We’re shining June’s spotlight on Heather Hobbs, content editor, sourdough aficionado and 14-time National Novel Writing Month participant
This month, we’re featuring a Yakkety Yak employee whose passion for clarity and attention to detail is infused into every piece of copy that passes her desk.
As content editor, Heather lends her eagle eyes, SEO prowess and ear for tone to content for an eclectic array of clients, ranging from The Lactation Network and Cara to the American Brain Foundation. We recently chatted with Heather about the projects that excite her and all that’s bringing her joy this month.
How long have you been working at Yakkety Yak?
Just since this January, so almost seven months.
What drew you to Yakkety Yak?
We spend so much of our lives at work, so I really wanted to find a day job that was helping people. I had been a bilingual elementary school teacher for seven years and was ready for a transition, when I saw that Chris [Mueller, Yakkety Yak Senior Digital Analyst], with whom I went to high school, posted about a job opening. I researched Yakkety Yak and really liked that it’s a purpose-driven agency that wants to do good in the world.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
Everyone at Yakkety Yak is really nice, accommodating and helpful, so I feel supported by the team. I also like how much I learn from my co-workers and that I can ask questions here—people want you to grow.
I like putting words together to make someone’s messaging clear and engaging. Call me boring, but I like applying grammar rules!
What has been your favorite project here so far?
I really enjoyed working on the Benefits of Breastfeeding: A Timeline for the Ages for Ashland Breast Pumps. I had to do a lot of research to make sure everything was accurate, but it was cool to provide such an in-depth resource for moms.
Which Yakkety Yak core value resonates with you most: curious, passionate, accountable, authentic, or committed?
Passionate. I’m here because I’m passionate about doing good in the world and helping people get what they need.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
I always make a to-do list first. I love crossing things off of my list. I bought a planner—it’s really big, so I can break up all my tasks and feel accomplished when I cross them off. I try to sit outside in the morning or late afternoon if it’s not 90 degrees out. Otherwise, I go back and forth from my desk to the couch as I edit and draft content for our clients. I also try to take a walk at lunch for a change of scenery so I can come back refreshed for the afternoon.
Can you represent a typical workday in 3 photos, screenshots or memes?
If you weren’t working in this field, what would you be doing?
Writing fiction and editing people’s novels. I’m still doing those things in my free time, but I’d be doing even more of them.
What’s the last good book you read?
I just read “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben. It’s a piece of nonfiction that talks about how trees in a forest are connected underground through a fungal network in the soil and how they exchange knowledge and resources. I read it on vacation in Wisconsin in the woods, which felt appropriate. Trees are a lot more social than I thought!
What’s been your guilty pleasure while working from home?
Sourdough. I’ve been making a lot of sourdough bread, muffins and crepes. I even made sourdough pizza dough. Also, my go-to quarantine snack has been Reese’s Pieces.
What’s your current favorite video on the internet?
Probably this video of a cockatiel singing the “Totoro” theme. YouTube keeps recommending videos of birds singing and dancing to me, and I don’t hate it.
What’s one surprising thing about you? Not that your bird wormhole isn’t surprising.
I like learning languages. I speak fluent Spanish. I studied abroad in Chile and Costa Rica twice in college and also earned a minor in French. Lately, I enjoy watching Korean dramas. I had two Korean roommates in college who got me into them. In preparation for my trip to South Korea a couple years ago to visit, I started studying Korean too and watching dramas helps me practice. I just feel like life is so short, and I want to learn as much as I can! I like my fun activities to be learning activities.
Once a teacher, always a teacher. What three words or phrases would your best friend use to describe you?
I just asked my husband this question, and he said: determined, competitive, and detail-oriented.
What words do you live by? Do you have a personal mantra?
No, but I like having a goal and making that goal as manageable as possible by breaking it up into small steps. This is actually a mentality borne of NaNoWriMo [National Novel Writing Month]. Even if something seems insurmountable in the beginning, like writing a book, you can do it by breaking it up. I’ve done NaNoWriMo for the last 14 years, but I mostly write short stories.
Fourteen years! That’s amazing. Do you have any literary heroes?
Neil Gaiman gives a lot of good advice and I like his writing style. He has all these great prose poems about writing that I find really inspiring. If you don’t already, you should check out the New Year’s resolutions that he posts every year.
Before we sign off, is there a nonprofit or community organization that you’d like to spotlight?
I want to say Cara. I’ve learned so much about them through working with them as a Yakkety Yak client—I’ve read almost their whole website by now. I like that they don’t just focus on getting a person a job but on personal development and internal motivation. I think that kind of strategy seems more worthwhile because they’re actually teaching skills and abilities you need to make your own change.