Whether you’re starting out in e-learning or a design veteran, there comes a moment in everyone’s career where it’s time for a change. If you’re feeling like that moment is now, you might be wondering how to prepare for your search or even where to look for jobs. To help you out, we’ve compiled this collection of tips and resources. And this article isn’t just for folx looking for jobs in-house—we’ve got resources for freelancers, too. Ready to get started? Let’s dive in!
1. Build Your Personal Brand
Before beginning your job search, it’s important to think about your personal brand. Your brand sets the tone for future first impressions and allows others to get a feel for who you are before you meet. Not only does this help you stand out—it also makes it easy for hiring and contracting managers to see your strengths at a glance.
While you might find the idea of branding yourself a bit odd, it’s less about thinking of yourself as a product and more about what you want to be known for. For example, do you want people to think of your ability to create playful and colorful courses when they think of you? If so, make sure your brand—and your portfolio—includes samples that feature those elements front and center.
Haven’t built your personal brand yet? No worries—we’ve got plenty of recommendations to get you started in this article: Boost Your E-Learning Career by Building Your Personal Brand.
2. Develop a Portfolio
Once you’ve nailed down your personal brand, it’s time to move onto creating a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of some of your best work that showcases the breadth of your development and instructional design skills. Not only does it give people a better sense of who you are and your skill level, it expresses your personality and creativity.
While each person’s portfolio is different, there are some key elements that each one should contain. Learn more about those by reading this article: 4 Things to Include in Your E-Learning Portfolio. If you’ve already nailed down those items, take a look at this article for even more inspiration: What to Include in an E-Learning Portfolio.
3. Establish an Online Presence
Social media is a great way to build your network and meet potential hiring managers or clients. But how do you know what type of engagement on social media is worth your while?
If you’re looking for an online community that’s specifically dedicated to e-learning, you’re in the right place! E-Learning Heroes has over one million members who are passionate about instructional design (not a member yet? Become one in just minutes!). Your E-Learning Heroes account can get you noticed, so take full advantage of it by learning how to maximize your E-Learning Heroes user profile.
Part of establishing your online presence is sharing your skills with the world! The best way to do that is by participating in E-Learning Challenges. Every week, we post a fun challenge to the E-Learning Heroes community and ask the community to share what they’ve created. It’s a great opportunity to learn new techniques, check out others’ work, get feedback on your projects, and gain visibility. Want to learn more? Check out 3 No-Fail Strategies for Building Your E-Learning Heroes Brand and learn how to get involved in the E-Learning Heroes community.
4. Search for Roles
Online job boards are everywhere, so how do you decide which ones to use? Start with our favorites:
- E-Learning Heroes Jobs Hub: Yep, that’s right! There’s a jobs hub right here on E-Learning Heroes. It’s chock-full of listings for jobs, contracts/gigs, and even volunteer opportunities.
- The Learning Guild Jobs Board: The Learning Guild is a great place to look for developer and management roles.
- LinkedIn: No matter what kind of job you’re looking for, you’re sure to find some leads on LinkedIn. Make sure to use the advanced search features to help narrow the list down to what’s right for you.
- ATD Job Bank: If your job search includes roles in training and development in general, be sure to dig into the listings on the Association for Training & Development’s site.
Don’t forget that if there’s a particular company you’re interested in, you can usually sign up for job notifications on their website. That way you’ll know as soon as a role becomes available.
Finally, if you have a trusted network—whether that’s friends, family, or colleagues—now’s a good time to let them know you’re searching for a new opportunity.
5. Consider Freelancing
Lots of folx in the e-learning industry make their living as freelance e-learning consultants and developers. Freelancing can open up a whole new world of possibilities and get your name out there in ways that an in-house role can’t. But how do you know if you’ll enjoy it or what you can do to be successful at it?
- First, check out this article: To Be or Not to Be a Freelance E-Learning Designer? In it, you’ll learn the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing and discover if it’s right for you.
- Want to get an inside look at what freelancing is like? Check out A Day in the Life of an E-Learning Freelancer.
- Then, learn about project planning, the review process, and more in this article: Rounding Up Resources for E-Learning Freelancers.
- If you’re left with questions, like how you can expand your client base, check out Answers to 4 Frequently Asked Questions from Freelancers.
E-learning is a growing industry, so there are lots of opportunities for designers and developers. By practicing what we’ve shared in this article, you’ll be ready to track down and land your next role in no time.
Looking for more resources on working in the e-learning industry? Check out these articles.
- 3 Big Reasons Why Now Is a Good Time to Be an E-Learning Pro
- Answering Your Top Questions on Becoming an Instructional Designer
- What Questions Do You Ask Prospective Employers?
Do you have tips on how you’ve grown your career, earned new opportunities, or achieved other professional milestones? Share them in the comments! We’d love to hear about them.