What makes a learning professional tick?

I’ve been receiving a lot of inquiries lately about how to break into instructional design and eLearning including questions about what makes a good learning professional. I’m afraid I’m not always a lot of help when it comes to answering these questions because my path into adult learning started in a round about way many moons ago. When I think about it, most of the learning consultants or IDs in my immediate network kind of fell into it while on another career path. Many of us have a few too many degrees, or found ourselves always dreaming of teaching but then realized it wasn’t the act of teaching that intrigued us but the journey, process and challenge of designing learning whether it be a single course, a curriculum or a large program.

After lunching with a few amazing learning colleagues today, however, I realized that there is something else that ties us ‘learning types’ together , and this goes for my friends teaching K-12, post-secondary, and in the corporate world, and that is a personal and strong love and respect for learning mixed with an innate curiosity.  At my lunch with my learning colleagues, the conversation, while never veering away from the topic of learning, made it’s way from instructional design, to business practices and operations, to learning technology and the role of training and learning in an HR context.  I know there were a few other topics thrown in there as well but the point I’m trying to make is that while we all are in the ‘learning space’ , and we may differ in where we call home in this space at any one time, we stick around because we know  that in learning, there is always somewhere to grow and something to learn which is, of course, our ultimate motivator.



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