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Alone Behind The Desk

8 Tips to overcoming the isolation of working at home.

By
This story appears in the April 1997 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

In 1987, Sue Hurlbut experienced every corporate employee'sworst nightmare when she was abruptly and traumatically fired froma Portland, , construction firm she'd helped build into amultistate corporation. She recalls, "I began in entry-levelcustomer service and rose through the ranks to become vicepresident of operations. I was also on the corporate board ofdirectors and had developed such a level of trust with the companypresident that he allowed me to house-sit when he went onvacation."

But suddenly, Hurlbut says, life as she knew it was over, whenher supervisor chose to believe a false accusation issued byanother employee. Devastated, Hurlbut cried for two days. But onlytwo weeks later, her homebased , Organization Plus, inClackamas, Oregon, was accidentally born. She was working for atemp service when a potential first client approached her aboutsetting up a bookkeeping system. In her former position, Hurlbuthad regularly completed manual bookkeeping and installed computersystems. Before she knew it, she'd embarked on a new career asa professional office organizer, specializing in helping businessesmake the transition from manual to computerized accounting, as wellas providing other organizational services such as creating filingsystems, developing employee manuals, and organizing paperflow.

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