I was speaking with Christy Tucker, founder of Syniad Learning, this week and we began discussing what it’s like for me as a boot-strapping e-learning consultant. During the course of the conversation, she made a very simple statement, but it made me stop and think.
In terms of networking, I wouldn’t just look for people who you think will be prospective clients. Connect with people who are doing interesting work and are “friendly competitors” or people who you just respect.
In the spirit of recognizing people whom have influenced me and giving thanks, I’d like to list (I know that the human brain loves lists!) some of the people whom I hold in very high regard in the instructional design space, who I am happy are in my first degree network.
Now this list is in no particular order, these are just colleagues whom I’ve found to be quite influential, helpful, and encouraging in my leap into the Freelance world. I’ll provide their LinkedIn page so you too can connect with them.
Thomas Garrod– Thomas is the Chief Learning Architect for the KeelWorks Foundation. I was lucky enough to work with Thomas during my time as a Keelworks Intern. This is where I got my first taste of Project Management and the monster it can become if it is not managed properly. I remember some of the challenges we faced as interns and how we overcame them. In addition to running KeelWorks, Thomas does an excellent job being a community manager for one of the most active e-learning groups on LinkedIn.
Melissa Milloway– Her blog content is awesome! Her website is awesome. She’s pretty awesome. She’s a prolific poster and one of the nicest people I’ve met on LinkedIn. What really made me happy to be connected with her is her championing the paradigm shift to collaborating and sharing among freelancers. A member of eLearning’s 30 under 30, when I take a look at what she’s done with her career so far, it makes me want to keep striving for awesome!
Alexander Salas– Wow, just a development rockstar. Alexander is consistently producing and sharing really high quality work on eLearning Heroes (Articulate’s E-learning blog/forum) E-learning challenges. He’s even agreed to participate in an interview for and assignment in my MSIT program. Thanks and keep up the good work.
Allen Dunkle– Allen has been my mentor since I made the jump from working for a company to working for myself. It all started with me messaging Allen- I wanted to reach out to you as a fellow trainer to inquire if you knew who I could contact about Instructional Design opportunities locally? If you could point me in the right direction, that would be fantastic! If I can help you at all please let me know. Cheers, James Finder
Allen responded and from there we’ve had a very successful business partnership. Not only did Allen set me up with my first independent gig, he’s been vital to PLExD’s growth and success. Without his years of experience, connections, reputation and access to resources that as a new name in the space just does not have access to, PLExD probably would have faltered before it even got off the ground.
So who are you thankful for? Who are your mentors? Who do you respect in the space? I’m interested to read the comments on the post.