Everything is relative. Even the seemingly most unrelated experiences can be harnessed and connected to one another. What you learn in one field can be applied to another, much like the progression of education where concepts build upon concepts. These blocks of unrelated courses eventually become a solid structure, the foundation upon which the rest of your life is built.
Where I Have Been (1997-2006)
I began my adult life as a carpenter of fine interior finish. I worked alongside master craftsman, honing my skills. I started with basics such installation of minor trim and doors and quickly moved on to more detailed components including crown mouldings, chair rails and wainscoting. It wasn't long after that when I began interacting directly with customers to bid jobs and design on paper what they conveyed through words and pictures they found in magazines and on the Internet. Before I left the industry I was designing and building bookcases, window seats, coffered ceilings and fireplace mantles. I was also adept at customer relations, bookkeeping and finances, material requisition, labor relations to name a few. Carpentry did not just give me technical skills, it also gave me the beginnings of my business skills.
Exchanging Hammers and Nails for Computers and Keyboards:(2006-2015)
In 2006 I lay down my hammer and began an entry level administrative position within the defense industry. I'd had no professional experience, but through perserverence I was able to not only enter a new industry but excel at it. In the eight years I've been with my company I have received three promotions and six eagle awards for excellence and contribution.
I learned great technical skills, I can navigate through familiar software programs and quickly understand unfamiliar programs. I have learned the equipment necessary to make an office function. I have learned how to navigate through government bureaucracy and the reams of paperwork required by such entities. But those are the hard skills and while necessary they are perhaps the least valuable skills in any industry.
My abilities truly developed through softer skills. Once I had the basics of technical skills down I began to learn about the real heartbeat of any business. The people. The departments that are made up of people and the business units those departments stem from. I learned first the relationships. How people are connected to one another, how departments interact and effect each other. I developed relationships company wide from the vice presidents to the maintenance personnel to the IT departments that keep every business running. I learned how to motivate the people around me so that not only could we get the job done, but so that we could do it better than was asked. I learned that optimism is a great equalizer and that if you can genuinely care about the people around you they are more willing to provide their expertise when it is needed. I have learned that networking has been reincarnated in today's environment and it happens in emails, through phone calls, and via social networking sites. I have learned how valuable spending time with coworkers outside of work really is.
Where I am Going:(2014)
Today I am seeking a position within a new industry. Higher Education. And while I may not have directly related experience my experiences are clearly related. My abilities as a carpenter taught be about what it takes to tackle a project from start to finish, from blue-prints to budgets, from labor hours and billing to completion. I learned that what can go wrong will go wrong so always have a contingency plan in place. I learned how to overcome stereotypes based upon my gender through superior intellect and producing on-time quality results again and again.
As an administrator I learned the world of business from its hardware to its software, from the people to the programs and from the hard skills to the soft skills. I developed within me an ability to communicate clearly and concisely whether through written document or email or through telephone or in-person conversation. I learned how to be eager in learning and patient for progress. I learned how to accept challenges and how to own my mistakes.
I believe that I have a lot to offer the world of Higher Education through both my professional and personal experiences. I believe that even the seemingly unrelated industries I have been in have taught me a diverse array of skills and knowledge and that I can use my unique background to help promote change around me. And I believe that soon there is a school that is going to see my resume and jump at the opportunity to take me on board.
Update!! (2015) As of September 2015 I have entered the world of higher education! View welcome message and goals page for details!!!
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