by Lauren Krieger, Client & Creative Service Associate
As much of my day is spent working, it is important to me that a job provides more than just an income, but an investment in myself; a job that provides inspiration and opportunity for learning and growth, the satisfaction of feeling like I’m making a positive impact, and the freedom to live a fulfilling life. Add in a boss who supports and believes in me every step of the way, and I feel like a very lucky, and very grateful person. It was a great exercise for me to expand on these reasons and remind myself of all there is to appreciate each day that I work for Design TLC.
Learning & Growth
When I first began working for Design TLC I was familiar with WordPress from building my own photography website and running an electronic news blog, but Tara introduced me to a whole new world, showing me the amazing power and potential of the platform. She presented me with the technical side of WordPress, taking me through the functions of common tools and teaching me the various ways that you can customize and optimize depending on your needs. Each day I became more familiar with the process behind building and maintaining a website, from researching keywords, customizing content, and building page structures, to what to do when all of a sudden your website gives you a dreaded error message.
By adding in more responsibilities each time I learned something new, I found myself growing exponentially until the things which seemed so overwhelming at first have now become second nature. Throughout the years of working for Design TLC, I have been encouraged and expected to keep expanding my knowledge and skills, and I love that there is always something new to learn with website design. It’s truly a never-ending process of growth.
Making a Positive Impact
As I began to learn the ways that websites could be used to support non-profit organizations and schools, I grew to truly appreciate the ways that they can transmit purpose and promote missions, leaving a lasting impact for online visitors. To make this impact however, requires an understanding of not only the function of the tools, but how to put them to use in the most effective way. Working for Design TLC, I have been inspired by the ways that Tara is able to transform a client’s ideas into reality by customizing and developing a website which captures the essence of the non-profit organization or small school. The process from initial discussion, to concept, to completion is in-depth, detailed, and organized, yet flows with an overarching understanding of how to put all the pieces together to best represent their purpose and passion.
For example, a school’s website design must accomplish multiple things at once. It is the landing point for current families and students – a place for them to find information such as upcoming events, forms, fundraisers, news and more. It’s also where potential families can learn about the school and discover if it’s a fit for them by showcasing what makes the school special and making it easy to send in applications, contact the admissions department, or join an open house. When schools come to Design TLC, it is often because their current website isn’t fulfilling these needs, it feels out of date or is difficult to navigate. They want something that truly encompasses their message while also being a place where students, faculty and families can feel proud to be a part of it. By organizing all of these ideas into an easy-to-use, attractive, and accessible website, the Design TLC team transmits ideas into an online representation of the spirit of the school. I love that as a part of my job I can support them in their mission and help to create an online destination that feels like home.
Not only do I get to be a part of the creation of these websites, but I’m there to support them throughout the year. Helping to set up fundraisers, create events, update staff, edit and add photos, create promotional materials, and much more, is an on-going and enjoyable part of my position in Client and Creative Services. Forming relationships with those behind the websites is one of my favorite parts! I love connecting with people who are trying to make a meaningful difference through their work. For both non-profit and school websites, the reason behind creating them is always a positive one. Whether supporting local communities or providing a supportive learning environment for the next generation, these are people who are working in ways that benefit others. If I can help to make their job easier, it’s a joy for me too.
Freedom to Live a Fulfilling Life
While remote jobs have grown more popular in recent years, when I first began working for Design TLC in 2019, I truly felt blessed to have the opportunity to work from home. Is there anything better than having your dog snuggling next to you while you are getting your work done? With this position I was able to have the flexibility to create my own schedule so I could continue to live my life in a way that works best for me and my family. Instead of spending hours at a desk away from home and needing to get errands done and free time in during the evening and weekends, I have the opportunity to designate work and play time throughout the day and week. This became especially helpful for me when I decided to adopt a horse (named Freedom) who would require daily care. “Working from home” became “working from barn”, and I wouldn’t want it any other way!
I also find this flexibility fulfilling in the way that I can focus on and finish a specific task at a time. Instead of feeling like I need to find things to do, or that I’m wasting time, I can take care of something which needs to be done, provide help, and see the project all the way through with my full attention. There’s always a variety of things to be done, which keeps it interesting and enjoyable for me as well. I get excited whenever new organizations or school website designs begin, and for the different ways that I can contribute to supporting them and helping to create a beautiful, functional, and meaningful website.
Thank you Tara & team! 🙂