Let’s meet Janine Phillips, owner of JLP Learning Designer, and one of the experts on Made by Many Minds. Janine has a fascinating story to tell about how her business evolved, and how she integrated her ‘secret passion’ for writing into her business.
So, what is it that JLP Learning Designer offers?? ‘As a learning designer, I help people create courses. Whether it’s a workshop, a virtual session, coaching or an eLearn – I can support the creation and design,’ says Janine.
‘I work collaboratively with clients to plan the best approach for their learning needs. I’ve created a system to evaluate, review and design solutions best-suited to your audience. Using this information I create dynamic interactive courses, as well as other blended learning resources.’
Even very small businesses can benefit from offering a course or running workshops. ‘I think offering a course can be a great way to build your brand, share your knowledge and make a difference,’ says Janine.
Janine’s passion for education is evident, but her journey to a career in learning design took some twists and turns. Feeling tired and burnt out by her management career, Janine felt the urge to try something new. ‘I started in learning and development over ten years ago while seeking work that gave me more than just money. I craved inspiration. I craved a challenge. I wanted to be creative. And, I wanted to make a difference. Big call, I know!’
Then an opportunity arose that would see Janine change her career direction – and her life. ‘My journey to becoming a learning designer started when I became a teacher in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector. You really put yourself out there when you stand in front of a class. Whilst I had no fear of public speaking, I lacked confidence as a trainer so I had to learn a lot on the job. Eventually I found a rhythm and it felt good to help students shift their mindsets and learn new skills.’
So how did Janine make the shift to running her own education consultancy? As for most new business owners, it involved some experimentation and finding out what would work and where she wanted to put her energy. ‘After a few years I got a little itchy for a new challenge. I wanted more dynamic content. I got to work; experimenting with ways of learning through games, activities and conversations.’
Creating courses that were fun and engaging became a passion. ‘I thrived on finding fun ways to bring a concept to life. It’s called experiential learning: learning through doing.’
As Janine’s business evolved into a learning design consultancy, she started to market herself to the corporate world. Fast forward to today, and Janine has an impressive CV and experience working for many large retailers including Myer, Coles and Spotlight. ‘Corporate organisations can have their challenges, but it’s a great place to earn-while-you-learn and make a difference.’
While she loves working with corporate clients, Janine also enjoys working with small businesses and on meaningful causes. ‘I’m all about profit-for-purpose. Not only do I donate to causes I believe in, but I also share my skills by offering pro-bono opportunities to meaningful businesses. I’ve volunteered my skills to many social enterprises as my way giving back.’
As Janine’s career as a learning designer flourished, another passion developed – for storytelling and writing. The way she sees it, though, Janine has been a storyteller in one form or another for most of her adult life. ‘I find the best facilitators are great storytellers. I find the best learning designers are great visual storytellers. I’ve had a lot of feedback over my life and one of the best was, “Janine, you’re an entertaining storyteller. Keep that up!” And, I have.’
Janine blogged under the by-line ‘Miss Meaningful’ and wrote a column for a local Melbourne magazine. Then came her biggest challenge – writing and publishing her first book, a memoir recounting an ill-fated European holiday. Writing a book was difficult, but transformative, Janine recalls. ‘What a journey that was! You have to keep motivated. You face all your fear of failure. You connect with your feelings on a regular basis. And you have to keep going. That said, as any author will tell you, it’s also the most rewarding and life-changing experience. It’s storytelling bliss.’
Janine is excited to see what lies ahead. She remains passionate about her work as a learning designer while looking forward to diving into future writing projects. ‘It’s been an exciting journey blending both my ‘day job’ and my ‘after-hours passion’ into one cohesive brand.’
And when she’s not designing courses or writing? Janine can be found walking her adorable toy poodle, Foxy, enjoying cultural activities, and visiting all the wonderful places Melbourne has to offer.
Thank you, Janine!
Read more about Janine’s business and the services offered by JLP Learning Designer on her Made by Many Minds profile page.