Originally published April 3, 2023 on FENews.com
I love to try new things. Sometimes I find a new passion. But there are other times when I realize I’ve made a mistake. Either way, trying new things is the best way to discover my capabilities.
That’s what happened a few years ago when it became clear that I wanted a new career. At the time I was taking a bus, then a train to go to work every day. I had a new baby daughter at home. Her father worked the night shift and by the time I would get home, he had already left for his job. Luckily my mom was there to help us out. But I really wanted to be home more often with my daughter.
The job and commute left little time for doing anything else like art, my first passion. Like many artists, working a nine-to-five job is really to just allow me to keep making the bags, clothing, and costumes I love to create. I needed more flexibility, but it was proving difficult to find.
I worked in retail customer service for nearly 15 years. I enjoyed some parts of those jobs such as working with other people and helping customers solve their problems. But during the COVID-19 pandemic, I realized something was missing. Flexibility.
First I looked for work-from-home jobs. One of them, being an office assistant, was nice. However, I wanted to do more. I started thinking about what I like to do. I already knew that I liked helping people so I considered psychiatry. A few psychiatrist friends reminded me I can get too invested in other people’s problems, which might prove troublesome for me – burning me out quickly. Instead, they suggested I consider another career in healthcare.
Seeing my younger brother go back to school inspired me to do the same. But instead of going to a traditional school like he was, I wanted to go online to have the flexibility to work on my own schedule. I started researching my options and found a school called MedCerts that fit my needs.
The training programs were online and fit my need for flexibility. Their support team even helped me figure out the specific kind of work I wanted to do within healthcare. It was interesting to get the outside thoughts from someone who knew the business. They helped me remember how much I enjoyed helping others. It also seemed my experience in customer service might be applicable to healthcare.
Within weeks of that conversation, I started training to become a medical front desk assistant. Along the way, I also worked, cared for my daughter, continued to produce art, and hosted a YouTube channel. Having all these things to do on top of studying ended up being surprisingly easy to manage. Figuring out when to study took some time. It ended up that the bus and train commute to work was perfect. I could watch the course videos while my baby napped. I took quizzes in the morning before my daughter woke. I loved having the freedom to decide when and where I could learn.
Now I have a job as a CSR. I get to work from home and take care of my daughter, who is now three years old. In a way, even though I wanted this life, I wasn’t sure it was always possible. But with the help of a flexible online program and a flexible employer, I’ve shown myself once again what I’m capable of and that I can have the life I want.
I haven’t stopped learning either. Nor have I stopped helping others. I produced a video about my experience with MedCerts because I felt so strongly about the opportunity it gave me. Now I get to help even more people consider a job in healthcare. And along the way, I’ve made new friends and found a career that I love.
By Aysha Minor