Danielle Fallon specializes in a little bit of everything here at Lightning Media Partners. She creates graphics, works on social media content, and is our go-to pet photographer. Primarily, Danielle is a spark plug writer who is always able to meet the needs of our varied client pool.
In her personal life, Danielle is just as diverse. When she’s not drafting LMP content, Danielle works part-time as a speech pathologist, where she helps children with communication disorders.
Danielle’s energy, dedication, and analytical perspective have been integral to the growth of LMP. To get to know her better, we ask Danielle a few questions about balancing two jobs, the importance of communication, and if we really need Weezer to cover Toto’s Africa.
How did you find your niche at LMP?
First and foremost: I credit this process largely to Nicole and Sean, who empowered me to explore different facets of the business as opportunities arose. Their encouragement, feedback, and trust in me are what made this possible. Finding my niche happened through a strange intersection of opportunity, trial and error, and an eagerness to try on every hat available.
As a kid, I always needed a creative outlet. While I can’t say I was born with a pen in my hand, you can find my work in the Neopets online newspaper (link available upon request only). In high school, I started playing around in Photoshop, mostly to amuse myself and my friends. While I largely left this part of my life behind in college, it’s always something I’ve considered coming back to and have always enjoyed.
When I joined LMP in 2018, I did so as an administrative assistant for just a few hours a week. Then, opportunities for creating graphics arose and I was given extensive training in Canva. Later, opportunities for writing social media captions and blog posts arose and I was given implementable feedback (and a crash course in AP-style) by our editors. Throughout this process, I’ve discovered that I’m very drawn to the editorial process and am eager to write more. And of course, making visual assets is my fun little pet project.
In addition to working at LMP, you’re also a speech pathologist. What drew you to that line of work?
I wanted to become a speech pathologist because I needed one as a kid! I didn’t talk until I was three years old, so I went to speech therapy for about a year. Though I have a few fuzzy memories of playing in the office, I mostly remember how much easier my life became when I was able to tell others my wants, needs, and ideas.
When it came time to choose a major in college, I returned to speech pathology because I liked the idea of giving the gift of communication to others. Through a series of jobs in middle and high school (shout out to Sports Clubs for Kids), I also discovered that I easily “clicked” with kids. And that’s how I became a pediatric speech pathologist!
Balancing two different jobs can be challenging. What advice can you give someone who is working in different career fields at once?
Check in with yourself regularly. Make sure you’ve got the right balance that works for you, irrespective of what others may say or think. Note that this can change over time as well.
Some questions to consider: are you sensing burnout in one job versus the other? Are you feeling fulfilled in both (or all) of your jobs? Are your jobs giving you enough time to decompress and exist outside of work? It’s a balancing act I’ve had to calibrate over the years, and I think just recently I’ve discovered the ratio that works for me!
Much of your work in both fields involves improving communication. How can people be better at communicating effectively?
Speak to and about people with respect. For even my youngest speech therapy clients, I always try to include them in the conversation when giving feedback directly to parents. I choose my words carefully so that if that child understood every single word I said, they wouldn’t be upset, but I’d still have gotten my point across. The same holds for my work at LMP and in any other career. Speak up, but do so in a way that is kind, constructive, and diplomatic.
If you could take on any type of third career, what would it be and why?
Easy. I’d be the coordinator of a live mascot program, though the mascot would have to be a dog.
For reference, I was recently watching an episode of “Dogs” on Netflix. This episode highlighted a bulldog who was the live mascot for Butler University. They took the dog to various campus events and ran his social media page. Legitimately, I turned to my fiancé and said, “So how do I get this job?”
1. Sunrise or sunset? I love a good sunset. Not only is it absolutely beautiful, but it also means I can go to sleep soon. I’m definitely not a night owl.
2. What was your go-to song in Guitar Hero? Monkey Wrench by Foo Fighters on Guitar Hero 2. Great combination of various different techniques you’d need to use in the game.
3. What’s your ideal breakfast? This really depends on the day, but right now, I could really go for a ricotta toast with poached eggs and a bit of sea salt on top.
4. Mario or Luigi? Mario, only because his name is canonically Mario Mario.
5. Favorite Girl Scout cookie? Tagalongs aka Peanut Butter Patties. While I’ll admit that Caramel deLites are objectively the better cookie, Tagalongs are just more aligned with my flavor profile.
6. Did Weezer really need to cover Toto’s Africa? I think yes, if only to bring them back into the mainstream and introduce them to new fans. I do not think it is superior to the original song.
7. If someone painted a portrait of you, where would you want it to be hung? I’d leave it up to the portrait painter, but I would request that they send me a digital file of the painting so I could put it on a t-shirt.
8. Do you read using an e-reader or a book? Book. Since I don’t have a devoted tablet or e-reading device, I’d be stuck reading on my phone, which would definitely take me out of the experience.
9. When working do you listen to music or podcasts? Music, primarily instrumental jazz or lo-fi hip hop. If I listen to podcasts, I start typing the words said in the podcast instead of what I’m supposed to be writing about.
10. Best line to leave a party on? “It’s past my bedtime.” Especially great for mid-afternoon parties.
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