Please don’t fire me…but I was EXTREMELY skeptical coming into my interview at NogginLabs. Something about the word “e-learning” sounded like the suit-and-tie corporate world that I so desperately had hoped to avoid by going to art school. I specifically remember my thought process choosing my interview outfit: “If this is a place where I need to wear heels and a pencil skirt, it’s not the job that I want.”
Here I am today in jeans and sneakers. This last week I did some illustrations of Mars, created some motion graphics, worked on a few print documents, and mocked up an interface. I have designer ADD and NogginLabs is PERFECT for that. Our design team is built of photographers, illustrators, video editors, CSS gurus, artists, literally every passion and sub-discipline you could imagine, and we get to exercise these outlets often. This is our point of difference, because we don’t want to give our clients some off-the-shelf, one-size-fits-all e-learning. We have the talent and the resources to completely customize every aspect of a course. We want to create a product that our clients are excited about, something that WE are also excited about.
Our culture, to me, feels like an extension of being in art school. The Noggins are actors, novelists, stand-up comedians, musicians. We have game nights to inspire us. We have rap battles to inspire us. I have witnessed companies frown upon these extracurriculars in the past, following the thought process that if passion lies anywhere other than within the job, employees’ dedication would be compromised, which is so backwards to me because creativity doesn't spark in a vacuum. Old Man Noggin calls it the cross-pollination of ideas.
I’m given autonomy in my day-to-day workload. No one stands overs my shoulder and directs me. I’m given the opportunity to think for myself. I’m given all of the pieces that I need to consider before I start a project. My time is respected. My ideas are heard and often implemented. At the end of the day, I can feel proud of my work because while I have constraints to adhere to, I am responsible for the solution. So while I might not have dreamed as a little girl to grow up to be a designer at a custom e-learning company, I ended up with the opportunity to explore that scary passion of mine every single day, and that cross-pollination directs back to my personal projects.
It’s not that I wouldn’t look supa-fly in that pencil skirt--I just don’t want to zip myself into a lack of freedom every morning. I don’t want to create a generic product that will fit anyone and bore everyone. NogginLabs is out to change those negative connotations surrounding the word e-learning, and we do that by stepping back and letting the drummer kick.