Learn and Lead

About continual learning and leadership

New Technology - The Threat to our Information

If you are struggling with use of Web 2.0 technologies and services in your workplace, this might help. Thank you Norman Lamont.

Why an Updated LinkedIn Profile is Important

I recently discovered how I can effectively use LinkedIn to find potential candidates for recruitment. I simply update my status message with what I am looking for and get responses from interested candidates. Okay, I know this isn’t really new but hey, it’s new for me. Anyway this post isn’t about this discovery of mine.

I received a few responses to my status updates. These were from people I know and have worked with in the past. Unfortunately, a few of the people who responded did not have an updated LinkedIn profile. Their profile simply listed the jobs they held but had not details about what they did in each job or their achievements. Since I knew these people personally, I had a good idea of their profiles and the jobs they have held since they moved on. However I possibly couldn’t forward their profiles to my other colleagues because of their incomplete profiles. Lost opportunity!

I recommend that you update your LinkedIn profile with details of what you did in each job you held. Include your achievements too. Consider LinkedIn profile your updated and most recent résumé, even if you are not actively looking for a job. And do remember to write a Summary and Specialities too.

If you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, simply add me to your network. On my LinkedIn profile, click Add Manish to Your Network, select Other and put in my email manishmo [at] hotmail [dot] com. Please do provide some introduction about yourself in your initial connecting message.

Great Work is not Recognized

I recently read this in one of the blogs that I follow (which unfortunately I can’t remember, apologies).

Great work is not recognized by managers, exceptional work is. Great work is expected from you anyway.

This is so true. I have heard many people complain that they got no recognition for the work they did. In some cases they said they got no recognition for the great work they did.

So how can we do exceptional work that will be noticed and recognized? Well, to start with stop focusing on getting recognition and start focusing on doing an exceptional job. So many of us spend hours worrying about not being recognized for our great work. I suggest we start worrying about doing an exceptional job. Recognition WILL follow. Exceptional work never goes unnoticed and consistent exceptional work is ALWAYS recognized. True, there may be projects where you felt you did an exceptional job but didn’t get recognized for it. However if you spend time worrying about it, you will take your focus off the next project and end up doing, well, a great job but not an exceptional job. So stay focused and don’t let small disappointments come in your way of doing an exceptional job all the time.

Photo by: bowbrick / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Staying Up to Date with Instructional Design Skills

I recently came across a question posted on the eCube LinkedIn forum that I responded to. While the question was how a person in between jobs could keep their instructional design skills up to date, I think it is important even for those with the jobs to keep their skills up to date.

How can an experienced Instructional Designer with very limited experience in current instructional design software tools update their skills in order to be recognized and considered as a candidate for e-Learning positions? How does a person in transition keep their instructional design skills up to date in order to effectively compete for instructional design jobs in today's job market?

Start reading a lot of blogs by other experts and connect with other learning professionals through your comments. It is always hard to know which blogs to follow. Here are the blogs that I follow, or you could also browse through the blogroll on this site.

Twitter is another great tool for connecting with others. This will give you an insight into what's happening in the industry and help you stay up to date.

If you are up to it (and I strongly recommend that you do make an effort), my advice would be to start writing a blog to articulate your learning. Your blog will be a useful showcase in your job interviews (I am of course assuming that you will write about learning/instructional design).

I would also recommend that you learn various tools used in elearning. These tools are usually easy enough to get started and learn on your own. You could easily work with the demo versions of the latest tools and to get your hands dirty.

Creating your elearning portfolio will also be useful to showcase your capabilities. Tom Kuhlmann makes a compelling case for creating your elearning portfolio.

And if you are indeed in between jobs and want to stay up to date, I would advice you to start picking up small freelance assignments. No better way to stay in touch with what's happening in the industry by actually being hands on.

Have You Participated Yet?

Update: Survey is closed for the year. You can view the elearning and content development salaries in India for 2009 here.

