I’m just one amongst the thousands of Americans that has recently been through downsizing, laid off or fired. Luckily for administrative professionals, especially in the DC area-our skills at the professional level are still in demand.
The company I had worked for downsized and then relocated about 25 miles from my home, which in DC traffic equates to 1.5 to 2 hours drive in rush hour. I finished out my obligations and began to seek another position.
Like many of my peers, I used my referrals from friends, family and I also utilized many IAAP connections to get my name and resume in front of many new faces. To those who doubt the power of networking.. I strongly encourage you to reconsider.
I was recently assigned a temporary slot with an association that needed coverage for an employee’s maternity leave. The pleasant surprise came for both the employer and for me.
They were happy to have an experienced admin that was willing to learn, ask questions, take on new (and tedious) tasks.. had a pleasant personality. My part of the pleasant surprise was that I got to learn about the back end administration of webportals and websites, lots of cool stuff about the physiology of the brain and Keurig coffee machines (which if you know my weakness/addiction..this was a real bonus). The hours at the assignment were flexible and they followed the federal government leave schedule- which is always a bonus with any kind family obligation- kid or eldercare.
So more than once I received kudos for what I knew and how organized I was. ..and quite honestly, my disheartened ego needed it. This experience reaffirmed what I already knew- I am competent, great to work with and willing to do the work necessary. [As Stuart Smalley would say, and gosh darnit! I’m good enough.]
Sometimes we forget that our work is valuable- and can help in a way we cannot anticipate. This is always a pleasant reminder, if not a surprise when we are not thinking of it in this framework.