Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What The Heck Is My New Job About?

"No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another."
 - Charles Dickens

In her book The Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin mentions that reading "memoirs of catastrophe" gave her a new and instant appreciation for her obedient body - for the simple ability "to eat or walk or pee" in the usual fashion.

So what does this have to do with my new job?

Well...lots, in fact.

Lots of people have asked me what exactly it is I am doing now that I am back working full-time.

To be honest, I have hesitated for a few reasons.

The first reason is that my new job is significantly more junior than what I have been doing for most of my career that began back in 1995.

But I have quickly gotten over that, and talked a bit more about it in my recent post "Working is Working!".

The other reason is because what I deal with on a day-to-day basis concerns some very sensitive and personal health care issues.

On the surface, if I just came out and told you what I do you may think it was gross or nasty or even nauseating.

But it is far from all of those things.

And so...I'm going to explain.

The company I work for is called Coloplast (Canada). If you want to learn more about it you can check out their website here.

Because I myself am still learning, I feel it is best to pull some info right from the Coloplast Canada website. Straight from their site:

Coloplast develops products and services that make life easier for people with very personal and private medical conditions. 

Working closely with the people who use our products, we create solutions that are sensitive to their special needs. 

We call this intimate health care. 

Our business includes ostomy care, urology and continence care, and wound and skin care. We operate globally and employ more than 7,000 people.

My position at Coloplast could be called a number of things, but I think it is best described as "Patient Care/Product Advisor".

I am on the phone A LOT, speaking with end-users (and sometimes ET Nurses) about the products that would best help them for their unique situations. We send out sample product and we follow-up to see if things are working, what isn't and then we work with them to try to figure out what we can do to help. Often it takes several tries before the appropriate products are found as each patient has very specific needs.

There are two main areas that I cover in my position.

One is Ostomy care and the other is Continence care.

Also straight from their site:

Understanding Ostomy Care

Coloplast researches, develops and produces appliances for people with a stoma.

A stoma is created by an operation, which brings the end of the intestine to an opening on the abdominal wall. Bodily wastes are then excreted and collected into an ostomy appliance which is attached to the area around the stoma.

Through our work with the people who use our products and with health care professionals when developing products we have gained experience in all aspects of ostomy care.

Understanding Continence Care

Urology is the diagnosis and treatment of medical issues related to the urinary system and the reproductive system. Continence care is about helping people empty their bladder and bowels.

Through listening to our customers' needs, we've developed unique, high quality products that help make their everyday life easier.

Through our work with the people who use our products and with health care professionals when developing products we have gained experience in all aspects of urology and continence care.

Now I realize this does not cover everything...but in short, I speak to people with bowel and urology issues that make their lives very difficult. Coloplast makes products that helps these people makes their day-to-day lives easier and much more manageable.

Again, some of you make think that dealing with such issues would be unappealing.

And I get that.

But my main point here is that it is not so much about WHAT the issues are.

Is it more about being able to help people who have some very life-altering health issues.

Helping people is something that I find extremely gratifying and rewarding.

In prior positions, I was used to helping people with business problems and issues - which was gratifying too...but this, I feel, is much more in line with my authentic self.

Talking to these patients and hearing that the products that we sent to them have changed their lives for the better is an amazing feeling.

I am not helping people make more money or increase their ROI or la la la.

I am helping people increase the quality of their personal lives.

This, again, resonates with my personality much more.

I may have found a "work home" in Coloplast.

Who knows?

My goal is to move back in to a management role in the next year or so...and I am hoping that perhaps something may come up at this growing company. Something feels right about it.

Time will tell.

For now, I am learning and gaining a great deal of expertise as I go.

And that is a great place to start.

So while this is just a small look at what I do, I hope it helps explain a little bit.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to leave a comment. I will try my best to reply with a thoughtful answer.

Because that is what I do.

And I'm kinda diggin' it.




  1. Best Wishes as you head down a new path "helping others".They are lucky to have you onboard.

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