What’s your job title?
My official job title is Community Manager. What does that mean? Well, it means content creator, writer, event planner, project manager, trainer, writer, public speaker … and that’s just the start! It’s a multifaceted role; every week there are new challenges and opportunities to develop new skills, which I love, because it’s what keeps work interesting!
What’s your workspace setup like?
Since I work from home, it’s important for me to have a separate room in my house dedicated to my office space. When I step into the office, I step into work-mode. The room itself is clean, bright, airy, and organized, which I think is conducive to being productive.
When it comes to technical setup, I have my work laptop hooked up to my keyboard and a widescreen monitor. I prefer a laptop rather than a desktop because I travel for work a LOT! When I do, I simply unplug my keyboard and monitor and off I go, with all my work files and applications I need already on the laptop.
What is your creative or design philosophy?
You can’t force creativity. The urge to be creative comes in waves, at different times of day. A huge part of my work requires me to put on my creative thinking cap: writing articles, creating templates and other downloads. Since I tend to be most creative around mid-morning and in the evening after dinner, I arrange my schedule to work during the times I know are most productive and creative for me.
How do you stay fresh and keep building your skills?
Practice makes perfect. It’s cliche but true. I write and create e-learning samples every day. When I look back on my writing from two years ago … it hurts my eyes. Not really, but I can tell my skills have improved HUGELY! So my advice to keep building your skills is to keep practicing. Check out cool examples of what’s out there, what the trends are, and what others are doing. Then, try to imitate and duplicate, and while doing so, you’ll expand your skill set whether you’re trying to or not.
What books or blogs have been influential to you?
Tom Kuhlmann’s Rapid E-Learning Blog was literally life-changing for me. I remember the night I first stumbled upon it, early in my instructional design and training career, and it was like WOW!; this all makes so much sense. I made a bowl of popcorn and spent hours poring through each article about building scenarios and PowerPoints. That very night I started hyperlinking PowerPoints to create cool branched examples. Reading his blog is also what inspired me to start my own blog, which is what eventually led to me working for Articulate. Thanks, Tom! You’ve been an amazing, positive influence in my career.
On another note, a book that was influential for me was Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg, which was a huge revelation for me. I was nodding my head in agreement the entire time I read the book. It was such a relief to learn I wasn’t alone and other successful women have feelings of doubt about themselves and their achievements; reading Lean In has helped me hugely because now I’m aware of the feelings when they creep in and I can shut them down quickly and change my frame of mind. It’s been a big help for me in my career.
What kinds of tasks do you love to do? What gets you excited to sit down at your desk?
Anything that involves working in Articulate Storyline because I get to be creative and use color, text, and typography. But in addition to that I’m also working with variables and triggers and using logic, which works the mental side as well as the creative side. It’s a perfect mix!