I noted in my last post that I will start a new, full-time job in January. As things turned out, I started yesterday on a part-time basis. I’m working as the Communications Coordinator for the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Texas. On Monday morning I had orientation and yesterday morning spent three hours on my very first full-time job working in an office with real people since 2003. I realized yesterday that this is also the first job I’ve ever had whose basis was not supporting someone else (clerically or administratively), but working on a team in support of an organizational vision.
My first “real” job (as an adult, not enrolled in school) was as a secretary. For 20 years I worked at different levels of that class of work. I was a secretary, an administrative assistant, and ultimately an executive assistant (although never given that exact title). I finally completed my bachelors degree in 2002, at the age of 41, and that year I was promoted to the position of associate director of one of the four inpatient facilities run by the healthcare organization I worked for. It was “associate director” because I would be reporting to the organization director, but I would be the administrative head of that facility. It was the place I belonged after a couple decades of supporting other people.
Literally days before I was to start in that position, my supervisor – the medical director of the organization – told me that someone had discovered that the NJ Board of Health required a bachelors degree of the person in an administrative position such as I was about to take. I was in my final semester, just a couple months from graduating with my BS. Continue reading