If you love what you do, you’ll never have to work
I hereby confirm that this message was not written under duress. In fact, I came up with the title and the idea myself. Why? I just want to show that yes, it is possible to appreciate his work. We see these optimistic statements like “love what you do”, “if you love what you do you will never have to work a day in your life” and so on, but many people ignore them as unrealistic. . Let me show you why it’s realistic…
From the beginning
I was born into an immigrant family and was an only child for a good eight years, and yes, when I said from the beginning, I meant the beginning of the beginnings, but I promise you it’s relevant , so hang in there! Since my parents were immigrants, I didn’t have any cousins around either. So, no siblings and no cousins; what about friends? You see, we moved very often, so I was constantly the new kid on the block who had to adapt and make new friends all the time. Long story short, I was often alone; so my mom would buy JumpStart educational game CD-ROMs for me to play while learning (sneaky, sneaky). I didn’t even realize at the time that I was learning. For me, when I got to play those games, it was the highlight of my day and I was just playing, not learning…or so I thought.
Find the right job
So this kid who loved these eLearning games grew up, graduated from college and started working, jumping from job to job: from video editing to journalism, then marketing and HR. There was one thing in common with all of these jobs: they all made me miserable, which makes me enjoy my current eLearning job all the more. After the first few jobs, I gave up and thought that was work: it’s not fun, it’s work. Then I decided to pursue a Masters in Educational Technology, as a last attempt. To my surprise, I finally found what I was looking for (thanks to my favorite teacher, Dr. Guenia, who showed me what a great learning experience looks like)! I did an internship at an e-learning company during my masters program to get real hands-on experience, and I loved it even more. That’s not to say that other jobs are necessarily bad, it’s just that everyone has a passion (even if they don’t know it yet), and those who can pursue their passion are lucky. I consider myself lucky.
Epiphany during my eLearning work
I recently had nostalgic childhood memories about these games when I realized they were e-learning games and there was a whole team behind them working with experts in the material, designed the learning experience and developed the games. I realized that my eLearning job title was now what would have created these games that I loved so much, and that helped me excel and learn without even knowing it. This is what designing learning experiences is all about: creating learning experiences that make the learner want to learn instead of having to learn as if it were a burden. You see, sometimes a child may like a subject because of the way his teacher taught it; similarly, a child may dislike a subject because the learning experience is not learner-centered and engaging.
Benefits of my eLearning job
Typically, when we talk about benefits, people think of things like health care, monetary benefits, pensions, etc. While important, if you ask me about the top five benefits I enjoy in my job, they would be the most invaluable, including:
1. Compatible values
I believe in the same values as the company in which I work, namely equality, honesty, initiative, mutual aid, make learning inclusive, create enjoyable learning experiences for others, solve problems and create tailored learning solutions. Most importantly, valuing employees as human beings who have families they must put first. You shouldn’t feel like a burden being pregnant or being a mother, and it shouldn’t keep you from working either. It’s a beautiful part of life that should be embraced. For example, I can work with my baby by my side, whether in the office or at home, without worrying about my baby all day.
I hate being micromanaged, so what I love about my job is the ability to organize my own tasks and time, doing things my way. Of course, mistakes will happen; we are humans who make mistakes, but we take responsibility for those mistakes, learn and grow from them. Many companies have the idea that remote employees can sit around without working, which makes them anxious because they can’t see them and micromanage them. (Read more: Positive effects of adopting flexibility at work)
I appreciate the opportunity to think outside the box and creatively. Our job is to create tailor-made solutions based on customer needs. So one size definitely doesn’t fit all. More often than not, we need to find workarounds for different types of constraints. This makes each project unique and requires creativity and problem solving skills.
My international and diverse colleagues! We spend a lot of time with our colleagues, so if it’s not pleasant, it will take away from an overall positive work experience. Usually, a company hires talent in their geographic area or would need the talent to move to their region, but why should a company limit their talent pool to one geographic area when they can hire anyone, anywhere, expanding their options to find the right person? ? While the main office of the company I work for is in Lebanon, I work remotely from another country and many team members live elsewhere, such as Egypt, Turkey, Canada, France and Germany. It’s a win-win situation, both for the company and for the team.
5. Routine or lack thereof
As mentioned above, each project is unique, with a solution tailored to the learner’s and client’s needs. In addition, each project is completely different in terms of material and subject. Working with different subject matter experts on a wide range of topics each time ensures things are never boring. As learning experience designers, we learn a lot about every project we take on, because we first need to understand the subject before we can present it to the learner in a simplified and engaging way. As a result, we have the chance to engage with a wide range of subject matter experts and therefore gain knowledge on a wide range of topics!
Now you’re going to say to me, “Wow Sharin, that sounds too good to be true, is that really euphoria out there?” Yes, I love my job and I wouldn’t want it any other way. It goes without saying that it’s not always rainbows and butterflies; misunderstandings are inevitable and there are challenges we face on a daily basis, but what is life without a challenge?
“We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when we encounter challenges.” – Anonymous. This makes winning all the more interesting! Happiness at work can really boost productivity!
Credits by author:
I would like to pay tribute to those who have supported me during my journey, in chronological order:
- My mother
For introducing me to eLearning without even knowing it, through eLearning games.
- My father
Who supported and encouraged me to obtain a master’s degree in educational technology.
- Dr Guenia
Who created an enjoyable learning experience throughout the masters program.
- My husband
Who led me to my internship interview and has supported me ever since.
The LXD director who supported me during my internship and to this day.
The General Manager who always encourages me to think outside the box and take ownership.
- The team
Including partners Hassan, Ruba and Raneem for sticking by my side like family through some of my toughest times. This also includes my colleagues for providing a positive, non-toxic and enjoyable work experience.
- My baby
To literally always be by my side, my cute little workmate.
— A Proud Learning Experience Designer