LOVE MONDAY: Featuring Rashmi Nemade
At Painted Turtle Partners, we believe that every individual should be able to fully utilize their interests, skills and experience in a work setting that they will enjoy. In our weekly post, “Love Monday”, we will be highlighting individuals that have made a major career change and now love what they do. This week, you will gain insight from Rashmi Nemade who went from being a researcher with a Ph.D. in Molecular Developmental Biology to expanding her business by providing science and medical voice-over services. Learn what career changes she made and how she got there.
What was your past career(s) and what are you doing now?
In the idealism of youth, I had wanted to be a Biology professor to teach at the collegiate and graduate levels, so I embarked on getting a Ph.D.. During graduate school, I figured out that in the scientific world, teaching is secondary to research and that writing grants and papers is what keeps the whole system afloat. Although I enjoyed research, it got to be frustrating, and I knew that I did not want to constantly fight for funding through grants to be able to teach. So after receiving my Ph.D. in Molecular Developmental Biology and doing a post-doctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health, I went into technical writing. For a while, I wrote for regulatory markets and learned a lot about that industry. When we moved to Columbus about 13 years ago, I wanted to start my own freelancing business. A big driver for that decision was that it allowed me to work from home while my kids were young. In 2004, BioMedText, Inc. became a biomedical writing/editing business incorporated in Ohio. Since then, I have been writing and editing grant proposals, technical papers, marketing materials, white papers, etc. for various academic and industry clients. Towards the end of 2015, I was looking for a change – something new and challenging, and I’ve always been interested in voice-overs, so I decided to pursue that path in earnest. I signed up for training with an experienced voice over coach and invested in that part of my business. Now, I have a home studio, demos online (www.nowyouhearme.com) and am up and running! I do science and medical voice-overs for e-learning videos, corporate marketing, documentaries and commercials. Since I enjoy writing/editing and can write copy for voice-over projects, my goal in 2017 is to re-brand my company under a communications umbrella offering writing, editing, and voice-over services. It’s the most exciting career change I’ve ever made!
Was there a point when you just knew that you wanted and needed to go for this new opportunity? Can you describe that moment? What pushed you to move forward?
In October of 2015, I decided to take a community evening class in Intro to Voice Over. It was the second time I had taken a class like this. The first time must have been in the early 2000’s, but the timing was not right for me to do anything serious with the information I had gained. When I took the class in 2015, it was just an exploratory interest. I didn’t go to the class with any idea that I would actually make a career change, but then I started thinking about how I had been writing/editing for a while and needed a change. Frankly, I was a little bored… As I was mulling this over and looking into how I could make this work, I had an ‘Aha’ moment! If I were in a traditional job, I would have had years of ongoing training or continuing education from my company. I didn’t have this advantage as a one-person business other than attending few science writers meetings here and there. It was time to change that, and I could do VO work in addition to writing! This way, I could still do everything I loved, but in the quantities that worked for me at any given time. Most importantly, I could still do this from home. I started to research options for training.
What helped to prepare you for this career change?
Really, just time… The timing had to be right with my family.
What have been the biggest struggles and/or hurdles that you have encountered with this change? What are you doing to overcome them?
The voiceover business is faster paced than writing, so projects are quick, and I have to market more frequently to get clients. Until I am established, I will have to spend more time marketing to get stable clients. As a scientist, marketing does not come naturally to me, but I’m learning. My writing business got off the ground by word of mouth, so I didn’t have to do a lot of traditional marketing. With creating a new brand, I have to learn how to market appropriately, efficiently, and get results more often. This is definitely out of my comfort zone. I’m taking marketing courses on Coursera and talking a lot to my friends who are in marketing fields. Another big challenge is having enough time to keep my writing projects going while doing all the work required to start in the VO field. It’s a lot, but fun!
If you were to offer one piece of advice to individuals that are contemplating making a major career change, what would it be?
If you feel it’s the right time and the right place, and the only thing holding you back are the limitations in your head, ask yourself what you can do overcome those mental blocks. Once you address those and honestly look for solutions, then there’s no reason to fear the change. Take the plunge! For me, I think this change was inevitable, but the timing had to be right.