From footballer to elearning scriptwriter

Posted on Sep 15, 2015

Considering applying for a role in elearning but worried about your lack of experience?

Don’t be. Scriptwriter, Lewis Edwards, suggests it might just be a good thing...

If you’ve got experience in other industries and sectors you might be surprised to see how well you fit into the elearning industry.

Take my background before joining elearning company, Sponge. I’ve already been a journalist, a teacher and even a footballer after leaving school at the age of 16 to join the ranks at Plymouth Argyle.

After finding myself on the scrapheap of failed professional footballers, I enrolled on a Sports Media and Journalism degree at the University of St Mark and St John in Plymouth. This led to roles within the local media before I took up a position as a teaching assistant and then, as a course tutor on a TV and film course at Plymouth College of Art while studying for my PGCE teaching qualification.

At first, I found it somewhat of an oddity that these broad range of roles could help prepare me for life as a scriptwriter. But at each interview stage for my new job at Sponge, I started to realise how, possibly, it was an advantage.

The combination of media and teacher training has amalgamated and shaped my transferable skills. I can draw upon my writing ability to contextualise the educational practises and theories I implement in the modules we create. With each passing day, I dip into my tool bag of skills collected from past experiences to tackle elearning tasks.

Ask yourself: ‘What could you bring from a polar opposite career to a job in elearning?’

I genuinely enjoy my role here at Sponge. I could be writing scripts for a game or a video shoot in the morning, then, in the afternoon, be part of a cross-Atlantic call with a client to discuss a new elearning project.

Don’t’ let your reservations about being new to elearning put you off a job in the sector.

Everyone, at some point in their life, has been taught something. Some, may have had bad experiences of education, others have fonder memories. That’s the beauty of learning, not everyone absorbs and responds to information in the same way. Each person who brings an idea or experience into Sponge is valued, no matter what their background.

As a newbie, you’re not alone. There’s an eclectic mix of creative people at Sponge, many with a wide experience outside the elearning industry. This only adds to the bank of knowledge that everyone benefits from thanks to our healthy social learning environment.  And, to be honest, the ‘freshness’ of a new employee is a highly-prized perspective. While in other professions it might be regarded as a hindrance, at Sponge, being able to draw upon a wide skill set from a range of backgrounds is heralded.

What’s more, it’s great to know all your colleagues are more than happy to lend some brain cells when you need inspiration, which is something of a rarity compared to some other company cultures I’ve been exposed to. With the wide spectrum of clients we work with, drawing on this breadth of background often provides the ‘hook’ that helps learners connect with the content.

So, make the most of what you have to offer and sing it proudly.

Find out more about joining the ever-expanding hive of activity here at Sponge.

Lewis Edwards, Sponge

Author: Lewis Edwards, Scriptwriter, Sponge

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