Job Title: Receptionist
Education: BA in Journalsim, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa BA in English, Briar Cliff University, Sioux City, Iowa
Previous Experience: I worked as an editorial assistant for a newletter at the local area agency on aging.
Job Tasks: I work at a local non-profit agency. I have been with this agency for two years and the longer I am here the more I love my job. I have had a lot of terrible jobs, some that paid a whole lot more than this, but my work here is satisfying and worth the sacrifices I make.
In some ways my job seems simple. For example, I am responsible for answering the telephone and connecting callers with the appropriate person or taking messages if that person is not available. Sometimes I assist callers with problems if I know where to refer them to for assistance and I often wonder if they got the help they needed.
I often sign people up for classes, which sounds relatively easy but some of our classes are on-line and sometimes that causes confusion. You would not believe the silly mistakes people make!
I also assemble databases. I am self-taught in Microsoft Excel, which is quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself.
I am also responsible for upgrading records and sometimes I get to research information as requested by my supervisors. I also take payments for classes and other materials. I am self-taught in Quick-Books, which is a bookkeeping and accounting program.
Finally, my employer lets me design several flyers and brochures, much to my delight. I originally went to school to be a Desktop Publisher so any time I get to use those skills I feel even more competent than usual! When all is said and done, no two days are alike but I always leave feeling like I've made the world a better place.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping people but the worst part of the job is when we cannot provide the kind of help people need. For example, when people call and need help paying a utility bill and we simply do not have the funds for that, my heart always goes out to them.
1. My teachers at Briar Cliff University always said: "Do what you love and the money will follow," so that is my first tip.
2. My second tip would be to be as flexible as possible. If you are going to work for a non-profit, you need to be able to "go with the flow." Finally, I have to say there is a high burn out rate in non-profits so be aware of that.
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