During one of my past “lives” aka the State of Alaska job I held I was one of IT’s favorite people. I saved systems, setup systems and tested systems but it was well out of my job description!
I walked into a co-worker’s office as she was booting and heard the fans growling loudly and start yelling shut it off…. saved the HD from frying along with a ton of work. Went down to IT to tell them what was wrong and in less than half a day the HD was in a new machine. Same thing happened to my boss. Growling fans, quick shut down and she was back up in a couple hours no data lost. The rest of each machine was toast but I knew to shut it off so it didn’t completely fry! If something was wrong my co-workers asked me first and then had me explain to IT what we’d tried. I was also a guinea pig for new builds… bricked a new build in 2 hours flat… it was a record. I had another machine real quick.
At one point at the same job I had keys to the server room, I got upgrades first so I could run interference when everyone else upgraded, I knew how to force update laptops and my own PC, I was nabbed by Sr management to troubleshoot teleconference equipment, I fixed 3-5 different copiers frequently enough that when repair was called they’d troubleshoot over the phone with me or come find me to see if I had a part stashed somewhere. I once spent time on a 3 way conference call with the head of IT and Costa Rica tech support so we could setup a new copier. That was fun, desk phone, cell phone and run back and forth to the copier.
Best one was my “hammer of behavior” which was for whacking computers and printers that didn’t want to work. 3 whacks and it was back to purrrrring. IT witnessed that one and couldn’t believe it until I had to do it again. I still have that foam hammer.
I wish I’d had the IT type title but alas I was an underpaid clerical staff member.
You get a random text on your phone or a LinkedIn chat that talks about a great job in Admin/Data Entry/Data Analysis which kind of matches what you’re looking for. Your first instinct is to dive into talking with the sender of course since it’s a job contact.
Over time you start to realize that it’s garbage. How do you avoid these? Well, likely you can’t but you can start and control the conversation by asking for a link to the job description because likely the scammer can’t produce one. They might ask if you have an issue working from home or have your own equipment or have skills X, Y & Z.
BEWARE especially if they give you a fantastic, too good to be true, hourly rate that is far outside what you know is the going rate for a job in that industry/department.
Do NOT answer them in fact until you have a link to a legitimate company and can confirm that the contact is working for or with the company keep asking for that link to the job. After all you should be doing due diligence on all jobs and companies. If asked that is exactly what you are doing. Too many of these scammers get a hold of your resume and just prey on your need for work.
Don’t give them anything and insist on an actual description and a company contact. If they start in on an NDA ask again for a company contact and or the company name and directly contact the company and confirm what you’ve been told. If the company asks explain that there have been scams regarding jobs. Hey, it shows initiative and that you care. One company I did this with literally started legal proceedings based on my reporting it and posted an article!
Be careful in your job hunt and protect your personal data! For me no address or social security until I have a full written offer in hand. No background checks or anything like that without an offer and even a contract. Either can have a “if you don’t pass the background check we don’t hire you” clause. I’m fine with that but you don’t get anything more out of me until it’s signed!
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What is it I do, exactly? I write instructions anyone can follow for how to use software or follow an in house procedure. I can make software do things it might not have been originally intended to do as well via macros or other programming scripts.
And more specifically, what can I do to make or save money for a client? I save you time on training and wasted time not knowing exactly how to do something.
What is it that’s special or unique about me?
In other words, what combination of skills and experience do I have that would make you as an employer want to work with me?
Short writing pieces like this article or very long items that give detailed, illustrated instructions like my book on Pattern Making for Dolls. I’ve done several dozen sewing patterns, I’ve also written many times on using software. My passion is in writing instructions and procedures. Clear, precise instructions that everyone can understand.
Excel & Google Sheets are two of my best applications. I can enter the data and setup the formulas to display it in many ways.
I can create entire systems to track data and report on the status of a project. I can integrate the systems with Access and SharePoint, Word and even Adobe Acrobat.
Coordination & Organization
I keep entire teams humming with information and systems to track that information. I track who has what, where an item is in the process and how that process can be streamlined. If there is a way to make someone’s life easier I suggest and implement it.
I love to write instructions for software applications. I love to write tutorials that go through a process that makes a task easier or automates it. I also love learning new things in the process of writing about them!
Sewing & Pattern Drafting
I know this is technically a hobby but for a while I did make a little bit of money drafting patterns and writing books on the topic. It is a very technical subject surprisingly and especially when you try to explain how to do something step by step. Teaching it is even more of a challenge when you do it over a chat room and the only way to share images is via email.
Ahhh teaching online in the days before YouTube or live streaming or teleconferencing… when it was all still the Jetsons and not real yet! Given the chance I’d still love to teach pattern drafting online only this time with more modern tools!
I enjoy setting up to do an event. A class to teach something, a gathering of friends or family or even as part of my job. Years ago I was an Events Coordinator and had a lot of fun setting up the advertising and marketing for various demonstrations of crafts, many of which I had never done. I coordinated week long summer camps for kid crafting as well.
Event coordination is just like project management and I enjoy that as well. Keeping track of tasks and details is a big part of what keeps me motivated and happy.
For Christmas I got a much needed upgrade to both my computer and my favorite graphics suite, Corel Draw. So to learn and even relearn some of the suite’s tools I decided my resume needed to reflect more of my geeky personality. I may have more variations in the coming days too. Any thoughts, drop me a note!