We're always curious to hear how our members and contributors tackle the challenges that the ever-changing world of L&D throws at them. We've got a wealth of experience and knowledge across the site, and what better way to showcase the diversity of our community than to get them to walk us through an average day?
Want to tell us about your way of working? Email us at [email protected], or let us know in the comments below.
Rita Garcia is a senior Learning & Development and Change Management consultant, with 10+ years experience in managing and delivering projects both remotely and on-site to clients worlwide. She likes to be on top of her game with the latest trends, technologies and best practices in L&D, and work on creative and innovative solutions.
She has also contributed several articles to TrainingZone as well as being a helpful member on our Discuss forum.
So, Rita, tell us about your day...
08:00 - Being an independent consultant and working from my home office, it is important to me not to jump right into work-related activities as soon as I wake up. So, I start my day by going through the daily news and save the latest articles on HR, Learning & Development and Business for later reading. Afterwards, and considering I’m not a coffee lover, it’s off to yoga class which I find perfect to get my brain going in the smoothest way.
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09:30 - When I get to work, I start by checking my emails and review the planned tasks I have for the day. Then, I like to make the rounds on social media, see what my network and fellow peers are talking about, give my two cents in ongoing discussions and share posts of my own.
11:00 - On Mondays and Fridays, I always save a timeslot in the morning to handle any administrative tasks I may have. This means taking care of invoices, expenses and other business related topics that you definitely can’t run away from being a freelancer.
12:00 - Once everything is taken care of, I dedicate the rest of my day to my business and promotion strategy and ongoing projects. My priority is always the delivery of ongoing projects I have at the moment. This can include Training and Change Management consulting projects as well as Instructional Design and eLearning Development projects, where I spend my time having meetings or calls with clients and developing or managing the tasks I have at hand.
13:30 - Usually around this time, I have a quick lunch break. Most of the times, I eat at home and take the chance to watch a short TV series so I can really force my brain to have a pause from work.
14:00 - After lunch, I continue what I was previously doing and, although my ongoing projects are the priority, I always take at least one day during the week to work on my self promotion. This can include writing blog posts, work on my elearning portfolio, being in touch with my network and reaching out to potential prospects.
18:30 - After work, I value having some offscreen time so I catch-up on my reading and go for a bike ride by the river or the beach whenever I can. This is also my quality time with my husband and we usually spend it chatting during dinner. Besides novels and fiction, I’m currently reading ‘Your Network is Your Networth’, and a lot of other books on networking and social media, as this is now a very important part of my job as well.
Now tell us...
What would you say are your main passions or things you champion within L&D?
I’m a very strong advocate of the value of Learning & Development to people and organizations alike, and a strong believer of new learning technologies. Training approaches like elearning, mobile learning and the use of technology have opened doors and allowed us to offer training and learning resources at the point of need and reach globally distributed teams.
However, I also believe that a good learning experience starts with instructional design and we should keep in mind that it’s not the latest technology but good instructional design that brings value to the learning experience. I also believe that we, as L&D professionals, need to be close to the business if we want to offer meaningful training, and help people solve performance issues.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
Definitely analyzing the project, the business situation and the desired outcome, and then designing a Training, Communication or Change approach (depending on the project) to match that. I love analyzing the problem and then putting all the pieces of the puzzle together.
Defining learning approaches, communication strategies, supporting team leads with implementations are among my favourite job responsibilities. But also, being able to put all my creativity to work in building great elearning experiences that will get a ‘wow’ reaction from the client.
What keeps you up at night?
Being an independent consultant, this is definitely guaranteeing the next project!
One tip you’d pass on to your peers?
My most valuable tip is to anyone who is thinking about going freelance: If you can, try to leverage as much as possible before you make the jump. This can include increasing or reviving your network, building a good portfolio and creating an online presence.
If you can do that while still in your current job, you will have a lot of important groundwork laid when you start as a freelancer.