You Work Where?

Author: Miria Dean
So inevitably when I meet someone, they always ask the same question: “Where do you work?” And I think, here we go again. I smile and say “Pentecom.” Then the look starts; it is always the same. First, they smile, then the puzzled look crosses their face. The next question is, “What do they do?” This is the hard part. How do you explain document conversion without feeling like you lost the person you are talking to, and without coming off as a complete nerd?
The easy answer is “we take paper documents and transform them into electronic format.” But of course, most times the questions don’t always stop there. “Did you go to college to learn that? How in the world do you do that? Why would anyone want to do that?” College is not required; most of what I have learned was on the job training and soaking up the knowledge of those around me. The ‘how’ is a little more complicated, because it depends on the contract. The ‘why’ is the easiest one of all, because it is lots of fun.

Yes, I did say fun. What? You don’t have fun at your job? What a bummer. I truly enjoy my job. Why? Well, let’s see. It may be because I am indeed a nerd, or the fact that I like figuring out puzzles. Both characteristics are well served in my job. With each new contract, I may learn new software and can figure out the puzzle that is converting tech manuals to S1000D format. The other interesting aspect of my job is that I believe my job is important to many people out there. The repair of equipment such as planes, helicopters, tanks, and more is very important. We deal with all types of technical publications. That means the mechanics that work on all those vehicles use the tech pubs that we convert to make repairs and test the equipment to ensure that each is working at its best.
Our job is important, and with that comes a sense of pride. I have been working as a document conversion specialist for the past 24 years. I started straight out of high school and learned as I went. Like a sponge, I soaked up as much knowledge as I could from those around me that had more experience. I learned through reading, listening and actually performing the document conversion work. I enjoyed getting to learn new software and processes. I have been blessed to work with a truly amazing company and to be mentored by an amazing group of owners and managers over those years. From my start in the document conversion world to this day, I cannot imagine having any other career. They say that when you love what you do you never work a day in your life. And that is the way I feel; the people I work with and Pentecom make this a joy to do. At the end of each day, I love what I do: the challenges, the successes, and the feeling of a ‘job well done’.

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