Have you participated in the Unofficial Salary Survey for eLearning / Content Development Jobs in India for year 2009 yet? More than 60 people have participated in the survey so far. Join the growing number of people who have already participated. Some highlights of responses received so far:

So far, Chennai and Pune are leading with most participants, with Bangalore and NCR following closely. Hyderabad and Mumbai are the other two cities that have participated.
Most participants are Instructional designers (55%), followed by Project management (19%) and Technology/programming (15%) functions.
This year 24% had no change in their fixed salary over last year, while 40% had an increase of less than 10%. Nearly 4% had a decrease in their fixed salary over last year.
Most (72%) instructional designers with 2-4 years experience have fixed salary in the wide range of 2.5 lac to 5 lac. Nearly 55% of IDs with 4-6 years experience are also paid in the same range. The salary range is quite wide for other roles too.
Almost everyone with more than 8 years work experience has variable compensation in addition to their fixed salary, while about a third of people with less than 6 years have a variable compensation component. Nearly 60% of project managers with less than 8 years experience have variable compensation component. Graphics/Media folks seem to be the only ones without any variable compensation so far (of the very small number that have participated). 67% of people in companies with more than 1000 people have variable compensation, while this is only 36% for companies with less than 1000 employees.

Watch this space for more detailed analysis sometime next month. Have a suggestion of what you want to see in the analysis? Leave a comment on this post.

There's nothing official about this survey. The survey is not based on responses by companies but based on responses provided by you, the employee. This survey is not associated with any organization. The survey is anonymous.

This survey is for you if you are an Instructional Designer, Project Manager, Graphics designer, Flash Programmer, Tester, Editor, Trainer, SME, or any other role involved in developing elearning or any other form of training content.

Click Unofficial eLearning Salary Survey of India 2009 to launch the survey. Answer a few simple questions to participate.

4 R’s Meme: Favorite Posts

Ken Allan tagged me to a rather unique meme, the 4 R’s Meme: Favorite Posts. He asks those tagged to select 4 of their favourite posts from their own blog, one from each of the categories: Rants, Resources, Reflections and Revelations.

The posts are then listed with a brief summary on each describing:

* why it was important,

* why it had lasting value or impact,

* how you would update it for today.

The intrepid bloggers are to tag all of their selected posts with the label postsofthepast and then select five (or so) other bloggers to tap with this meme.

Rant: Now that I look back, my first post was actually a rant about job sites encouraging attrition. Those were the heady days of jobs available dime a dozen, competition undercutting each other offering ridiculous salaries to jump jobs. There was some interesting discussion in the comments on this post. Today the situation is a little different. At this time jobs are not so easily available and salaries offered are more realistic. Well, at least until the economy booms again and we fall into the same trap of head hunting.

Resources: I have tried hard to induct some of my team members to blog about their learning. It proved harder than I thought. I looked around to see if there were other learning professionals in India blogging. My first list of top 10 had 4 blogs that weren’t really updated in a while. I did however over a period of time manage to identify more blogs by learning professionals in India. So my recent post listing the blogs by learning professionals in India is a useful resource post. I will continue to update this list.

Reflections: Instructional design is about creating learning experiences and not ‘writing content’. This was a valuable comment in my post Death of the Instructional Designer. I also reflected on what I believe are the Instructional Designers competencies.

Revelations: I have been experimenting with Blogger and Wordpress and use both, well actually all three (Blogger, self hosted Wordpress and Wordpress.com). I wrote a post comparing different these blogging platforms. While writing this post it dawned on me that the platform doesn’t matter. It’s the CONTENT that matters.

I tag following people to continue this meme.

Viplav Baxi

Sumeet Moghe

Rupa Rajagopalan

Dave Ferguson

Jeff Cobb

Catherine Lombardozzi

To be an Entrepreneur

Coming to Chennai has introduced me to many new things. I started using Twitter! I have also had the chance to meet up with budding and experienced entrepreneurs. As part of the Chennai Open Coffee Club I experienced un-conferences. I tried one in office and it didn’t quite go off very well, but then that’s another post.

The charm of being an entrepreneur is huge and draws a lot of people to it. I spoke to many people and listened attentively to many a discussion to understand various business models. I came across some very exiting ideas. But I got stuck at one question. Will it make money? Nothing excited me enough (read: nothing made enough money). Unfortunately I was looking at them through colored glasses of my cushioned existence of a reasonable income being deposited in my bank each month.

What I did realize is that at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your business plan is. It is all about the giant leap of faith, jumping off the cliff and making it happen. All it needs is lots of execution excellence and some luck.


Last month this blog completed two years. It’s been an interesting journey of self discovery with 3 name changes, 116 posts, 263 comments, nearly 20,000 page views and most importantly 200 RSS and email subscribers.

THANK YOU for reading and contributing to my learning.

Do drop a line about how this blog has been able to contribute in your learning and how I can make this blog better.



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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by my employers and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of my employers.

Creative Commons License This work by Manish Mohan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 India License.