Episode 64 – Marc interviews Camille Knight who explains how her logical mind and her creative mind work. After a long job search, she was able to use both her mathematics and her artistic ability to help executives make informed decisions through Tableau dashboards.
Camille is a logical creative. She is the confluence of creativity and mathematics. Camille grew up as a gymnast, dancer, ice skater, singer, and photographer, while, at the same time, was a member of the Mathematics Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta. She spent much of her career focusing on the analytical side of herself because that’s what the world was willing to pay her for. Over the last few years, she turned herself into a Tableau developer, where she gets to create beautiful, understandable business dashboards. She now gets to activate both sides of her brain and get paid pretty darn well for it. This was not an easy journey for Camille and there were some pretty painful patches for her. But she has persevered and moved on.
[:56] Marc welcomes you to the episode and gives an overview of the podcast series. This month the series will be out of the normal order. This week Marc will interview Camille Knight, a logical creative who married her love for data and creativity into making beautiful Tableau dashboards for executives. She transitioned in her fifties.
[1:27] Next episode will be an interview with an expert. That is usually the first episode of the series. Marc will interview Hannah Morgan of Career Sherpa fame. Hannah started in the career space right before the Great Recession. Marc will interview her about job searching in 2007, in the present day, and about her projections for 2028.
[2:03] The third in the series is a topic of Marc’s choosing. He is thinking about an episode about FOMO or fear of missing out. This affects Marc and other people about to make a major change. Marc’s major change is his planned move to Mexico.
[2:22] The last episode in the series is the Mailbag episode where he answers listener’s questions with Elizabeth Rabaey. Last week’s episode was the Mailbag.
[2:33] Marc introduces the episode and reads Camille’s bio.
[3:38] Marc welcomes Camille. Camille grew up encouraged to express herself through the arts and athletics — drawing, writing, gymnastics, dance, competitive ice skating, and singing. She decided on business marketing major for a practical career. She was already good at math. Her Math score was the highest on her SAT. She attended UT.
[5:35] When Camille graduated, in the mid-eighties, the economy was “down in the dumps” and everybody was struggling to find a job. She wound up in an administrative position for the U.S. Senate. It was a great opportunity to learn about our government but it was not a creative job so she returned to school as an applied voice major.
[6:34] Camille spent six years as a professional singer. Then she came back to Austin. She worked a series of administrative jobs and was invited to apply for a business analyst job. She liked the idea and went back to school for a business analyst course at ACC. It made sense and she took to it like a duck to water.
[7:31] She thought she had discovered what she was meant to be doing all along. Then she took the project management professional training course and the sequel course. She started to feel that was her direction to follow. She went to work by contract at VMWare. She liked the freedom to work for a time and become a subject matter expert.
[8:52] While Camille was working in one contract job, her world changed again, in 2015, when she found Tableau Desktop. For many years she had been a power user of Excel. Using Tableau was love at first sight. It allowed Camille to be creative with numbers and to tell the story in a visual way. It married the two sides of her brain.
[9:47] Tableau is a data visualization tool that allows you to create various different kinds of charts using data to tell the story. Any news article that has a gorgeous chart probably uses Tableau. Camille likes to able to create something really quickly. The beautiful charts can help executives make business decisions.
[10:48] It was satisfying for Camille to marry the two sides of her brain. She took a two-day course in Tableau, took a certification exam at the Tableau Conference and became a Tableau Qualified Associate.
[11:40] For the last couple of years, Camille has been using Tableau to inform executive decision makers about the performance of several organizations in the healthcare sector. This work requires using mathematics to create the information needed from the data she is given, coloring each point according to the signals in the chart.
[12:53] Camille feels like she has found her niche. Using Tableau comes naturally to her. She was not really happy just doing pure administrative work.
[13:33] Camille had a BA certificate and a PMP certification. She enjoyed Business Analysis, but she was not very interested in being a Project Management Professional, as the work was word-focused. Analysis, reporting, and dashboarding was where she wanted to work. She could use the PMP skills in scheduling her workflow, however.
[15:50] Camille just went through a lot of interviews. One came out of nowhere. She went into the interview feeling she had nothing to lose, and she was just herself. It was a great interview and she got the position. She was asked to talk to a sales consultant at Tableau. When she did, she learned that she was a content developer.
[18:36] Camille had been nervous about the meeting but walked out realizing she was smarter than she thought. The nervousness came from ‘MSU.’ That confidence set her up for a good interview with the end user.
[19:32] Camille never imagined herself in such a job. She is also concerned about retirement, but she likes to work, so she is considering soft retirement. She doesn’t want to stop working. She would like the freedom to take four-to-six weeks off in the summer and option to work 20 hours a week, and take a break between contracts.
[20:43] Camille thinks this next job is a real positive step toward a flexible work schedule. She had had no idea she could make that happen.
[21:03] Camille’s job search has taken five years. Things didn’t quite turn out the way she planned. She hit Tableau at a very good time, when there are no experts. It’s too new. Camille gravitated to it and sucked it up. She dug in deep.
[21:50] Camille would advise job searchers to keep trying. Trying new things, trying to learn, trying just one more job interview. Doors didn’t open immediately for her.
[22:53] Camille used to be Marc’s neighbor. He has known her through unemployment, hard times, her BA certificate. He encouraged her to take a contract job. The first job they just hired her quickly over the phone. Camille likes the freedom of contracting. She won’t take six weeks off, but she might take a few weeks, and it won’t be a problem.
[24:09] Marc says everybody in his online community wants freedom to choose how hard they work, where they work, and when they work. For many in the second half of life that becomes really important but it is not available with full-time employment.
[24:34] Marc is really proud of Camille. She thanks him for all his help along the way.
[25:10] Camille is a survivor and continues to pursue her dreams. She started her new job last week and this is just another step in the journey.
[25:49] Marc explains how he will select the listener who will receive a copy of the audio version of Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life.
[26:06] By the time this episode airs Marc will have the second cohort of 10 members for the online paid membership community. This is the only online community anywhere in the world for job seekers in the second half of life. Marc is now soliciting people for the third cohort.
[27:42] Check back next week when Marc will interview Hannah Morgan.
Mentioned in This Episode:
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