Get to know the LN Director: Kim Ellis

After spending 14 years in the Insurance and Gambling industries, Kim became self-employed 5 years ago. She now works with clients across multiple sectors doing everything from adding the sparkle to webinars to creating video or eLearning to delivering training programmes.

What do you like most about the L&D field?

As I said a couple of years ago in my last ‘get to know’ piece, I loved the variety. I loved it then and its still the first thing which comes to my mind now.

What made you decide to stand for the LN board?

I’ve spent the past couple of years on the Board so it was a no brainer to stand again. I have a passion for the network, and I love connecting with members.

What would your dream job be?

If you’d have asked me 5 years ago what my dream job would be it would be to have a global L&D empire! It’s still in my mind but I really like doing what I’m doing, so the empire is on hold.

If you could change 1 thing about the world of L&D, what would it be?

I find that we have the same conversations over and over, year after year. Let’s innovate and get some fresh ideas going.

What does a typical workday look like to you?

I generally start work around 8am and then clock off at 4 unless I have late meetings. I first of all check any emails which have come in overnight and catch up on the socials then get to work. What I do depends on which client I’m working for, I often have a couple of projects on the go at once which means I can switch over to something else if my mojo needs a boost.

What is your favourite type of training to either build or deliver?

That’s a really hard question to answer. I enjoy the variety of being able to build or deliver different things. I’m really enjoying video at the moment and also getting back into building f2f courses.

What are you currently obsessed with?

I’m loving Miro, I had a client meeting a couple of weeks ago and I had created a Miro board to show them my thoughts on the course they want me to build. It’s much more visually appealing than just showing them bullet points on a presentation.

If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be?

Join a L&D community early, like the Learning Network! When I left employment I had no network other than the people I had directly worked with. If I had started networking years earlier, it would have made a huge difference.

What has been your proudest moment?

This year I had the opportunity to deliver an induction programme in Lisbon, Portugal. I’ve delivered away from home before, but never in a country where I don’t speak the language. It was a liberating experience and I loved it – I even picked up a little bit of Portuguese while I was there.

Who inspires you?

For the past couple of years it has been the LN Chairs, Joan Keevill and Gemma Wells. The dedication they have shown to the LN is amazing, their example drives me to give my best to the network.

If you were a super-hero, what would your name be and what powers would you have?

I’d be the Mega Mind Ginge and I would be able to read minds, not all the time because that would be weird, I’d just want to choose when and whose minds I could read.

What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done?

Definitely going self employed! I had no idea what I was doing for the first few months.

What three items would you take with you on a deserted island?
  • A really good, long book.
  • Hairbrush, otherwise I’d look like I’d been dragged through a hedge.
  • Sun cream, I’m ginger, it’s a given that I’ll burn.
Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without?

Tea, at the moment I’m obsessed with Lapsang Souchong, it’s a smoky tea.

Finally, what would be your top 5 tips for someone new to L&D?

It would have to be the same advice I gave a couple of years ago:

  • Be confident in yourself and your skills.
  • Find a skill you are great at but also be good at other things.
  • Build your professional network and join the LN!
  • Be visible on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Always keep learning.