Many factors go into choosing a voiceover talent for your next project. You can evaluate them based on their experience, skills, education, rates, location, studio, voice, and what they offer as part of their business package. As a diverse millennial voice actor, I may have a particular set of skills (channeling my inner Liam Neeson voice here) that may be beneficial for your next project. I have worked full-time for 20 years ( I feel old saying that) and in many different and exciting industries. Looking back at my work experience and voiceover in detail, it’s easy to see how they have led me to my current career.
Business Experience by Working in Insurance
I worked for four years in the field of Insurance for a large well-known company. My two roles were Accounting Clerk and Risk Management Coordinator. I gained knowledge and experience by balancing books, handling checks, making daily deposits, and analyzing policies. Within risk management, I edited the rate books, worked with underwriters, and did some HTML edits on the rates on the company website.
Confidence From the Fields of Sports and Nutrition
In the past, I have always had an affinity for health and fitness. From the age of 13, I used to work out with my dad lifting weights, and I then was one of the only girls in the weights classroom. I also took high school biology and fitness classes, gaining good marks. That passion for fitness propelled me to become a personal trainer by the time school was finished, but my guidance counselor steered me in another direction. He mentioned there was “no money” in personal training and that I should pursue a business career. I took his advice with a heavy heart, but a few years later, I was still left feeling sad and disappointed.
My local gym at the time was having a 12-week weight loss contest. I entered the contest, and once the 12 weeks were complete, I lost 20 lbs and gained a significant amount of muscle. To my surprise, I won the contest, a 2-year free membership, and prizes. This result encouraged me to try a professional on-stage fitness competition. That was and still is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Waking up at 4:00 a.m., heading to the gym for morning fasted cardio, then back to the gym after work was daunting and exhausting. Nevertheless, the principles I learned from that show and the gym competition have stuck with me and given me a strong work ethic.
Sales and Trade Shows for Marketing Experience
From the fitness experience, I was a Sales Rep working for a well-known nutrition company with over 150 stores and gyms to take care of in the Greater Toronto Area. That was an excellent job where I could connect with fitness enthusiasts around the community at stores, gyms, and trade shows. I tried my hand at one more fitness competition a few years later. It was the official EAS Canada Body For Life 12-Week Challenge. This competition was the most prominent of its kind in Canada. I used the same principles I learned from my first competition a few years back. To my surprise, I won this competition as well! I won a red Audi TT convertible, cash, swag, and free products. From that experience, I was a spokesperson for the company sharing my story at competitions and trade shows.
Benefits of Technology in Work Experience and Voiceover
After selling sports and nutrition products on the road, I was interested in working back in an office environment as I found life on the road exhausting and took a job working for a technology company. I was hired as a Sales Assistant for busy reps who sold computer hardware, software, and professional services. This was a significant role because I got to be the right-hand woman learning about CRMs, Opportunities, Leads, SAAS, and more. I also learned how to run various sales reports, which were crucial to my team’s success. I was also in charge of all the hockey and basketball tickets for our company box at the Air Canada Centre, which is pretty cool!
Practicing Independence Through Government Employment
In 2008 unfortunately, the recession hit, and I was laid off. I spent the next four months traveling Europe, and when I returned in Sept of 2009, I took a job at a local government office. For the next 12 years, I worked here and was able to hone the majority of my business skills. This fostered my entrepreneurial spirit and eventually helped me go out on my own. I started in the Environmental Services Department. I learned much about how our water is used within the community, how it is treated to remove bacteria and viruses, and about the innovative water and wastewater treatment facility that handles these processes.
I then worked in the Community and Health Services Department in the Healthy Living Division. Our division worked on Substance Misuse and Prevention, Sexual Health issues, Senior Services, Elementary and High schools, Healthy Aging, Injury Prevention, Smoking Cessation, and others. I learned much about the efforts to help high-risk populations and witnessed firsthand the daily hard work our 100+ nurses did to better the community. I organized and hosted multiple health conferences with upwards of 500 people.
Community and Human Resources Experience
For about a year, I worked on the Immigration team running the largest immigration conference welcoming newcomers to Canada and getting them work in their desired field as quickly as possible once they’ve arrived. Over the next few years, I worked in the Records Department as a Records Technician, organizing and onboarding the annual summer students. This role taught me about adult education and staff training, and I became familiar with eLearning and the importance of privacy within health records.
Lastly, I worked in the transportation department for five months with various teams, such as HR and Transportation Security. Then the pandemic hit, and they canceled all my current projects and said they would call me when I could return to work.
A Voiceover Career is Launched
This was when I hit the ground running with voice-over, and within months I was on an entirely new career path. Six months later, my work called me back in, and I officially turned them down; the rest, as they say, is history! 🙂
Benefits of Secondary Education to Voiceover Work
Over the years, I have taken many business-related courses that have made a difference in my career, making me more confident and competent in my roles. These courses have included:
- Public Relations
- An honors certificate in Adult Education/Staff Training
- Effective Business Writing
- Suicide Prevention
- Sexual Harassment
- Project Mapping
I got experience in eLearning and the exact factors adults need when learning new material. Learning these crucial principles has allowed me to understand the nuances required to succeed in eLearning. I have also sat through a plethora of eLearning courses, some good and some bad, so I know precisely the right voiceover tone to use to help keep employees engaged and compliant.
When I took all these courses, I had not yet considered voice-over a career, but I am sure happy I took them all because the education has helped me in my business. I feel more confident when given scripts regarding the various industries I have worked in. Often, I am familiar with the industry, vocabulary, and goal of the script and feel that I can familiarly relate the information and makes clients happy. By working in many industries, I’ve learned the many acronyms and each one’s everyday speech that the average person may not understand. Because I have a wide range of experience, I can repeat the titles, acronyms, or phrases quickly with confidence.
Biggest Project That Used Work Experience and VO
My most significant project to date has been a Nutrition-based eLearning project of about 50,000 words. The segments were quite technical and mentioned phrases such as oligosaccharides, pantothenic acid, ergogenic acids, carotenoids, and other challenging words. I would have suffered tremendously with this project if I had never worked in the sports nutrition industry. It would have taken me twice the time to read, record and edit because I had to look up each word and understand the meaning. I was grateful I was familiar with the words and phrases, as it made the whole project much easier to complete.
Work History and Voiceover Equals Success
Each day I am still learning how to be a great voice actor and business person. It is no easy task, but I can say that I am grateful for those 18+ years that I have worked in various industries. Now I enjoy learning more about this incredible industry of voice over every day.