Education/Training, Computer Software/Hardware
By Jackie Norey
As many people do, Laura Sample accidentally stumbled upon her career. She was working in customer service at Haworth in Holland, Michigan, when she spotted an opportunity to change jobs.
Laura attended several training classes in the technical communication field, which initially sparked her interest. When an opening came up at Media 1 in Grand Haven, Michigan, Laura decided to jump into the new position, a job she is still enjoying today.
Before her career as an Instructional Designer surfaced, Laura worked mainly in customer service and human resources. She has her bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Human Resources Development.
Laura decided to take the Instructional Designer position for no other reason than simply because she has “always enjoyed learning for learning’s sake.” Her desire to experience new endeavors led her to a position that she is ultimately happy with.
Every day consists of a different series of events for Laura, but a typical day starts at 9:30 am with a manager’s meeting. The meeting lasts an hour, and Laura then prepares a “project packet” for her coworkers, explaining the tasks of a new project. Around 11, she makes final edits to a storyboard for another of her current projects. At noon, she attends a client meeting and follows the meeting with “discovery work.” “Discovery” is when she reviews all of the materials from the client in order to develop ideas for a new project. Laura usually has another client meeting at 3. At 3:30, Laura runs to Starbucks in order to “prevent certain death.” When she returns from her coffee run, Laura prepares a budget and a proposal for a new project requested by a client. Around 5, she continues her project management work, including allocation and reporting. Laura’s day wraps up around 6. Although this example of a day in Laura’s life is typical, she says that she also spent an entire 6- or 8-hour day only writing storyboards.
Laura loves being an Instructional Designer because it is a rewarding career. In her career, she helps people “feel more successful or empowered,” which is her favorite part of the job.
Laura added some advice to future technical communicators. “It takes practice and time to find your voice and hone your craft,” Laura explains. “My advice to any writer is: Read, write, and then read and write some more.”