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Laurie C.- Communications Installer

"Don't take yourself too seriously. Build on your previous job experiences--whatever they may have been, and just go to work. No excuses. Complaints. Or whining. Let your work show for itself. " - Laurie C.

What is your occupation and what made you interested in getting into your field?

In the 1977-78 school year I felt college wasn't for me and all I was doing was frustrating my parents and wasting their money. So I needed to find a job that allowed me a living wage without needing higher education, advancement on their dime and my folks would approve of a 19-year-old girl leaving on her own.

What excites you about your job?

Money, independence and always learning something interesting.

What are some of the challenges you face?

After 20 years of working "inside" for the phone company, i.e. operator, repair calls, bill collection, business office, and complaint calls, I figured if I was going to make some real money, I'd better get outside before I turned 40. After going through an AC/DC course, I got my installation and maintenance technician transfer at 38. Portland, Oregon was a decent, forward-thinking place to work and I knew most of the techs from working with them over the phone when they had service order problems. I found other techs would work/help me IF I did all I could on my own before I called them. I think my greatest asset was having a good rapport with most people I worked with. Being honest and not participating in gossip. That seemed to keep the relationships pretty healthy and above board.

Is there any advice you would give to women entering the field?

Do it before you get too old! Start making the money as soon as you can. If you can be ready to listen, learn and work on moment one, you'll never have a bad day. The last 12 years of my career, were my best.