Reflection on Chapter 4: Where Do You See Yourself in Five Years?
Each blog post in this series (#WIWIK) will take a moment to reflect on the questions at the end of each chapter.
Feel free to join the conversation by responding in the comments with your answers to the discussion questions (with plain text or a link to your post).
Here is the reflection question for the fourth chapter:
Five years ago, did you imagine yourself working in the instructional design field? If the answer is no, what changed this trajectory to guide you on this path?
Five years ago, I had never heard of instructional design (truthfully, I hadn't even heard of the term a year ago). In 2018, I don't think I could have ever seen myself outside of public education. I enjoyed teaching and I was good at it (I also was a third of the way to a state retirement). I occasionally entertained the thought of changing positions in the school environment to become a Media Center Coordinator, School Technologist, or (in my darkest moments when reason abandoned me) a school administrator, but I'm not sure I would have made such a move until much later in my career.
Like many people, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. Hobson references a quote by Edgar Schein (2017, p. 222), which states that most employees do not work at full capacity for extended periods of time. However, the pandemic created conditions where I was working beyond my capacity for two years to create meaningful learning experiences for my students and I still had to work a side job to make ends meet due to the low wages teachers receive for their work. The emotional and mental exhaustion began taking a toll on my health, so despite the love I have of teaching, I knew it was time to start looking for a way out.
When I first decided to leave, I would have taken any job I could have landed. I applied to over two-hundred positions in a matter of months and had virtually no success (other than a soft offer for an in-person administrative assistant job that paid half my salary and was in a different state, which I actually considered). After that terrible search, I wisened up and honed in on instructional design by thinking about the parts of teaching I enjoyed the most, the skills I have attained and others I could develop, and researching the kinds of jobs teachers had successfully transitioned into.
Now that I'm in the field, I'm loving it. I don't know what the next five years has in store, but I'm certainly enjoying the here and now.
Hobson, L. (2021). What I Wish I Knew Before Becoming an Instructional Designer. Independently published.
Schein, E. H. (2017). Organizational Culture and Leadership (The Jossey-Bass Business & Management Series). Wiley.