Many instructional designers desire to take the next step in their career, but it seems unclear how to get there. Sure, there are a ton of resources out there on the newest technologies and instructional design trends, but not nearly enough guidance on the upskilling journey from a technical expert to L&D leader. The unique needs of learning leaders have drastically changed in recent years. Perhaps the Great Resignation shifted your job responsibilities, you are experiencing imposter syndrome as you consider or are in a position of leadership, or you aren't even sure what the promotional opportunities are within L&D in your organization. You need a strategy to upskill and craft your leadership brand.

In this session, we will first define the role of an instructional designer compared to an L&D leader and discuss skills that are transferable between the two roles. Then, we will look at how to be strategic in upskilling to become an L&D leader by identifying what gaps and blind spots you may have, identifying what you should and should not do as a learning leader, and how to change your mindset to grow in those areas of opportunity. Lastly, through multiple opportunities in the session to assess and reflect on your own performance, you will craft an action plan to help you apply what you learned.

In this session, you will learn:

  • How to craft and communicate your personal brand to position yourself as an L&D leader
  • How to identify transferable skills you currently have and reframe them in a leadership context
  • How to pinpoint your leadership blind spots and develop a plan to upskill
  • How to gain confidence in your L&D leader upskilling journey


All Contributors

Calen Fitzsimmons

eLearning Training Designer, EPRI

Sharon Lo

Senior Training Manager, Fairfield

Mary Sarkissian

Instructional Designer, Meta