I have spent my entire career working in the private sector. While doing so, I built a solid resume in areas such as human resources, administration, operations, and logistics. So when I found myself laid off from my last job after eight years, I thought that finding a new gig would be a no brainer. With my skillful resume writing and job board after job board at my fingertips, this was going to be easy! Well, not so much. It is the black hole, the abyss of resume submissions! I started to question: did they see my resume? Did anyone read it? Should I submit it again, so that it’s at the top of their inbox? Where are the calls?
Eventually the calls did come; however, they were never the right opportunity. Were they really not what I was looking for or was the picture of the next and last leg of my working career changing? I was 47 at this point, did I really want to work at another small privately owned company and serve the needs and line pockets of the owner of that company? Or work in a large publicly traded firm and just be a number?
The answer came to me in a call from a friend asking if I would be interested in interviewing for a position at the Borough President’s Office. I said yes for many reasons, one of which being that I could never say no to this particular friend, but secondly, it occurred to me that this could be the solution to my dilemma. Fast forward—I got the job! Now, what was I going do? I have a menu of skills, but did they apply to an environment such as this? How quickly could I learn to apply them to the needs of a community? Well let’s slow down a bit here. I needed to start by answering the phone!
I have lived on Staten Island my entire life, so I figured this wouldn’t be too hard. Of course, I was wrong. My head was spinning for the first six months. Wait, what, the Borough President and his team help get our roads paved, work on traffic congestion, education, help the veterans in our community, the list is endless…come on! Where have I been? I will tell you, like most people, nose to the grindstone; working, raising two children, a member of the “bedroom community.” The name "bedroom community" refers to the fact that commuters perform most professional and personal activities in another location, maintaining their residence solely as a place to sleep.
Of course, that’s me, traveling back and forth to Manhattan & New Jersey, working 60 hours per week. Maybe that’s you too. I quickly realized that I resided on Staten Island, but I did not LIVE here. In my opinion, performing my daily duties as the Executive Assistant to the Chief of Staff plays only a small role in any of the good that is done in our office, but as I continue to plan and work community events like Kids Day at the Carousel or the annual Halloween Hoopla at Bloomingdale Park, I see what it means to be part of a community. I’ve seen firsthand the good it does when people come together with a common goal of making the place they live better. So get out there and do what you can to improve your neighborhood. Attend your local civic association meeting to see what you can do to help. Help catapult us from the “forgotten borough” to the “memorable borough.” I am proud to LIVE here and I ask you to LIVE here too.