If today you ask a junior level Graphic Designer how his career will unfold, you might get a shrug. He probably won’t predict that he can become a Localization Coordinator or a Localization PM and then a Client Support Executive. He won’t see himself moving into Assigned Client Model, then into project-managing education modules. Nor will he anticipate the chance to help innovate a new product using augmented reality or joining the technology team as a Business Analyst.
Eight years ago, I was hired as a junior level Graphic Designer at LRN and I could not have imagined doing all those things. But I did them. And I believe that it was possible only at LRN—a flat and self-governing organization, where you can follow your passion and ambition wherever they lead.
I started my journey at LRN at about the time when our CEO, Dov Seidman, announced that we were going flat and from now on it's all about self-governing at LRN. Flat? What does being flat mean? Being flat, at LRN, means that collaboration with everyone, at all levels of the organization, was highly encouraged. Now, everyone inside our team or outside our team—the leaders, different stakeholders, and even our founder and CEO Dov had an open-door policy. In our flat organization, reporting lines were less important than sharing a mission to inspire principled performance.
Being self-governed meant you should know what the right thing to do is and when to do it. Self-governance means exhibiting the behaviors to lead, the be trusted to take on new responsibilities. How? That was never the question – it was always the answer?
Due to my belief in the new model, I was able to speak to the formal leaders at LRN about my career aspirations of moving into a management role which actually helped me earn the opportunity to take on a new role – becoming a translations Project Manager for three months. What I learned in those three months was crucial. I had the opportunity to present a business plan to my leaders, in which I suggested creating a localization coordinator role, thereby saving production hours and cost. They heard me out and believed in the power of the idea. Suddenly, we had a new role: Localization Coordinator. This became my next job at LRN, and the first big step in a long journey of learning and growing.
LRN is not only open to you when you reach out for an opportunity, LRN also reaches out to you if it knows you’ve got your “How’s” right. One year into my role as a Localization Coordinator—when it was clear that the promised savings were achievable—a member of the Partner Support team (Client Support/Servicing) reached out to me. There was an opportunity to fulfill another goal of mine in-line of my career aspiration, which was to get client exposure. I joined the client support team, which allowed me to learn the nuances of client relationship management. In the client support team, my primary job was to provide support on the products we have on our LMS, but I was also given the opportunity to project manage the third-party modules hosted on LRN LMS for our partners. This gave me a complete view of our product line.
Next, it was my turn to reach out again, this time with an idea for using augmented reality in our product line. In short order, LRN invested in my idea, although having a AR product line was not on the roadmap. In LRN we believe in the power of an Idea and we believe that with Trust and Risk, Innovation and Progress happen. The result: LRN gave us an opportunity to create the world’s first AR app in the field of compliance.
This AR project paved the way for my next move—to the technology team as a Business Analyst. There, I was mentored by the industry’s finest product owners. I continued to work on the AR app and many more products on our LMS. I learned SDLC, agile, scrum, and so many more things. LRN sponsored my scrum certification and when I asked LRN to allow me to host scrum sessions at LRN, they went a step further and asked me to create a Scrum Alliance-affiliated LRN group and lead sessions with LRN colleagues. This gave me a chance to be an organizer, to get hands-on corporate event management experience, to be a speaker—to be whatever I want to be.
At LRN I did all that I could in a way that I didn’t think possible. And the company supported me all the way—even when it came time to tell my mentors that I was looking at opportunities outside, they asked if what I wanted next was something I could do at LRN, but I had to tell them no. Then they stood by me and gave me all the support I needed to make this decision. They also told me that LRN will always have its door open for me – and it’s not only for me – but for all of us who have got their How’s right and have flourished in a unique, flat and self-governing organization.
That’s LRN for me. I am forever indebted to LRN!