Sometimes, a career in the field services industry isn’t always expected. For Hunter Poole, a technician who uses Field Nation’s marketplace to find and complete work, his surprising journey into field services turned out to be exactly what he was looking for. In this Stories from the Field feature, Hunter shares his experience becoming an independent technician, as well as the challenging, yet rewarding, work he encounters in the ever-changing field service industry.
Getting Started with Field Nation
Hunter’s journey into the industry wasn’t exactly expected. “I got started in field services kind of by accident,” Hunter explains. Just a year ago, he was a professor and substitute teacher at a university in Indiana. Realizing he desired a different path, Hunter decided to pivot. With a CompTIA A+ certification under his belt, he started interviewing for tech positions.
As he was looking for field work positions, Hunter turned to online listings. “I stumbled upon a LinkedIn listing and got hired on to do field work,” he says. In this role, the company provided Hunter with printed work orders, complete with directions to his job sites. After completing a couple of jobs, Hunter decided to take matters into his own hands and downloaded the Field Nation marketplace app, which opened up a world of opportunities for him.
A typical day in the life of Hunter Poole
When it comes to a typical day, his experience depends on the work order types. “Most days, I’ll have several smaller tickets,” he describes. “Those tickets are usually quoted for about two or three hours.” Sometimes, these particular assignments are extended, requiring Hunter to juggle multiple locations within a day.
“Occasionally, I’ll get booked for a work order that requires a full eight hours,” Hunter says. These longer projects allow Hunter to take a break from the hustle and bustle of finding new work orders, and allows him to get to know the client better. When it comes to his ideal client, Hunter enjoys being relied on. “I prefer the folks who feel they can count on me and have the presumption that I will get the job done.”
Problem-Solving in the field
For Hunter, problem-solving starts before he arrives at the work order site, and he understands communication is paramount. “Once I arrive on site, the first thing I do is I call the client and tell them I’ve arrived,” he explains. “The client will usually give me a rundown of the technical support needed, and then I’ll speak to the manager and ask to be shown the problem area.”
Hunter’s mechanical mindset guides him as he systematically simplifies the troubleshooting process. He follows a mental flow chart, beginning with checking connections and determining whether it’s a hardware or software issue. When working toward a solution, Hunter compares the troubleshooting process to an onion: “I try to peel the onion back and get to the root of the problem,” he says. Hunter will often start the process with his handy cable testers and continue the process from there.
Selecting the right work orders
When choosing which work orders to accept, Hunter maintains an open mind. “I sort of have a bit of a do-it-all attitude,” he says. “If I see a task that looks to be slightly challenging for me, I’ll still try my hand at it.” However, an important factor that Hunter considers when choosing work orders is presentation. “I pay attention to how the ticket is structured. A well-organized ticket gives me a good look into what is expected of me.”
The impact of Field Nation on Hunter’s life
To say Field Nation has positively impacted Hunter’s work life would be an understatement. “Field Nation has been fantastic for my work life,” he says, “I really like the fact that I can control my own schedule and set my own rates within reason.” Autonomy and the freedom of choosing when he wants to work are key factors that make being an independent contractor a great experience for Hunter. The flexibility is a game-changer for him, offering a sense of stability even in an ever-changing industry.
Hunter’s playlist of varying genres and artists keeps him focused as he navigates to different job sites and takes on new projects. His playlist is as diverse as his field service experiences, featuring artists like Muse, Nickelback, Mac Miller, Hensen, and Melanie Martinez. Sometimes he’ll even listen to podcasts before he starts pulling cable. “Music is especially important when I’m doing a task that’s long and labor-intensive such as a cable run,” he says.
Hunter’s journey into the world of field services is a testament to the flexibility and opportunities that labor marketplaces like Field Nation provide. Independent technicians like Hunter enjoy a work life that is flexible, exciting, and rewarding. Field services is a dynamic industry that keeps professionals like him on their toes, problem-solving and adapting to new challenges every day.