Educational publishing author and multimedia creation, self-employed
I was born/grew up in: Drayton Valley, Alberta
I now live in: Toronto, Ontario
I completed my training/education at:
B.Sc./B.Ed. (Science & Math), University of Alberta, MA (Communication & Technology), University of Alberta
Describe what you do at work.
My job changes every day, week, month, and year. I have to find work (or work has to find me), and it's always different. In fact, I've done the same project twice and even THAT was different! I must keep up with technology and curriculum changes so that my work looks and reads as being current. I must have many of the skills of both a teacher and a techie without being 100% of either. I work on my own almost all of the time, although I always work with others who make sure my work fits within the larger goals. There are many others who do this type of work as well, and each of us specializes in slightly different things. For example, if you are an artist, you will often be hired to make scientific drawing and illustrations. If you are good at coding, you will be hired to work on site design, etc.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
I have been a teacher, so I know how important resources are for teaching. Every day I imagine myself using the resources I am working on as if I was a teacher in the classroom. Teaching is tough, so I want my work to make the job of teaching a little bit easier, which should make student learning easier as well.
What motivates you in your career?
Education is so important for understanding the past, engaging in the present, and preparing for the future. Any role I can play in education makes me feel as though I am contributing to the success of others. This career has worked great for me because I have so much flexibility with my time. I can work hard for several weeks and then take a month off if I want. And because I like both technology and education, I get to keep up-to-date in areas that I enjoy.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I wanted to become a marine biologist when I graduated high school. But it was a tough career choice for someone living in Alberta (not many oceans in Alberta!). I ended up liking almost all of my science courses, and I was good at math, so I decided to become a science and math high school teacher. I taught for 12 years before stumbling into a job working for a textbook company. I've been in educational publishing ever since.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy tennis, golf, and exercising at the gym. I walk my dog several time a day around the neighbourhood, and shop for meals at nearby grocery stores.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
My career is the perfect example of finding someone to pay you to do what you like to do. Find a productive hobby or interest and spend the time to get really good at it. Then try to find a way to get paid to do it. The key is to get really good at something that other people want.