Putting a foot back into the box

Once your eyes have been opened and you have stepped out of the box it’s really hard to step back in.

I have been on  a journey to modernize myself using concepts like social leadership, personal knowledge mastery and working out loud for the past few years.  It has opened my eyes to a whole new way of working, one that I want to share with others.

In a few prior posts I discussed what this may look like and that I was ready to find my next thing (either inside or outside my current org).  As you may have noticed, this was quite a few months ago and I really have not made any progress.  Why is that you ask?

Well for a few reason’s

  • I got distracted (hey look, there’s a squirrel)
  • I prioritized other things (did someone say let’s go mountain biking?)
  • I got discouraged (this is so freaking hard)

And it seems I am not the only one.  Helen Blunden of Activate Learning Solutions is also on a similar quest.

She wants a:

“role that blends inspiration and new thinking from people who are inspired and who inspire others with their ideas and projects. One that trail blazes and inspires people to continually build their own learning capacity. A place where I can have the freedom to express myself in my own quirky way through social networks, blogging and video. If it’s focussed on ethical industries that help support community and society – then even better!”

and is also similarly discouraged:

“Trust me, there ain’t any jobs like that on any online job boards.”

So it seems that I am also left scratching my head, clearly out of the box but realizing that I may need to stuff a leg or two back in to forge ahead and break through the corporate hierarchies.

In a follow on post Helen discusses that concept.

Recently I shared to my Facebook friends that I may concede defeat and have to learn the e-learning courseware development package Articulate (which seems to be on 99% of the job adverts for Australian Learning roles in the online job boards).

Many of you know my frustration for developing courses for courses sake, however, in order to get through the first round to interviews, this software package must be on my resume or it gets knocked out by the recruiter’s keyword search bots.

Ugh.  I so feel you Helen (insert tantrum foot stomping here).

However, whenever I resist something so strongly, it normally indicates something I know I need to do. I think I tend to forget that most people & corporations are not where I am at.  That happens when you try to live on the edge.

I need to take a step back and refocus.  Here is how I am going to start:

  • Find/create a course development project so I can beef up my instructional design/development skills
  • Find a WOL circle so I can create relationships to help me research and discover what I want from my next thing
  • Reflect more on what my capabilities are and how each of them can address the needs of a business.

So glad I come upon Helen’s post this week.  It’s giving me the kick in the ass I need.

4 thoughts on “Putting a foot back into the box

Add yours

    1. of course. thinking of starting a work out loud circle. you should join or i can point you to one as well. this is a great way to get started.


  1. Kate, thanks so much for this post and I’m glad that you felt that there was some learning in it. It’s really strange that we have to go through this entire process however, let’s not make any mistake about it – we can’t go back. We can’t “unlearn” what we now know and go back to working the way we did. It’s simply not possible.

    Not to discount the great work that e-learning courseware developers do but my realisation is that if this work is not for you, it’s not for you. This is what I’m grappling with every day I look at the job boards with dread.

    Every L&D job role and interview I’ve been in (consulting and ID roles alike because let’s face it, some L&D roles are now being consolidated so you are Consultant, Project Manager, Instructional Designer, Graphic Designer, Multi-Media web developer, LMS Administrator all in one role).

    So this is what I’m coming to terms with in my job-seeking at the moment and find myself excitedly talking about possibilities around social and collaborative learning (my passions) in the workplace in job interviews to people who ask specific questions about the skills they need today, right now, (in fact, yesterday), to meet their business demand and compliance needs.

    I go away from the interview slightly deflated (because they want courseware developers) but also in some way, positive because it has confirmed to me that L&D is at the cross roads now (and I’ve left them with seeds of doubt). We need to have that ‘out of the box’ thinking!

    Even as I thought that I need to download Articulate and start experimenting with it, I can’t tell you the dread I feel in doing this – it doesn’t rock my boat! Figuring out a way to somehow link it with something I was passionate about was the only way I could make it digestible and not find excuses to procrastinate… My lesson: We need to take 3 steps backwards to take a step forward because when you’re two steps ahead of everyone else, you’re still ahead. (Okay dumb quote but hopefully that makes sense)…

    Liked by 2 people

    1. love your quote. It’s a good way of thinking about it and I agree, know that we know what we know, we defiantly can’t go back.

      your experience is a good reminder to me that not everyone is ready for the things we are exploring and that yes, we may need to take a step or two back and push out content. All the while we can continue our journey and sneak in ways to show them how much fun learning can be when you can chose your own adventure, learning from and with people all over the world ; )


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