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Career Story: Administrative Assistant At A Children's Residential Facility

Administrative Assistant At A Children's Residential Facility

Job Title: Administrative Assistant

Education: Certificate in Business and Office Management, Westfield State College in Massachusetts

Previous Experience: I began my career as an Office Manager for a dentist for 1 year. I then moved into an Office Manager's position for a small appliance company. After working for two years for them, I worked as a Bookkeeper/Payroll Administrator for a large corporation for seven years part time. I then worked for a Corporate Distribution Center for 2 1/2 years as a Supervisor until they closed, and then for another Corporate Distribution Center for 2 years in that same position. I then moved to my current position as an Administrative Assistant for a large Non-Profit Children's Center.

Job Tasks: The company that I work for is a Non-Profit Residential Facility for children who suffer from mental, emotional, sexual, or physical abuse. There is a school on the campus, residential housing both on and off grounds, and a treatment center with therapist for the children.

My job as an Administrative Assistant involves many tasks and projects. There are contracts, census reports, attendance reports, payroll, greeting visitors, making travel arrangements, setting up appointments, sending reports to other social service agencies and court officers, ordering and receiving supplies, setting up interviews, setting up meetings, taking meeting minutes, and setting up special functions. I also volunteer time with the children in the facility. I have led reading groups, arts and crafts groups, and choral groups. Currently, I lead the choral group and love to teach the children how to sing.

My entire day is spent on the above administrative tasks. The only time that it is not, is when I am preparing the children for an event in the choral group.

The only travel that is required of me is for training seminars in the local area. Whenever there is a new computer system, software program, or something that pertains to my job, I travel within a 50 mile radius for these training sessions. My employer reimburses me for any mileage for this travel.

My job is not a job to me but a gift. I get to work with some challenging children and have a job with a mission and a purpose. I love my current position and have worked at this facility for the past seven years.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job are the people and the children that I work with and for.

The worst part of my job is that there can be a great deal of change within a short span of time on how we operate, what we operate with, how much state funding we receive, and how the social service agencies and educational agencies want things done. All of these things can dictate as to how I do my job.

Job Tips:
1. When starting your career, you need to take business courses at a college or trade school.

2. You may have to take a starter job like I did, but they are easier to get and a great resume builder.

Additional Thoughts: In the beginning job market, you have to be patient and remember to just build your resume. After your resume is built, you can be a bit more picky and interview the companies that you choose to work for as well as the company interviewing you. The money is okay to live on, but unless you land a great corporate job, you will not be making six figures.

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