Last week I heard from my first professional mentor, filling him in on the past few years of life. Though we’ve kept in touch (and have sent a few emails) over the years, it is hard to get a face-to-face conversation with a person you look up to. Also doesn’t help that he lives interstate. From time to time, I have had people ask me what is the best piece of advice I can offer new people just stretching their wings in the industry. Whether you’re a uni student or a high school student or even a professional considering a change of careers, mentors can help. Pick up the phone. Send an email. Reach out to someone who works in a field you’re even mildly interested in. Ask them if you can come spend an afternoon trying on their world. I’m willing to bet almost everyone will respond with an enthusiastic yes. I guess I have been a mentor for a few people in my time. Big shout out to Joel, Jess and Rob, keep up the good work guys.

In my opinion, a mentor who has been in the trenches and in your shoes tends to come at things from a place of greater perspective. They will help you see (perhaps even appreciate) the forest rather than obsessing over the trees. They understand the quirks and joys, the ups and downs. More important than industry is integrity.

For me, a mentor can and will be brutally honest, but also understands the value of nurturing. My mentors over the years have inspired me and encouraged me, but in many ways I think the fact that they have pushed and challenged me has been even more significant to my career development. I admit, they have even asked me to do things that terrified me initially. Sometimes it involves, doing things again and again and again. Yup, they have pissed me off and made me cry but as a result, I’ve come out the other end better for it. I admit, I have been extremely fortunate to have mentors, but not everyone is so lucky.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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