1. What was your first role at King County? I began my career at King County 25 years ago as a temporary receptionist for the Office of Civil Rights, after identifying the County as an organization where I felt I could learn and further my career. During my career at King County I worked in Human Resources, the Executive Office and in Transit.
2. What do you do as Manager of Career Support Services? My role is to manage the day-to day activities of the Career Support Services staff. As part of my job, I am responsible for drafting and/or making recommendations on policies and procedures, designing new programs, developing online and classroom training, developing and maintaining good internal and external partnerships, and resolving issues and concerns. Because we provide countywide services, I work directly with the Office of Labor Relations, management from all departments, the Human Resources community and our employees. I love my work as a manager of this area because our team has the opportunity to help King County employees and watch them develop.
3. What services does your group offer King County employees? Career Support Services provides a variety of services and resources to County employees, community partners and the general public. This program was originally created to provide direct services and resources to assist employees who received lay-off notices. Some of these services include conducting individualized skill assessments; providing guidance in resume and cover letter writing; coordinating and facilitating informational meetings; coordinating a variety of external services; identifying and providing training to help employees be successful; providing mentoring and job shadowing opportunities; identifying, developing and facilitating a variety of training programs; and creating and maintaining internal/external relationships to provide additional services and resources to employees.
This year we began opening our current services to all of the 13,000 employees. We are in the process of identifying and creating additional services and resources for all County employees to access. We are also in the planning process of opening a King County One Stop Hub to provide a wide range of career development services.
4. What do you like most about your job? My favorite part of my job is helping employees. It is very satisfying when employees are able to get assistance from our team and obtain other positions, whether the position is internal or external. I am especially excited for employees when they are successful in their new position.
5. What is the biggest challenge in your job? I know that every leader in King County dreads the possibility of layoffs. King County truly values its employees and it is difficult to consider that layoffs might occur. Seeing people who are worried and are anxious is hard. A challenge our team faces is working with someone who is very discouraged. Although that is a challenge, we have the opportunity to empower employees where they can see the possibilities instead of the barriers. There are so many situations where my team has watched laid-off employees get new exciting employment within King County or secure placements outside of King County.
One of the newest challenges (and opportunities) that I face is working with the team to create more capacity to serve larger groups of employees – those getting layoff notices as well as those employees who want to grow their County careers. I am so fortunate to work with my team. Together we are creative and innovative and have many exciting ways to serve more employees with great outcomes.
(Find out more about Career Support Services here).