Job Title: Division Manager
Type of Company: State of Virginia Supreme Court, Fairfax County Traffic Division
Education: BA, Finance, Stetson University (De Land, FL)
Previous Experience: I was on active military duty for four years. After that I worked as a volunteer and then in contract positions supervising and managing staff before returning to work full-time.
Job Tasks: I am now the manager of the division of the General District Court that processes traffic tickets for the county of Fairfax, Virginia. We handle the court documents that are generated when a traffic ticket is issued and we prepare those cases for courtroom hearings. Some of my staff work in the courtroom, some work in an office processing payments for traffic fines, and some work behind the scenes with the paperwork requirements. It's my job to make sure that the office is getting things done and is doing so swiftly and well. I have two section supervisors who run separate sections: Payments and Court Processing. These supervisors directly assign their staff and I use them to make any corrections to procedures or in processing. I have to try to anticipate the division's needs and to be on the look out for ways we can improve our processing and technology. I also work hard to encourage the staff, praising them for their work and planning social activities to make work more enjoyable. It is important that when people work hard for 8 hours a day doing largely repetitive tasks that the environment is enjoyable. I ensure the clerks have what they need to do their jobs, from supplies, to tools, to computer assets and programs. I work with the entire court to monitor judicial changes and updates and apply them to our work. I have a great job helping the public navigate the judicial system!
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best things about my job are working independently, being in charge, managing great people, encouraging growth in people, praising the staff, seeing our effectiveness, monitoring our accuracy and being able to show how well we do by data collection and analysis.
Worst: Having to fire people when they do not perform, dealing with upset customers when clerks make an error, not having enough staff to do all that we have to do some days, when there are miscommunications between staff or individuals and it causes hurt feelings.
Job Tips: Like working with people! Understand personality types and communication styles. Be confident in your own abilities but always be willing to listen and hear what the frontline worker is saying. Be open to change. Adapt the work procedures to fit the work... not the other way around. Take management classes to learn how to deal with conflict productively. Be clear in your communication style. Leave your emotions at home -- everything except joy. Keep that with you always.
Additional Thoughts: Working in any part of the judicial machinery is exciting and honorable. It feels good to work with judges who are fair and consistent in their interpretation of the law and it is nice to see justice being served. The traffic division in particular is helping to keep our streets safe for everyone!
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