Blog post

Your New LinkedIn Author

December 19, 2019InfoSteph

What the heck even is 2019???? This has been a year filled with so many new and exciting opportunities. It’s like I cut the dead weight and my career soared! I’m going to catch everyone up on what’s been going on with me before the New Year, but I wanted to make sure I was able to talk about my life changing experience as a LinkedIn Learning Author. *squeals* I, Stephanie, am a LinkedIn Learning Author for a course called “Security Awareness: Social Engineering” and it comes out tomorrow, December 20, 2019!

Me in my [in]structor shirt!

WHODATHUNKIT?! Me???? An AUTHOR??? Baby Steph is super proud. Alright, alright, alright. Enough freaking out about life. Here’s what you want to know.

In January of this year, I got an email from Alyssa, who is now my Content Manager. Well, really what happened was she used the contact form on my site and it wasn’t set up correctly while I was transferring to a different mail provider, so it ended up in an inbox I rarely checked. For some reason, I checked that specific Inbox soon after she sent the email, which means this was totally fate, right? She said she came across my Twitter feed (Yikes!) and wanted to know if I’d be interested in doing a security course (Score!).

The email that started it all!

At first, my Security Senses started tingling. You’re a content manager for LinkedIn? Suuuuuuure. So, naturally, I used some good old OSINT to verify she was who she said she was and….she was! I immediately emailed her back and we started talking about LinkedIn Learning and the Security subject and how there was a lack of diversity in the instructors. We had a call and she told me to submit a proposal and an audition video. Bada bing, bada bang, it was approved!

That was probably the simplest part of the entire process. Over the course of 10 months, I went on to create a Table of Contents with Learning Objectives, write 27 scripts and travel to Carpinteria, CA where I would also record audio and video for the course.

The hardest part, by far, was writing the scripts. I hit a big snag after July and I had way too much going on in such a short time. I’m talking co-lead of WoSEC Houston, DEFCON Lead for WISP, school, work, Hacker Summer Camp, podcast, articles for different publications, etc. And my attention and ability to focus had apparently flown out of the window. I know it sounds like that was a lot, but I’m a single, young girl with no kids. I have the time. So it wasn’t that. There was something else going wrong. I’ll talk about it more in another post, but this course was one of the main reasons I went through the long and dreary journey of figuring myself out.

Where the magic happened…

When I landed in California, I was a huge bundle of nerves. Could I do this? Like could I teach people anything about anything??? My imposter syndrome was having a field day, performing cartwheels in my stomach and grabbing my heart and dropping it into the ground every five seconds. But I pushed on. Due to my inability to focus in the prior weeks, I essentially worked almost round the clock to finish scripts, work on slides and record audio and video for the course. My producer, the amazing Stephanie Gerald, helped me through it, even though she had another author AND other courses to work on. I definitely had the most fun doing the audio for the courses. It was kind of like acting. And I learned that writing for audio recordings seems easy but it’s actually really hard. We ended up making more changes on the fly.

Two producers and two authors walk into a bar…

All in all, I am so grateful for the experience and I hope to create many more courses as I learn and grow in the Security space. Being a LinkedIn Learning author is a dream I never knew I had. Thank you to Alyssa for reaching out to me. Thank you to Stephanie, my namesake, for helping me through the process, even when it was difficult. And thank you to my Twitter fam, who have empowered me to feel confident enough to even do things like this in the first place. My course comes out tomorrow, December 20, 2019. Please check it out and let me know what you think.

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