Thought Leadership Goals
Recently entering the workforce, I am learning how to become a thought leader in my industry. After graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder, I quickly started a position at a nonprofit where I assisted with IT training. After a year and a half, I sought a position that would provide me with the opportunity to fully dedicate my time and energy to training. I worked at TSYS as a Technical Trainer for just over two years, where I gained more experience working in the classroom environment by facilitating diverse multi-day courses for employees. I also gained additional experience in the Payment Card Industry, learning more about key processes and the contact center experience. I later leveraged my experience in training to move to RingCentral, where I accepted a Training Specialist position. I now train clients virtually on how to utilize our products.
As a young professional, I am doing my best to find ways that I can continue to grow personally and professionally. I am also working to find ways that I can contribute as a new employee to our organization’s success. Currently, I am bringing fresh ideas to the VILT environment. I’ve already started working to make our trainings more engaging by diversifying our activities and finding ways to involve our trainees in topics that are relatively dry to present.
I would love to one day lead a training team and I think my diverse background in instructor led classroom training, virtual instructor led training, and instructional design will be advantageous. One goal of mine is to become more confident in my leadership abilities. As a trainer, I work closely with the leadership team to ensure that our training can help the organization meet its goals. I’ve had experience leading projects and on-boarding new trainers, but I am looking to gain more experience leading teams.
Personal / Professional Learning Network (PLN)
Both my personal and professional learning networks continue to grow. As I’ve navigated new employment opportunities, I’ve gained new mentors who have offered their help and guidance. This competitive and growing industry brings new challenges and opportunities. As an example, our material, processes, and systems are highly confidential. It can be difficult to share and network in this type of industry.
My current professional learning network consists of following leaders in our industry, such as those in my own organization and leaders in training and development, such as the Association for Talent Development. I’ve also expanded my network to human resources by following Human Resources Certification Institute (HRCI). In the past, my professional learning network has consisted mostly of my coworkers and a few mentors that have spent years in the training and development field. It’s been exciting to learn how to use social media accounts to expand your network and learning. I’ve dedicated my Twitter account (@jcz001) to following thought leaders in my industry and field.
As mentioned earlier, one of my goals is to focus more on my leadership skills. Following HRCI allows me to stay up to date in the latest HR and management trends and concerns. I’ll occasionally read case studies, or reports, to thoughtfully consider my own leadership abilities. I’ve also followed Sheryl Sandberg, an author and female leader in the workplace, and I follow Ted Talks to further examine my abilities and see the latest news in leadership.
My personal learning network has also grown. As my passion for running has increased in the past few months, I’ve learned the importance of finding motivation, staying up to date on the latest news, and seeking reviews on gear, races, and trails. Following Runners World, Garmin, and even professional athletes such as Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi, has drastically increased my love for the sport. I feel more informed about good habits, training techniques, and even gear. Surrounding myself with positive influences in the running community has fueled my love for the sport.
Role of Base Camp Site and Networked Learning Space (NLS)
My Base Camp Site will continue to grow throughout my career as I establish myself more as a thought leader, adult educator, and trainer. This site offers the opportunity to showcase my work, talents, and passions in one space. Rather than just submitting a resume, my Base Camp offers diverse examples of my projects. As a trainer, I am always seeking a reminder of the impact and importance of my work. Displaying the work that I am most proud of in one location is rewarding. I enjoy reflecting on how much I’ve grown in my career in such a short amount of time and showcasing my work in one location allows me to look at the bigger picture and evaluate my progress and growth in the field.