Lisa Jo Lupo, Owner, LJ Writing Services, Pestcontrol.about.com
As with so many in the industry, I pretty much fell into it. My then-husband and I were stationed at Grand Forks AFB ... not a lot of career opportunities there. But it happened to be at the time that Ecolab was starting its Pest Elimination Division, by merging five companies of which Lystads in Grand Forks was the largest. The company was seeking a freelance writer for its new employee newsletter, so I traveled to St. Paul for an interview, and before the day was up, I was in charge of the newsletter. From there, it was a gradual progression to take on more and more technical writing and marketing responsibilities, finally becoming the Marketing Communications Manager for the division. My 13 years with this company gave me an industry expertise and a professionalism that has benefited me in every career move since. From Ecolab, I had a short stint in the exhibition industry, then decided to try my hand as an independent writer, specializing in pest management and the food industry. Today, I am the 10+ year owner of LJ Writing Services still specializing in pest management and the food industry (particularly food safety, quality & defense). I am the Editor and primary writer of Quality Assurance & Food Safety (QA) magazine, The Acheson Group Science Writer, About Pest Control Expert, and PCT book Editor; and I provide various other writing, editing, web and consultation services.
Any tips for work/life balance?
I was a single mother for many years, and worked out of my home for even more. During that time I learned to distinctly separate the two. I gave my all at work, but when work was done, it was done. I set it aside - literally and in my mind - and did not sacrifice my family evenings and weekends, except when absolutely necessary. I know that my children appreciate that to this day.
Advice for other women either in the industry, or considering joining the industry?
Despite its challenges, it's a great industry. Don't let anyone hold you back or push you beyond where you wish to be. Get out there, make your mark doing what you love, and climb your own ladder that you build step by step.