often overlooked part of instructional design and usually leads to training that better addresses needs of the learners in question.
Do you have any advice for people looking to further their careers?
Yes. Roll with the punches—there are many of them, and they often come with no warning. The more you can anticipate the unexpected, tall order though that might be, the better off you'll be. Network as much as possible—you never know where your next career or education direction will come from, and the more people you meet and connect with professionally, the better your chances of success.
What is your personal definition of talent development?
Talent development is ensuring that the workforce is better prepared not only to do the jobs they were hired to do, but to progress on their career paths. This includes providing tools and services to enable their career success. For me, that involves ensuring that the workforce are properly trained to do the jobs they currently perform, and in some cases, enabling them to train others to do the same.
How do you stay motivated?
I'm part of a great team and currently work at a company that routinely saves lives. If that isn't motivating, I don't know what is. That, combined with all of the relentless advancements in the training and development field, is a great motivator for me because it results in more possibilities to succeed and help others to do the same.
How do you find meaning in your work?
I make my work count. Of course, I haven't always had the luxury of ensuring that my work is committed toward a good cause, but I have been able to make that happen on more than one occasion. Being part of something bigger—both in my company, and in other training-related organizations like ATD, my local ATD chapter, the Institute for Performance and Learning, and other organizations where I have taken courses or participated in other ways is helpful. Being part of something bigger means that I'm no longer on my own, but part of a team, with additional resources, ability to contribute, and colleagues to reach out to that I never would have had by myself. In that way, I contribute toward a common goal which, if worthy, is meaning enough in itself.