Kendra Ficklin Shares her Experience Working for NTI@Home
For 17 years, Kendra Ficklin got into her car and battled traffic 35 miles one way every day before she even got to her job as a supervisor at COMCAST. Since joining NTI@Home four years ago, the 47-year-old Stockbridge, GA. native likes her new work commute much better as she doesn’t even have to leave her home.
While she was battling cancer, she was out of work for two years before signing up with NTI@Home in 2017.
“This is a blessing,” said Ficklin. “I can’t see myself going back into work every day. Being able to work out of my house is great for me. I love it because I’m very productive. I’m able to sit in a comfortable place and I can focus on work.”
Ficklin says she has more time to spend with her family, while enjoying her hobbies.
“There are so many positive things out of working at home,” she said. “When you are stuck in traffic, you are away from your family.”
Ficklin works for NTI@Home on a government project for the IRS and has developed her own work at home schedule. NTI@Home helps Americans with disabilities and their caretakers, find work at home jobs with free training and job placement. You can register at www.ntiathome.org.
“People like Kendra are the reason why NTI has been able to send quality candidates to work on government projects,” said Alan Hubbard, NTI, Inc’s Chief Operating Officer. “It is great to hear how well Kendra is doing in her job. We were started 25 years ago to get Americans with disabilities back into the workforce. We love hearing about people who are doing very well.”
Being able to work for NTI@Home and in her home has given Ficklin something she says she lost during her illness.
“It has given me confidence,” she said. “When something happens, it affects you mentally and you aren’t as confident. My confidence is much better now.”
With her father being disabled, Ficklin was familiar with how the process works. When she connected with the Social Security Administration’s Ticket-to-Work program, she ended up with NTI@Home.
That turnout to be the perfect place for her talents. Ficklin had experience with customer service, and “I enjoy talking to people who require assistance.”
Once an individual signs up for NTI@Home, a trainer works with them to develop the skills they will need to be successful working in a call center from home. The training is done virtually and there are self-paced tests and research provided to learn how to do the job. Before you start, you are placed in a practice call center to see what the job will be like.
“The training was great,” said Ficklin. “They provided us with a lot of information, and you were actually able to ask a lot of questions.
“During the training, you are given a lot of information about the program. That helped me know what to expect and I was able to prepare for it. I would tell people going through the training to make sure they ask a lot of questions.”
She does have a tip for those working at home that are able to exercise.
“On my lunch break, I go on the treadmill for 15 to 30 minutes, because I’m spending a lot of time sitting,” said Ficklin. “I am able to focus after that. It helps me mentally.”
Being assigned to work on a government project for NTI@Home is something she is very much enjoying doing because of having to learn new things and face new challenges.
“I really enjoy the training I got and the challenges I get to face on projects,” said Ficklin. “This is an opportunity to get to talk to people, which I love to do. It feels really good to get my life back.”
When she does leave her at home job, one of her hobbies is watching other people drive on the NASCAR circuit at the Atlanta Speedway.
“I have been interested in it since I’ve been a little girl,” said Ficklin. “I love the competitiveness.”
And it gives her a chance to enjoy watching other people drive for work.