Knowing Your ‘Worth’ as an Instructional Designer — Which Hat Will You Wear Today?
Over the years, I have noticed the title of Instructional Designer has varied in its job description. It seems every industry has their own definition of what an Instructional Designer should be and do. Here is the list of descriptions I have compiled so far:
Pretty extensive list, right? How many of the bullets above are part of your current job role?
I’m guessing it is not hard to believe that in some cases, industries are looking for an Instructional Designer to be two, three, or even ALL of the above within this ONE title.
Next, let’s consider a few of the basic skills that are required to be an Instructional Designer:
When you consider all of the responsibilities, and all of the elaborate skills required to do your job as an Instructional Designer, you must then consider if you are truly earning your ‘Worth’.
Why is this important?
Because Instructional Design freelancers and full-time employees have to know their ‘Worth’ in order to determine if they are being compensated fairly, and what the right role is for their lifestyle. For example, freelancing may provide a higher pay and allow you to spend more time with family and friends, and even travel, but it is not stable throughout the year and offers no healthcare or investment benefits (such as a 401K).
And even if freelancing works for your lifestyle, if you do not know your ‘Worth’, you may be even be shortchanging yourself in the wording of your contracts with clients.
For example, are you including project management hours, meetings, technical support (such as LMS consulting), revisions and scope changes? ALL of these items should be specified in detail within your Statement of Work, and benefit both you and the client. Every minute of your time as an Instructional Design freelancer (or Consultant) is critical to your livelihood.
What happens when a client cancels halfway through a project, how do you compensate for that? You have brought on a team for the project, spent countless hours preparing for kickoff and analyzing content, and now you lose all of those hours. You have to account for your ‘Worth’ in every aspect of the job and document how to handle all of these instances in your contracts.
So the next time you are applying for a role as an Instructional Designer, consider your ‘Worth’ and make sure you are getting the maximum benefits from that role…because the role of Instructional Designer is not just one task. It is a multi-faceted role that encompasses various tasks and requires specific skills that not everyone possesses. That makes YOU special.
Hats off to all of my Instructional Designers. You wear many hats and you wear them well.
Until next time…
About the Author
Cheryl Powell, CEO of GC Learning Services LLC dba Learn2Engage, is in her 22nd year as a Virtual Instructional Design and e-Learning Specialist, with clients all over the US and overseas. Additionally, she is a published author of various works of fiction and motivational speaker.
Her industry experience industry experience is vast, and includes Telecommunications, Finance (Mortgage, Banking and Credit industry), Sales, Pharmaceutical, Media, Software Development, Healthcare, Food and Beverage, and many more.
She holds a Bachelor in Business Management, a graduate certification in Project Management, and a Master of Science degree in IT Project Management. She has studied the Adult Learning principles of experts and theorists such as Gagne’s (nine events), Maslow’s (hierarchy of needs), and Dr. Ruth Clark, to ensure her courses, presentations, storyboards and modules, engage the learner, utilize the proper balance of white space, text and graphics, and result in high Learner Retention rates.
Her clients return year after year for the affordable pricing, her rapid customer response rate, and the benefits they observe in the productivity of their employees after taking her courses.