31 December 2012

Cyndi, Technical Writer and Student

Last year I wrote a blog post about my brother-in-law that generated a comment about how interesting my family is.  I realized that it's so true!  My family is super interesting.  Each Monday I'll be interviewing a family member (or dear friend).  I hope you enjoy these Meet Me Monday posts.

Today's interview is with my friend, Cyndi.

Where do you live?

I live in Utah

What are your hobbies or special interests?

I am a very committed homebody. Most of the things I like to do center around my home. I love to cook and I love to read. If I can read and eat something yummy I’ve cooked, then I am pretty satisfied.  

What is your current profession?

Right now, I am doing anything I can pick up at home while I work on finishing school. Some of my work centers around making marketing treats for a local Home Health Care Company and I get to legitimately waste time on Pinterest looking for themed or unique treats in the name of work. Otherwise, I do a fair amount of freelance writing and editing. Currently, I am a content manager for company that builds websites. Because I graduated in Technical Writing, I am grateful that I have the skills and contacts that allow me to work from home for now. I am a single mom and the less time I have to be away from my kids the better. However, I am in school, working toward my Occupational Therapy Assistant certificate, which should take about 2 years. It is a pretty serious shift in terms of a work dynamic, but I feel really confident that I am going to be happy with the change. 

What made you choose that line of work?

Originally, I chose Tech Writing as a major in tandem with a History Major since my ultimate goal was to go on to get a Masters Degree in History and do museum or archival work. Tech Writing was mostly for the job security until I hit my ultimate goal and I never intended for it to be my career. It has served me well over the last ten years, but I don’t love it. My choice to pursue a career in the medical field came after my divorce. I wanted something that would allow me to feel productive and work with different people. I hated the idea of being stuck at home or working from 9-5 at a desk. Additionally, I had assisted my ex-husband in starting a Home Health Care company and subsequently became fascinated with the medical side of that world. Occupational Therapy is interesting, pays well and will allow me to be more flexible with my hours, which is very important to me as a single mom.

When people find out what you do, what question do they usually ask you?

Most people would like to know how they might go about working from home. I have to say that it mostly comes down to luck. I have been very lucky to know the right people and be in the right place at the right time. My opportunities have most often come from networking. 

What question do you wish they would ask?  

The answer to this question goes back to networking. It is very easy to become secluded and not put yourself out there to meet your colleagues when you are working from home. When possible, meet who you are working with in person rather than just corresponding by email. Make sure you speak up about what you do when you are introduced to new people (when it comes up, if you are forward and obnoxious about it, it will be counter-productive ;-) My most recent work from home jobs came from friend of a friend tips. 

If you had it to do all over again would you choose the same thing?  Why or why not?

Since I am in school to do something else, it would make sense for me to say no, but I think the path I have followed has been right for me so far. I had no interest in OT when I was in school originally, and I gained a set of skills that have helped me to move forward now that I am changing my career. Additionally, the trajectory of my life altered in a way that I never expected. With each of my schooling choices, I made the best decision for me based on what was happening in my life. While it would have been ideal if I had been fortunate enough to initially choose something I thought would sustain me forever, I believe that making a change is still healthy as long as you are moving forward. Full time workers spend too much time in their employment to not have some level of satisfaction for what they do. When you enjoy the challenge of your job, you are a better employee and happier person.

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