Years ago with the advent of personal computers, many futurists predicted the demise of the role of administrative professionals. Today, however, more than 22 million administrative and office support professionals work in the United States1, and the profession continues to be in demand.
As we celebrate Administrative Professionals Day on April 25, we want to share the journey of one job seeker who upgraded her administrative skills through Goodwill, secured a better job, and now can take good care of her family.
Victoria Washington was working nights as a nurse’s aide in Richmond. When she gained custody of her two young granddaughters, she had to make a choice. “I had to change careers,” said Washington. “I wanted to be at home with my girls at night and take them to school in the morning.”
Washington met with Kerri Stidham, a workforce solutions partner with Goodwill Staffing Solutions, a staffing agency social enterprise, and the two developed a customized career plan.
“When I looked at her resume, I noticed she had a history of administrative work,” said Stidham. “I suggested she attend Goodwill’s Customer Service credentialing program so she could learn new skills and leverage that experience to set herself apart from other job applicants. Plus, the credentials are nationally recognized and portable,” Stidham added.
The program teaches a range of career development skills, including:
- Communication and interpersonal skills
- Problem solving
- Setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound)
- Teamwork and time management
“When I completed the program, I earned the customer service credential and added it to my resume,” Washington said.
Shortly afterwards, Stidham recommended Washington for a position with CFS/Tyvek Recycle in Petersburg.
“I needed an administrative assistant who could easily interact with our employees and drivers,” said Sheree Hardin, site manager for CFS/Tyvek. “Victoria is great in a variety of roles. She handles timesheets, paperwork and tracks every pound of material for up to 60 trucks a month. She doesn’t get rattled, always has a smile on her face and laughs a lot,” added Hardin.
Hardin also endorsed GSS as a resource for employers in search of qualified candidates.
“Goodwill gives people with challenges to work a second chance,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons I continue to work with GSS. Their revenue benefits the people Goodwill serves as a non-profit organization. They care about the people they help and invest our money back into the community. That’s very important to me,” Hardin added.
Washington said she is glad to have a new career with more flexibility to be at home with her grandchildren. “I hope everyone who needs help finding a job goes to Goodwill. It’s a good place and they gave me what I needed to be successful.”
1 Source: International Association of Administrative Professionals