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Career Story: Director Of A Labor Union Local

Director Of A Labor Union Local

Job Title: Director

Type of Company: I work for a labor federation which represents workers in education and health care.

Education: BS, Communications, SUNY-New Paltz •• MA, Public Administration, Russell Sage College (Troy, NY)

Previous Experience: I was director of personnel for city government, city manager, a labor relations specialist and am now a director.

Job Tasks: I oversee a staff of twenty which provides service directly to our members. These services we offer include newsletters and web development, professional development and workshops on organizational skills. Strategic planning and leadership development are also key components of the services provided.

Much of my day is spent planning for upcoming events or attempting to develop additional programs and services. Another chunk of my day is spent meeting with staff on these issues. I also attend meetings across departmental lines and I spend a lot of time traveling and meeting with other state and national organizations that share our interests and a common agenda.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the sense of accomplishment I get when I am able to provide help and assistance to members in need. I also have the opportunity to employ interns over the summer months and it is nice to be able to share knowledge and opportunities with these students.

Job Tips: Take as many classes in organization studies and workplace management as possible. Learn the skills needed to multi-task and don't not be afraid to ask questions. It is also important for you to surround yourself with the best and most competent staff and colleagues. Be flexible and honor everyone's opinion. Don't be afraid to wonder outside your comfort zone. I would also suggest that you read as much material as you can on inter-personal relationships, organizational structures and management structures. Remember, there are often many different ways to obtain a desired result.

Additional Thoughts: If I could change one thing I would have started this career much sooner. The other thing to keep in mind is that you, as an individual, can make a difference.

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