Studying for a degree is challenging at the best of times, but imagine having to raise a child and work a full-time job at the same time.
Are you exhausted yet?
Achieving the impossible, Zionde Harper, one of our Team Experience Coordinators, is an inspiring example of how to successfully balance all three tasks—and she even has time for a relaxing glass of wine at the end of the day.
We sat down with Zionde to discuss her role and the life she’s able to live with a career at Activus Connect.
Discovering a Life-Changing Career
From her home in Columbia, South Carolina, Zionde has been supporting and motivating our Ambassadors since December 2019.
“I found Activus Connect on Indeed.com, but the job looked way too good to be true,” she laughed. “At the time, I was looking for something that would enable me to stay home with my one-year-old son, and this position offered that, so I applied immediately.”
When Zionde told her mom about the application there was some initial skepticism, but as soon as the email arrived requesting an interview, any doubts were quickly put to rest.
“It was purely by happenstance that I found Activus, but in terms of employment it’s been the best decision I’ve made and one of the best jobs I’ve ever had, and even my mom agrees,” she laughed. “Activus is flexible, family-oriented, people-oriented, and so welcoming—we’re appreciated and valued as human beings, not just numbers on a spreadsheet.”
Motivating and Informing the Troops
In her supervisory role as a Team Experience Coordinator, Zionde is primarily responsible for monitoring her team, answering any questions they may have, dealing with Ambassador concerns, and performing daily quality assurance analysis to ensure people align with client requirements.
Along with the direct support she provides, Zionde produces reports detailing transfers rates, call handling times, and other useful metrics to keep everyone informed, as well as holding monthly team meetings to cover any changes to the project. Zionde also enjoys guiding people on a path of personal growth by sharing knowledge throughout her team and promoting the value of independent learning.
“By encouraging people to answer questions for themselves, I’ve found that they become more self-reliant and able to meet their goals without the need for constant support,” she said. “It’s a great way to help people build a strong dynamic with one another, bond with their teammates, and rely more on their peers in a virtual work environment.”
Before she found Activus, Zionde acquired a medical assisting certificate, began nursing school, and worked in childcare for several years, primarily with one-year-olds. Throughout her nursing school years, several of Zionde’s family members, unfortunately, passed away, which understandably affected her motivation to graduate, but she is again focused on reaching that goal today.
“Everything has come full circle,” she said. “I’m currently enrolled full-time at Independence University Online working towards an associate’s degree in medical assisting, not just for me but for my son. I want him to see that hard work pays off and you can’t accomplish your goals without it.”
With a son to raise and a degree to complete, free time is everything to Zionde, along with the flexibility to choose her career path, both of which she’s able to enjoy in her current role.
Day in the Life
Since joining Activus, Zionde has been able to stick to an effective personal routine that fits perfectly around her work schedule.
First thing in the morning, she prepares her son for daycare, grabs breakfast, and drops him off around 8:30 am before returning home. She then hits the books for a couple of hours to complete some assignments or read up on subjects for her degree, then grabs a quick lunch and takes a short nap before logging on to her shift at Activus.
At 1:30 pm, Zionde kicks things off by checking her emails, reading announcements, and gathering useful information to relay to her team. Then she’ll help her team get set up, make sure they’re on the phones on time, and provide support for any technical issues.
During her first break, Zionde will usually prepare dinner, which she shares with her son as a second lunch break. After putting her son to bed around 8:15 pm, Zionde logs back on to her final shift of the day to create poll questions for the team.
“Sometimes these questions are related to project materials and our specific jobs, but other times they’re ice-breaker polls that help people wind down a little bit, which is super important for motivating people,” she explained. “Likewise, in the last five minutes of the day, I’ll always encourage people to unwind, unplug, get a good night’s rest, and take the pressures of the day away to get ready for another great day tomorrow.”
When she finishes at 10 pm, Zionde likes to sit down for an hour with some study materials and a glass of wine, just to relax and reset for the day ahead—no all-nighters required!
“If you’d told me I could find a job that allows me to raise a child, study for a degree, and earn a livable wage all at the same time, I wouldn’t have believed it,” she said. “Now that I’m here, I see myself growing more with the company and sticking around. I don’t want to give up on my degree because I don’t want my son to see me quit. Luckily, I won’t have to at Activus.”