Maybe it isn’t that I want to do things the wrong way, in complete rebellion of everything that has come before. Maybe it is just a desire and want to find some thing new.
I have been in my job for 8 years, so you can say that I have been here for a smidge of time. When I arrived there were no printed training materials: training guides, quick reference guides, checklists, practice pages, or activities to assist with the technical software training my team does. And even more surprisingly, no one was interested in creating them or even using them. I can’t help but have flashbacks to the book “Telling Ain’t Training” in some of my initial debates and “discussions” I had with my co-workers. So in my region I started to develop ALL of these things to be used in my new hire training. It was based on a small sampling of training industry norms, but the rest was developed out of practice. Watching a learner move through the process and seeing the things that hung them up, as well as the unforseen side effects of using some customers vs others; not to mention finding those PERFECT situations to demonstration real world situations.
So fast forward 4 years and most of that trial and error is finished, and I am fairly proud of my materials that I have created and implemented. No one else wants to use it, but I feel confident in its succesful application in my region. I have had many of the immeasurable responses from my managers, employees, and support staff; so YES it worked. But now I’m bored. I find myself dreading the hiring of a new person in my region, because I have perfected this process so much it is the same thing EVERY TIME!!! I tell the same jokes, refer to the same stories, anticipate participants reactions (even when I cannot see them because we are training online), and have them experience the same learning patterns of the users. But like I said, I am bored. So I could rewrite them, or use different stories, new customers, but that’s a lot of work… why mess with perfection, RIGHT?
Yet this reminds me of those itches I use to get when I would walk in my bedroom as a youth. I was unsettled, discontented, restless with this unresolved angst I just couldn’t explain. I didn’t have an option to change rooms, but I COULD rearrange my room, a little. SO that is what I did: posters on the ceiling, shelves in a different corner, desk on a different wall, you name it I rearranged it. This carried on into early adulthood in college, my first apartment, and beyond. And as soon as the EXHAUSTIVE rework was DONE, FINALLY… I would be at peace. At least for the next 6 months or so. *wink, wink*
Many times the designs were not made according to the most efficient use of space, or the best way to keep things clean. It was simply a matter of KNOWING it was different, new, unfamiliar. It brought about a sense of accomplishment and pride for having an idea and bringing it to life. And at times it resulted in me staring at something crooked for MONTHS asking myself WHY OH WHY did I put that there?
So maybe that is how I see life. I see the pathways that people have travelled before and I value and appreciate the effort and the experience they had in figuring it out. But I want the thrill and excitement of blazing my own trail, of finding my own method, or discovering the do’s and don’ts along the path. Is it because I like doing things wrong, or is it just because I like to experience something new? Either way I am beginning to take comfort in the fact that just because I have a different way of doing something doesn’t mean its wrong, it just means its the way I wanted to go to get there.