You’ve figured out how to increase your knowledge and skills to collaborate with other professionals. Now you’ll want to connect with them and find work in the e-learning industry. Whether you want to freelance or secure a job on an organizational e-learning team, the remaining tips are not to be missed!
3. Increase your exposure
In my experience, trainers in the e-learning world are excited to share their knowledge and experience with newcomers. They’re teachers after all! Networking is an incredible opportunity to get an interview with a small team. Or you might connect with a freelancer who specializes in another software and may bring you work on collaborations.
While networking can be formal like at events hosted by the The Institute for Performance and Learning, you can also get to know e-learning industry professionals via certificate programs (see Tip #1). Some peers may be more experienced than others, but you will be amazed by the range of specializations and opportunities to use e-learning in the workplace. This will inform your own career path and help you develop connections for the future.
The second meaning of “increase your exposure” is to remain a student yourself. Constantly keep up with what e-learning looks like on the other side of the (virtual) classroom. Take free courses on Lynda.com or Coursera, and watch free webinars hosted by a variety of organizations on any topic you like. Also, if you do an e-learning certificate, make sure it’s online so you can experience the best practices that the instructors are using.
As a life-long student, you’ll refine what you look for in a teacher, the structure and format best suited to different content, and the resources that enhance the learning experience. Plus, you’ll forever stay up to date with industry trends!
4. Create your portfolio
As mentioned in Part 1 of this series, it’s critical to build a portfolio when you’re looking to break into the e-learning industry.
Be intentional about the work you produce. You may want to showcase the diverse range of software and class formats you use.
If you prefer curriculum development and instructional design, you might want to specialize more and concentrate on elements like storyboards. Instead, if you have a unique mix of skills from a previous job, demonstrate how that makes you special. Perhaps you do the graphic design for your own job aids!
Always keep a copy of projects you work on for your own records. If you’re building internal modules for your current company or your videos are hosted on an organization’s website, you could lose access to the files or they could be removed from public view.
That’s why it’s critical to keep a copy of your projects – even if it means scrubbing their brand-specific content – so that you have a strong portfolio of your creations.
Potential employers will often require a portfolio to get an interview. Or, if you want to go freelance, your portfolio is your strongest asset when pursuing potential clients. So be a proud owner of your work!
These were a few of my tips for breaking into the e-learning industry.
Looking for more guidance? Get in contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!
Want to follow Tip #3 and remain a lifelong student? Check out this article on how to learn a language online.