Peaches Prattlings

{February 1, 2021}   A new adventure starts today!

Today I started a new job and that means a new adventure! And what a day to start! And what starts! A new month, first day of the new month, and the first day of the week of the new month. What are the odds. What a way to start!

I had been looking for a new opportunity, something different from what I had been doing for the past several years. Now, by different, I mean the products and media that I use to create, not a different career path. I was on the lookout for an Instructional Designer and/or Software Trainer, two roles I am incredibly proud of. As a Software Trainer, I absolutely love explaining how a product or application works. I always say that an application is an application is an application, and by that, I mean it doesn’t matter to me what it is, I want and can learn it and turn around and teach it to you. I don’t even need to understand it completely to teach it, I have to understand it and be able to help you understand how to use it in your day to day job. As I teach, I learn, meaning that no matter how many times or how many years I teach something I learn something new every time I teach!

I didn’t know for a long time that being a good trainer was not as easy as I thought it was. I found out, years ago, that I have the ability to learn an application in a short amount of time and be able to turn around and teach it. I’ve been brought on projects and put in front of a class in a week or less. I would prefer to have more time to prep, but I am always up for the challenge. I really do live for it, I have the best time in front of a class, could be in part, not only my love of teaching, but my gift of gab, which I had way before I kissed the Blarney Stone! I have said in the past, I get a runner’s high when I teach, I do! When it’s a good or great class, I thrive and float, my feet sometimes don’t touch the ground for a few hours after I am done! I absolutely love seeing the look on someone’s face when they get it! I can see the proverbial ‘lightbulb over their heads’!

I will also take the time to explain something to someone until they get it, I want them to understand. I am also very honest that when I teach, I have the patience of a saint, but personally…I have the patience of a gnat! No patience, none, if a website hasn’t started in 3 seconds, I’ve started over! It’s true! Ask anyone who knows me! But for you, in my class, I have all the time in the world! Let’s dance! I am, after all, the product of two amazing and gifted teachers!

On the opposite side, when it comes to writing, I’ve always been a good writer, at least that’s what I have been told! ha ha! It must be true, for some reason you keep coming back to see what I have to say! I didn’t enjoy writing as a kid, I could write a book report, but I’m not sure it gave me the joy I get now. Now, reading, that I enjoyed, and I could tell a story, just didn’t feel much like writing it down. Later, in college, I got high marks on my stories, very descriptive and inviting. I remember writing a paper about my grandmother’s house and my professor said they could see it clearly in their mind and wanted to go and visit.

I started blogging, as you know, and that seems to be going well, ha ha. I’ve updated or written resumes for people, hopefully it has helped. I’ve written dating profiles, those I really enjoy! I even wrote one for a guy I was dating at the time! It helped him meet his current wife, go figure! And…four people have gotten married from the profiles I’ve written! I’ve even written them for people I didn’t know, my favorite was someone I met on a train. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

When I got into writing professionally, it was really the same way I fell into training. It started with “We got this new application, teach us how to use it” huh? Ok…then I was in one position and I knew I was going to be out of the office for a bit, so I wrote instructions on how to do my job and when I got back, the person who was filling in had no questions and was able to follow everything as if I was walking them through it step by step. Then I started getting jobs as a writer, sometimes updating existing training materials, sometimes building new materials and then one job or project led to another and here we are.

When I write training materials, I really get into what I’m doing, when I know how to start. Sometimes, I have to sit and look, and look, and think, and look, and think before my brain clicks and I think…oh yeah, this is the way we’re going and we’re off and running! If you know me, you know I don’t turn something in until I am proud of it, I’ll work through the night, hence the 80-120 hours I got in trouble for submitting sometimes! I love testing a product every which way to see how it works, if I click this, what happens? If I click that, where does it take me. Can I break it? How do I explain this so it flows just so. How can I write this so the trainer can teach it, even if it’s not me, and the student can understand it. Where do I add a screenshot? Oh man, I do love a screenshot! I’m being serious! How much is too much information? How many details derail the point or the materials? On my last project, I built a lot of the materials I was teaching, based on the data given to me, and some of the materials I had updated what was given to me. As I was teaching, I realized that some things just didn’t flow right and I rearranged things, moved things around, made them flow better and I have to tell you, when I was done, I was so very proud. And that was at 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m not kidding, I was driven and I was going to turn in something I was happy with. And…I’ve heard that others were happy with it, it made more sense, and that to me was everything!

So…as I mentioned, I was looking for something different, not in the role, but in the software, I had been writing and teaching the same product for the last five years and it was time for a change. And that’s where we are today! Today I started with a new company and it’s a whole new ballgame! I am going to be updating some existing materials and building brand new content, I am so ready to jump in and get started. What I really love about writing assignments is that each client has different mediums they want to use. Some use Word, at this point, I’m an expert for building training materials! some use PowerPoint [PPT], I have since become quite the PPT aficionado, it doesn’t intimidate me anymore!, some Adobe Captivate, I’ve dabbled, some Articulate, I’ve experimented, RoboHelp, it’s been a while, and now, with this new job, I’m getting to use two new mediums, Skilljar and Genially, and from what I’ve seen when I investigated them, I’m excited!

As I get more into what I’m doing I’ll definitely share! I know you know that! For now, Monday, February 1st, new adventure! Liferay, here I come!


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