Taking My First Step(s)

Taking My First Step(s)

I’m a part time Health Policy and Administration student at Penn State World Campus.  It’s a decision I made when I was inspired to get out from behind my work cubicle.  I was comfortable and secure in my daily grind but once that spark was lit, I had to pursue higher education and the next step in a career. In this series, I’ll share how I got started, the resources I used, and how I plan to continue.

When did I take my first step? That thought took me back to 2004. I realize now it really took more than 1 step to start my journey. I was working in what I felt was my choosen career, Interior Design, but as soon as I started to gain my momentum as an independent consultant the housing ecomony began its downturn.

Although I had an AA degree in Interior Design, I could see that wouldn’t be enough to move into a new field. Not really knowing what to do, I took an Office Certification course through Heald College in Stockton. Unfortunately, we all know how Heald College turned out. In hindsight, I should have applied myself elsewhere but I got the instruction I was looking for to feel confident in an office setting. As luck would have it, I was hired as a Member Service Representative at Kaiser Permanente and truly thought I could settle into my cubicle and leave my worries behind.

You may find yourself pushed out of your comfort zone. Take this opportunity to grow.

And I did just that for the next several years. I didn’t think once about my own education nor changing jobs. I was very comfortable! Until 2011 when closure of our Member Services Call Center was announced. Once again I was faced with a desparate choice to change jobs. That push that took me out of my comfort zone. I studied for a medical coding certificate and later qualified to transfer into Kaiser Permanente’s Professional Coding Support Services within a matter of months.

What I learned from those experiences was to be prepared for life’s challenges. But what I didn’t learn, at least not right away, was how. How was I going to prepare myself? Interior Design is a specialized field. Medical Coding is also a specialized field. How will I prepare myself for a change should it happen again?

When I took time to think it though that’s how I began to find my niche, my passion, and most logical career path.

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