Hello! I’m Judith Bartels-Brezac and I am the current President for the Metro DC ATD chapter. I am in my third year of service on the board, having previously acted at the Director of Communities of Practice for a full two-year term and acting as the CoP Lead of the Independent Consultants CoP for one year. Prior to my board service I had been an active member since joining in 2011 after a move to the DC Metro area. After years of attending events, networking with other learning professionals, and enjoying the abundance of resources in the metro area that the Metro DC ATD chapter introduced me to, it seemed logical that I would join the board and support the chapter that has given me so much.
After a 20-plus year career as an instructional designer in a variety of industries, my current professional role is as a Learning & Performance Consultant for a large corporation in northern Virginia. This corporation has a decentralized Learning and Development framework and I work in the corporate arm of that framework, developing solutions and managing learning programs and experiences. I have been in my current position for six years with my role and focus changing multiple times in my tenure – but isn’t that the great thing about talent development? It is always evolving. Currently I am working on designing and developing learning experiences that wrap the 70 / 20 / 10 philosophy into hybrid journeys that give learners the space to learn, practice, reflect and then perfect. I usually choose from the great library of on-demand off-the-shelf solutions to curate and customize to the target audience. Any custom development necessary is outsourced and some design work is outsourced as well. Adding to the traditional design of learning, evaluation and improvement are the new opportunities to market and promote, using new technologies, and strive for a consumer-grade learning experience that makes a measurable impact.
Working in talent development for a large corporation, there is never a ‘typical’ day of managing many projects, stakeholders in leadership, SMEs, Content Champions, vendors, and of course, learners while designing, creating and writing – but this is the framework of most of my days.
6:00 AM: Morning Routine
I am one of those lucky people that have the chronotype and schedule that allows me to never use the alarm function on my phone. I naturally wake up around 6:00 and get ready to start the day. Usually that start is a cup of Irish black tea and a three-mile power walk around my neighborhood. I start visioning my day and clearing my head - this is the best time for ideas and insights on my goals for the day.
7:30 AM: Morning Planning
…before it plans itself. I have all calendars open including work, personal, and my ATD calendar as I sit at my desk replying to emails, managing the meeting times along with time needed for priorities, and reviewing everything to ensure I don’t forget something. For my workday, I am a huge proponent of deep work and scheduling the time in the day for me to ‘get in the flow’ without interruption. It can be difficult to do but is very worth the effort.
8:00 AM: Work Start
The official start to the workday. My days are meetings with stakeholders for progress on projects, working on the projects to make progress and ensuring those projects align with business objectives. I am always learning something new so I do not have time to get bored.
12:30 PM: Lunch-Tasking
The heavy cooking duties are done on the weekend so even a quick lunch is reaping the rewards of that weekend effort and grabbing of whatever is in the fridge. Then back to the home office to continue the workday.
3:00 PM: Coffee
This is when I usually need another cup of coffee to pick me up and lift me through the end of the day. I am fortunate to work from home and have the ability to walk downstairs to the kitchen for tea or step outside for a breath of fresh air. In nice weather I have been known to take meetings in my screened-in porch to get that invigorating dose of sunshine.
6:00 PM: Audio Book Time
I truly am a morning person, so this is down-time for me. I am cognizant of my energy levels throughout the day, and I attempt to make the most of them. This is not a high energy time, so I spend this time unwinding and more reading. At this time of day, I am usually reading a non-fiction book while listening to it on my Audibles – I know, I know… but you have to try it. You’ll find that you comprehend more, learn correct pronunciations, and you’ll get through a book faster if you are listening to it while you read it.
There is just so little time in each day to do everything that we want to do. As talent development professionals, we are truly lifelong learners, and our work is constantly changing. It is so important to keep up with learning and development trends, new technologies and offerings, and refresh on proven methodologies. I am grateful to have such a strong local ATD chapter to participate in and learn so much from.