This is Sarah Iddings.
Known as the “energizer bunny” to most people, she spends her days creating value as a social media manager at Classical Conversations, a Praxis business partner.
Sarah came to Praxis in 2017. She was hired on full-time at Classical Conversations after completing her apprenticeship there.
Classical Conversations is a homeschool curriculum and community leading the home-centered education movement. We visited Classical Conversations at the end of 2018 and toured the company on one of their vlogs! Check it out below:
Sarah, on value creation at her business partner:
“I create value in the oddest looking way possible. I’m sitting on the concrete outside in the sun. I’m doodling ideas in notebooks and glass-topped tables. I’m sitting cross-legged with my shoes off in my office chair. I’m sideways or backward on the couch in the hall. My work style is a running joke and several people in the company legitimately thought I didn’t have a cubicle (I promise, I use it often, though!). But you know what?
I get stuff done.
I’m that person who responds to every email and Slack notification in less than 5 minutes. I’m the girl who’s genuinely excited to tackle whatever project you give me. I am nearly always willing to take time to brainstorm with those who need someone to bounce ideas off of. I may not always know what I am doing at first but by golly, I’ll Google it and research it until I do. I know when people have a criticism of my work that it’s in my best interest and that of the company to hear them out fully and make adjustments when needed. If you don’t give me a project to work on, I’ll create one myself. If a valuable project doesn’t exist, then I pour that time into research and educating myself so that I can become a better worker.”
We caught up with Sarah during our visit to her Classical Conversations. Here’s what she had to say, looking back on her Praxis experience.
Why did you choose Praxis?
I wanted a good way to further my education and gain practical career skills. I knew I didn’t want to deal with the tens of thousands of dollars of debt that college would give me, nor all of the needless classes that I would be forced to spend time on simply to gain enough credits to graduate. When a friend told me about Praxis, it fit everything I wanted in an educational experience (and more). Not only would it give me training, experience, and a fast-track to the career I wanted, but the way Praxis is engineered I would end the program with zero debt! On top of that, I would get to keep in touch with the Praxis team beyond graduation for continued advising sessions and networking. Looking at college, my thought was “man, will I actually break even someday?” but with Praxis, I knew before going in that I would come out ahead!
What was your favorite part of the boot camp?
I really loved the 30-Day blogging challenge. I had so many fun ideas I wanted to write about pinned up in my head but never felt like I had the time to do anything with them. Having to write a blog post every day for 30 days gave me the mental permission I needed to invest the time in that pursuit and in the end left me with a great collection of writing that enabled my potential employers to get to know me and get a feel for how I might mesh with their teams.
What were the top 3 skills you gained at your apprenticeship?
1.Confidence to admit that “I don’t know”.
“This sounds funny, but it’s true. Somewhere in life, I picked up this mental block where I felt like I always needed to have a “right” answer to give people. There were so many new things to tackle at my business partner that I didn’t know, I had to quickly become okay with admitting I didn’t know everything – but that I would research the heck out of it until I knew the answer. Rather than making me seem unintelligent, this actually just made people that much more apt to trust me!”
2. A LOT of knowledge about social media.
“I had somewhat of a grasp of social media concepts before. But wow. There are so many ways that you can connect with your audience via social media. It’s not JUST about paid advertising or sharing content! Even after a year here, there is always something new and exciting to learn on these ever-evolving platforms.”
3. A balanced appreciation for teamwork and for flying solo – and the ability to communicate effectively in both situations.
“I’ve always been a very independent person and prior to my apprenticeship I thought that I would be living the dream if I had my own company or at least was a full-time remote employee. But being in a company that allows me the freedom to occasionally work remote, I’ve gained a real appreciation for my coworkers. I am still always thankful for the ability to work remote when I need to travel or have a day at home to let a repairman in. At the same time, however, I’ve quickly learned that there is nothing like the creative energy of having a group of talented people all together in one place to collaborate with each other. Additionally, the communication style for a remote employee and an in-person employee are very different, and both are important to master if you want people to enjoy working with you.”
What was the most life-changing moment during your Praxis experience?
“Just a single moment? The entire year of Praxis was life-changing! But if I have to pick a single moment, probably the first time that someone booked a meeting with me for professional advice about social media. It’s such a perspective shift, to go from ‘just another person with a job to do” to “a professional that others turn to for authoritative advice and answers’. It felt so surreal to have people older than me with so many more years of work and life experience turning to me for help and knowledge.”
What is your advice for those considering Praxis?
“Don’t freak out about the possibility of moving for an apprenticeship. I was REALLY iffy about joining the program simply for that reason alone. But the fact of the matter is, it’s just 6 months. Do you realize how fast a year flies by? The apprenticeship is a mere half a year. It will be over in a blink.
Worst-case: You dislike where you are for a measly half a year but get a ton of valuable work experience that will help you get someplace better.
Best-case: You end up like me – working at what turned out to be your dream job and telling everyone that moving was the best choice you’ve made in your life.
Isn’t that ‘gamble’ worth it?”
You can follow Sarah’s work on her website: sarahiddings.com