Vicki worked in high tech for over 30 years. As a Silicon Valley resident, she’s worked in the software industry doing instructional design, technical support, and training. She also has a Master’s in Resource Economics, which means she studied forestry. While her career in forestry didn’t last long, she learned a lot about herself in the process. Plus she still loves being outside. She’s most happy outdoors doing any number of outdoor sports including swimming, hiking, biking, running, ski, and kayaking.
She first found out about GetSetUp through her friend, GetSetUp Guide Deb. Both of them participate in an online community called Career Pivot for those looking to shift their careers.
“Deb started working at GetSetUp a while before me. But I knew about her journey because I had actually helped as her practice buddy when she was just getting started. I saw how happy she was and that she was really enjoying the classes. She encouraged me to join and it’s been a great experience for me so far!”
A number of GetSetUp Guides have come from the Career Pivot community including Russ and Bernadette too. Career Pivot is a community for people 55 and older who have finished their careers and are looking for what they want to do next.
“It’s an online community of people in the second half of life looking for what’s going to be the next step in their lives. It’s a supportive community made up of professionals with diverse career backgrounds.”
The Career Pivot community helped expose Vicki to diverse opportunities like a GetSetUp Guide. As a Guide, Vicki has been able to learn as she teaches new courses like Zoom for Beginners. She also needs to stay abreast of new technology and applications, which she finds to be lots of fun.
“GetSetUp has enabled me to transition right now with added freedom compared to past jobs. I’m able to use my tech and teach really useful skills. That means a lot to me. It’s a great transition being able to train people on skills in a much more meaningful way.”
Vicki was looking for new work experiences in her pivot. So she is glad to have found something where she is able to not only help others but also to learn at the same time.
“I think the best thing about this job is our learners' gratitude. They are so grateful for the opportunity that GetSetUp has provided. They tell me all the time that they are grateful to me, the Guide, for providing them with more information and confidence. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s very humbling and nourishes my soul!”
Seeing the impact she has on learners is rewarding, whether it is seeing them learn to navigate Zoom or use collaborative features on Google. Even one little feature can impact a learners’ ability to connect. Since Vicki teaches many of the beginner classes she can see a real change in her learners from start to finish.
“I see the impact as they are able to use technology to really connect to the world. I think that’s the best part of my job.”
Vicki describes her teaching style as “killing learners with kindness.” She believes you get a lot further with honey, and a little bit of kindness goes a long way. She also tries to add humor to her classes and make jokes about herself. She thinks that helps to make technology less daunting if you see people smiling and giggling while learning. Most importantly, she wants learners to feel they are in a patient, kind, and supportive environment to learn.
Her favorite class to teach is Beginner Zoom because it is very interactive.
“Everyone is pushing buttons. We are all using Zoom at the same time with lots of giggles and laughs. For a number of folks, this is their first time on Zoom and maybe even GetSetUp. So I can set the tone for them and help them gain the confidence to feel comfortable and attend more Zoom calls or participate in more GetSetUp classes. I think this is where I can make the most impact too.”
Plus Vicki enjoys being challenged by her learners who ask questions.
“For me what really ups the level of classes is when I have learners who ask interesting questions about the application I’m teaching, or ask a question I don’t know. This pushes me to find out more about the topic.”
Vicki is very transparent if she doesn’t know an answer. She takes the question and researches it so she can put the answer in the after-class notes. That way everyone including herself can learn.
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When it comes to the Guides we have an extremely talented and very supportive community.
“I have been so impressed with the level of expertise in our group and how we support each other when someone has a question or needs help. Guides are passionate about their work and are quick to help each other. A lot of support and sharing goes on in our community.”
Since the work environment is supportive it fosters a supportive learning community. In classes, Vicki sees learners supporting each other too.
“Oftentimes if a learner gets stuck, another learner will come to their rescue. Other learners really love to support and share information with each other.”
Vicki thinks that anyone who wants to connect with others in their peer group through learning should join GetSetup, whether they want to learn tech skills or cooking, focus on personal enrichment, or social well-being.
“If you are looking to connect with others then you will find it all on GetSetUp. Plus it’s a community where you don’t have to be afraid to make mistakes or get stuck. There is always someone there to support you!”
Vicki has so much more to share about her love of murder mysteries and the BBC, so don’t miss the social hour get to know your Guide to learn more about Vicki and connect with the GetSetUp community!
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