At Impact Hub Boston many introductions happen in the kitchen at the super duper espresso machine. That’s where I caught up with Diane Whitehouse during one of her host shifts. The self-described ‘kitchen fairy,’ who does not mind helping with loading the dishwashers outside of her shift hours during the evenings and the weekends, was bravely tackling the loads of dishes after a Member Lunch. As we spoke, I got to witness her persistent approach to life in action.
I hear that you have recently acquired an exciting new position. What is it?
Yes, I will be the website administrator and IT Support Tech for the Boston Patent Law Association (BPLA).
When did you start the new position?
I’ll start later this month and have just completed my 8 hours of training.
How did you learn about the position?
I learned about this position through Chien-Chi Huang, my wonderful co-host and friend here at Impact Hub. This being her first cohort as a host, as a seasoned host I was helping her organize online materials we need to use. Seeing my patience and calm demeanor teaching, she thought I would be a great fit for a position at BPLA. As it happens, I have many years of experience working with legal professionals. She introduced me to her husband, Michael Bergman, who is on the Board of Directors of the BPLA.
What is your professional background that allowed for this new opportunity?
In my previous career, I did technical support at many large law firms here in Boston and in New York. I moved to Boston 10 years ago and really love what I do. Technology and supporting people with ever changing technology has been a passion of mine. My learning started when I was thrown in front of a computer. I am dyslexic and when I started working with computers, that is when I started to learn. Growing up I didn’t see myself as a learner. So there you have it – that’s why I have the patience and innate ability to support people around change in general, but particularly when it comes to technology.
I am also a Coach, and my niche in coaching is on the topic of change. I wanted to expand the services I offer and I knew there was more than putting a band-aid on the problem. I want to empower people and organizations to go for what they want, even though change is challenging.
I’ve also created a third profession for myself. I am a bike courier. I’m the Uber of restaurant deliveries. It kept me on my bike all winter long; so, I am officially a year-round cyclist. It’s also good for mental fitness. My challenged brain is sharper than it was before. I can also recommend restaurants based on ambiance and aromas. It also supports my out-of-the-box approach to living my life.
I understand that you have been doing part-time graduate work. What area is that in?
Yes, I obtained my Bachelor’s degree about 3 years ago from Devry University. My major was Technical Management. At first, I thought I was doing it to get validation and remain fresh on the latest technology, but then I discovered that it is something I truly enjoy doing – reinvesting my experience into learning.
After that there was no stopping me. I graduated from a year-long coach training program and am on the path to be International Coach Federation (ICF)-certified. I am now going for my Masters in Organizational Performance. Combining these two professions has me wanting to learn more about what goes on during communications between executives and the people supporting them. I strongly feel the ever-changing technology has a lot to do with why there is so much stress and demoralizing experiences in organizations. I personally never sat with being demoralized; I chose to perform and keep moving forward.
Are you able to work remotely for the position with BPLA?
This is entirely a remote position, which gives me the flexibility to move around. I feel very grateful it gives me the ability to place myself in environments where I can be my best.
What is the coolest project that you have worked on so far?
I’m working on a consulting position with Pipelines Inc. – an all-women plumbing company. My project is to assist with an Ongoing Client Relationship Management System, and also to evaluate how they use QuickBooks and provide suggestions for add-ons that will help increase efficiency.
What recommendation do you have for those aspiring to enter a niche area of employment?
Focus on what you are passionate about. Also, be willing to learn and don’t feel like you need to be a master in everything.
You are also host at Impact Hub. What drew you to Impact Hub? What do you most like about it?
Leaving my full-time job. When I left over two years ago after being a full-time employee for over 35 years, I knew I needed the support and community that Impact Hub offers. Community building is how I learned to get over myself and thrive on how others impact you. Also, how you are in the world does have an impact on others. I’m all about others.
I hear that you like doing Improv. How has that impacted you?
Yes, I am an improviser of my life. Learning the concepts of improv, I have taken them to heart to live my life that way. This is why you will find me with a bright smile on my face almost all the time. If you think of your life as being on stage, there is always an opportunity to change the scene, or replay that conversation.
You can follow Diane on her various activities on Facebook.