What am I, and where should I go?
November 25, 2014 8:50 AM   Subscribe

I write documents and flowcharts, create training programs, conduct training sessions, oversee employee development, manage the intranet, maintain shared documentation, conduct process analysis, administrate process improvement, and do some project management on the side. Now it's time to move on and I'm sitting staring blankly at indeed.com, not quite sure what jobs to search for; knowledge management, technical communicator, training, process improvement? Is there a job which encapsulates these all? Or am I barking up the wrong tree - maybe these skills are pre-requisites for a position I haven't yet considered?

Asking this question does make me feel a little dumb - it sounds like a don't know what I do. By way of explanation, I transitioned out of a technical role to head up training and - over 6 years - have acquired the above portfolio of skills. I never set out to do this, it's just that in my industry - digital media - these skill-sets aren't so common, and I have a natural affinity for them (and am strongly detail oriented too, which helps). I don't know if other industries have the same vacuum to fill, or what areas/ positions/ roles I have neglected to consider.
posted by forallmankind to Work & Money (6 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
HR - Organization Development, OD specialist, training specialist, change analyst

Not entirely what you do but might be adjacent
posted by St. Peepsburg at 9:05 AM on November 25, 2014

I have most of the same skills but my formal training is on the adult education side of things. I market myself as an "instructional designer and learning strategist" but use all the search terms you mention to job hunt. You might also include "organizational effectiveness" and "change management" as well if they're part of your skill set--they may well be. They're not terms I use, but I often work with people in these fields and their backgrounds are similar to mine. I use All The Terms in job search engines and wade through what I get.

Fellow travellers and I have worked as technical writers, process analysts, policy analysts, training leads/managers, curriculum developers, instructional designers and developers, learning management systems administrators, knowledge management specialists, program evaluators, and competency analysts to name a good, but not complete selection. I've worked in non-profit, government, post-secondary, finance, and energy sectors, and my colleagues tend to have the same varied set of past employers. I can't think of any industry that doesn't train employees and I've tried to be open to all of them.

I use a functional résumé that focuses on transferable skills rather than a list of companies and my responsibilities. That way, prospective employers requiring say, a needs analysis, don't choke on my not having experience in Industry X, but read all about my expertise in needs analysis (that just happens to be in Industry Y, but is readily transferable to Industry X).
posted by angiep at 9:24 AM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Look into Instructional Design, it sounds right up your alley. In Wikipedia, it's referred to as ISD, or instructional systems design, though no ID'ers I know actually call it that.

The job is highly tailored to each company, and where I work, I create a lot of e-learning courses, and websites, that are geared towards employee learning (formally called "training" : ) I do a lot of writing, photoshop, some audio recording & editing, some data analysis, and some graphic design for printed materials.

There is a strong PM component, too, because I frequently work with many other people and am ultimately responsible for delivering a final product on time.

There is a national org., ATD, that you might check out...they have conferences, publications, etc. Another good one is the eLearning Guild. Good luck.
posted by see_change at 10:33 AM on November 25, 2014

Consider looking at any consulting firms that work in your industry--your skills/experience would make you a great Business Analyst/Senior Analyst/Management Consultant (depends on the org what title is used). The way to frame moving into consulting without specific consulting experience is that your technical background and communication skills position you well to understand the client and translate their processes/business needs into a specific plan of action (whatever the consulting firm is brought in to improve), and conversely communicate the options/best practices being suggested by the consulting firm into a language that will be understood and adopted by the client.
posted by msbubbaclees at 10:54 AM on November 25, 2014

You're a Business Analyst with concentration in process reengineering (and a little bit of training/training development) thrown in. If you're looking for a new gig, talk to a recruiter in your area, and they'll help you refine that title, but that's basically you, work-wise.
posted by pdb at 12:54 PM on November 25, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Wonderful - all very useful answers; thanks everyone for responding!
posted by forallmankind at 6:36 PM on November 25, 2014

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