Educational Experience as a Contractor
FRU Project Administrative Specialist, Fairfax, VA - October 30, 2014
When I began working for this department, I had little experience working in the professional or corporate business environment. In the last 2 years, I have thoroughly enjoyed having the opportunity to explore my strengths and learn new skills. My goals have been to learn as much as possible about policy, become proficient in data management, create and ensure process protocol is followed, and to network and build positive rapport with the many different departments I work with.
I take great pride in the quality of work I produce, and understand that my personal dedication towards excellence contributes to any team as part of the collective whole. It is important to have support and collaboration with my fellow co-workers to advance the overall quality of work produced, and to build a respectable reputation for our department. We work together to ensure deadlines are met, tasks are completed, and good senses of humor are kept in tact.
Although I maintain a high expectation of excellence from myself, it can often been difficult to gain the trust and support of superior staff. In the current circumstance, there does not appear to be a direct correlation between the quality of work produced (whether it be excellent or poor quality), and supervisorial intervention with staff's assigned daily job tasks.
Initially, my supervisor’s direction and instruction was reassuring, as I continued to learn about the job responsibilities, policies, and practices. Continuing forward 2 years, the benefits to this style of supervision (preemptive requests to complete affirmed daily job tasks, supplied with “to-do lists”) have dwindled, and my desire to possess the skills and knowledge towards establishing myself as a “specialist” in my job role is consistently suppressed. Additionally, this style of managerial participation detracts from the completeness or accuracy of the work-flow, and requires staff to revise or amend errors, which minimizes efficiency. In response to this, I proactively investigate activities, anticipate requests to complete tasks, and use organizational tools to ensure the department supervisor remains current on the status of activities and task progress. Ultimately, the positive inter-professional communication, civility, and department's team-focused mentality and support (as my work has evolved), has been indispensable to helping me to become successful.
I have been awarded provisional amendments to my contract to allow for an expansion to the range of tasks I perform, and although it was a very big challenge, it allowed me to develop a new set of skills, to learn more about the intricate systems and departments involved in this work, and to build numerous positive relationships while strategizing with staff and department managers. Although I entered this position possessing minimal skills, I can say that this experience has been an uplifting test of my dexterity and fortitude. I have enjoyed working with everyone involved in this process, and the nature of my work (although sometimes, can be disheartening) ensures that I go home at the end of the day with a smile on my face. Helping families, staff, and providers obtain support and services for struggling youths gratifies my desire to give what little I can to the bigger picture. It has been a rewarding and worthwhile experience.