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Chris Ostrander

Finding time to make a change

Realizing it’s time for a career transition doesn’t need to come from a major life change like losing a job or turning 30. In fact, many people decide that it’s time to pursue a new direction even when they’re in a great situation.

That was exactly the situation Yen Klikna found herself in when she decided to enroll in the Medical Reimbursement and Coding online associates degree program at Bryant & Stratton College.

Klikna was working full time as a manager at a dispatch authority, making a quality living for her family. However, the job required that she needed to be on call most days. Combined with the commute to and from the job, her time was limited at home with her family. So she decided to start doing research on a career change that could give her more time at home.

“My priorities changed,” Klikna said. “I have a 3 year old daughter and I wanted to spend more time with her. I was tired of being stuck in traffic every day.”

After spending time determining that a career as a medical coder could lead to the opportunity to work from home, Klikna took the steps necessary to enroll in school. That led her to Bryant & Stratton and in December 2012, she completed her associate’s degree.

At that point her focus shifted to finding a steady job in the field that could eventually lead to her doing her work from home. Through her own diligence and the assistance of the Bryant & Stratton Career Services department, her job search began in earnest.

Klikna credits Career Services Representative Mike Lester for giving her the necessary guidance throughout her job search. Lester provided her with support in formatting her resume to ensure that it was tailored properly to the jobs she was applying for and he even assisted in sending her potential leads on a weekly basis.

While her job search was not a short one, Klikna began a part time position partway through 2013 and recently took on a full time position in March. Her new position also allows her to work from home twice a week, a perfect situation for a mom who was hoping to spend more time with her young daughter.

The preparation that Klikna received at Bryant & Stratton certainly played a major role in obtaining a job that fit her desires so well. She specifically mentions the AAPC exam she took after graduation as the one factor that truly told her she was ready for this career.

“That showed me what the coding world is all about,” she said. “You definitely need to do additional preparation for the test but Bryant & Stratton gave me a very strong foundation.”

That foundation included a close bond with many of her instructors and classmates. In fact, Klikna says that the interaction with those individuals helped convince her that this was the career path she wanted to follow. She hasn’t kept in close contact with many of her classmates since graduation, although a small group did correspond as they were preparing for their respective AAPC exams. The group used LinkedIn to communicate on the different tactics they were using to prepare for the test.

Today, nearly two years removed from graduation, Klikna finds herself in a terrific position. She has a position that she truly enjoys which provides her the opportunity to do work from home while spending more time with her family.

Even though she didn’t have a singular moment that indicated a change was necessary, she finds herself in a better place because of her choice.

If you are wondering if you can make a career change at 30 or even before, check with the Admissions office at Bryant & Stratton to see if there are any programs that could make your life better.

 

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