After spending about 25 years in early childhood education working with toddlers and preschoolers, Amy Oeseburg needed a career with an opportunity to make more money.
The mother of three children had a 19-year-old daughter getting ready for college, as well as a 16-year-old son and a 6-year-old son, both expected to be college-bound. To help her kids with the cost of college, Oeseburg and her husband David started researching better paying jobs for her to pursue, and something with job security.
“We started looking around for different job fields and over and over again we kept coming back around to trucking. Always, for almost every job posting, there were two trucking jobs posted for any other kind of job,” Oeseburg, from Langston, Michigan, said.
She got her CDL in the summer of 2016 and today drives regionally for Garner Trucking pulling a dry van.
Working with toddlers and preschools prepared Oeseburg for trucking because both careers require detailed planning and adaptability.
“The way you approach truck driving is the same way you approach working with a group of 3- or 4-year-olds. You have to plan, plan, plan, have back-up plans like crazy and then be ready to roll with it when something happens,” Oeseburg said.
Trucking also requires her to be prepared for the unexpected, she says.
“With the nature of being out there on the road, there are so many variables just like every child is a variable,” Oeseburg said.
When she isn’t spending time with her kids, Oeseburg plays the flute in a Celtic folk band. She studied music education in college and has played the flute since elementary school. She has a plastic flute that she keeps in her suitcase and brings over the road.
“Playing music helps you calm down if you’ve had one of those days where you just are really stressed. Make sure you have something that helps you stay calm and wind down while you’re on the road at the end of the day,” Oeseburg advises.
She fell into the Celtic folk band after she met the lead singer, who happens to be a neighbor, a number of years ago.
“We got talking and they were starting to do some gigs for a wedding and they were wanting to introduce a wind instrument within the group,” Oeseburg said.
In the summertime, they perform at venues like farmers markets and weddings. Her trucking career means she’s not always able to perform with them, but she does when she’s off the road.
Playing the flute isn’t Oeseburg’s only hobby. Her two oldest children have been involved in Irish step dancing since they were little, and Oeseburg sews Irish step dance dresses for 18-inch dolls. She got started by making dresses for her daughter’s dolls that matched the ones she was wearing. Now she sells them through a local business run by a friend.
“It’s not making money, it’s just a hobby that pays for itself,” Oeseburg said.