Career Inquiry – 2018 Development Plan

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During this time of year performance reviews are conducted at my workplace and career discussions are taking place. To prepare for my discussion with my manager and come up with a development plan for this year, I decided to look at what types of job opportunities are available in my area (Grand Rapids, MI) and determine what skills are often requested. I primarily searched LinkedIn for positions related to “instructional designer” or “eLearning developer.” Some of the most common requirements and skills that I found to be the most relevant to my career interests are listed below.

General Requirements

  • 3-5 years of experience in instructional design
  • Degree in instructional design or equivalent
  • Knowledge of learning theories: ADDIE, SAM, AGILE
  • Collaboration with subject matter experts and other stakeholders
  • Experience managing training development projects


  • Adobe Captivate and Articulate Storyline
  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Learning management systems
  • Mobile Learning

I was surprised by how many local openings there were for instructional designers around me. While performing this search I happened to come across one particularly interesting learning agency in my city that seemed to have a great culture. They had a couple of postings looking for instructional designers and animation specialists. Like many of the companies I’ve found, a degree in instructional design is wanted. I started following them on LinkedIn and Twitter to stay up to date with any other job openings they may have in the future.

I have the work experience covered, and one of the primary reasons I’m going for my masters in instructional design is because a lot of these opportunities are looking for that degree. Based on the other requirements outlined above, there are still several skills I want to work on this year including multimedia, project management, and leadership. Using these as a basis, I came up with three development objectives that I want to work on this year, following Thomas Bale’s (2016) three step approach for making objectives SMART. SMART stands for specific, measurable, agreed, realistic, and timebound. An objective will only be useful if it meets these criteria. Below are the objectives I wish to work on, along with added comments for this class.


Objective Measurable Results Tools/Skills I Will Improve
Manage and develop new training programs Work with product management, customer success, and marketing to complete training programs for 2 new products/solutions

Work with SMEs to develop new eLearning course geared towards brands explaining how all of our products work together throughout a packaging workflow

Cross-team collaboration

Project management

Multimedia (Adobe Premiere, After Effects, Captivate)

Comments: I’ve worked on various eLearning and training video projects in the past, but not to the degree of managing them. Marketing has tried to manage some of these before, but most of the people in that department do not have a technical background or actual understanding of our products. I think I could bridge the gap between our technical experts and the marketing department to produce better training programs.
Make eLearning site more accessible to customers Work with IT to remove the login page blocking access to the eLearning site. Make login optional, required only for paid content.

Investigate ways of offering more of our content as free so we can reduce support calls and increase customer education

Convert all courses to HTML5

Cross-team collaboration

Project management

Coding (html, css)

Research / VOC


Comments: Accessibility has been something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently and I would like to look at ways of how we can improve our eLearning site and the overall customer experience. It’s almost too locked down and our support department even resist it. This project would require me to conduct “voice of the customer” and work with the IT department to make improvements
Leadership development Participate in one VSM

Lead one Kaizen event


Problem solving tools

Comments: My workplace utilizes a lot of different tools to solve problems, I think some of these could help me grow as a leader overall. I’ve never done any value stream mapping (VSM) before, but I understand it as a way of mapping out the events that take a product/service from its beginning to a customer. Kaizens are special events held at my workplace where a group of people will sit in a room for a few days hashing out a single problem until it is solved. At the end, some type of report-out is given. I’ve participated in a few before, but I think it would be good to lead one.


Bale, T. (2016, October 12). 3 steps to make your objectives SMART. Retrieved from


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