Featured Member: Diane Serra

Diane Serra knows her worth. A multidisciplinary creative, she has made a point of defining her own goals, her skills, and her value. As this month’s featured member, we love her for her flexibility and strength, her fearlessness and enthusiasm, and her commitment to meeting the needs of her clients without sacrificing her own needs. To us, she is a shining example of what it means to make work work for you. 
Tell us your work story : Who are you and what do you do?
I am a designer and content writer.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
Two highlights from the year so far: 1. Designing an app for a startup; and 2. Creating content for a client that is still the most engaging content for their business to date
What is the hardest challenge you’ve faced, work-wise?
Unprofessional and unprepared interviewers!
If you could change one thing about how your given field operates, particularly with regards to women, what would it be and why?
I would take away the design test or at least compensate designers for the time they take submitting design tests. Businesses are essentially asking the designer to work for free when they require a design test in an interview.
What advice do you have for other women looking to make a career change but who are afraid or lack confidence? How is it on the other side? 
Create a network of support because you’re going to need a place to go to keep you positive and empowered in your search. Then when you reach your goal you’ll have that network to celebrate with.
Do you have any advice on how to craft a winning pitch?
Be honest. But that comes from knowing who you are, what you want, and your work ethic.
What continues to draw you to your chosen field and what do you hope to accomplish in the years ahead?
Every time I sit down to do my work, I am excited and energized. Yet, I still feel challenged. In the years ahead I plan to take on bigger, more long-term clients.
What is the best piece of professional advice you’ve ever received? 
Be who you are. People will try to put you and your skills into one box but don’t let them. (This is especially true for women like me, who are multidisciplinary creative professionals.)
Who has been your biggest cheerleader / supporter / mentor?
My biggest inspiration is Pitch Coach, Beth Susanne. She is on LinkedIn and I am thrilled to give her a shout out
How do you negotiate the balance between life and work when you’re the one setting the boundaries? 
I don’t believe there is a such a thing as balance. I believe there are busy times and less busy times. I know my limits and never take on more than I can handle. I have a commitment to my clients to deliver so I manage my time accordingly.
If you could tell your younger self one thing about what this professional journey would be like, what would you tell her? 
Well done, you found your way.
How do you make work work for you?
I work in an inspiring co-working office. It keeps me motivated. I also appreciate the flexibility I have with creating my own schedule.