Congratulations to the
What's in It For Me? Winner:
Dorothy L. Staer CAP
In 1956, when I was 9 years old, my mother brought me to her office (the NJ State Department of Health), where she was a receptionist. That day as I watched her sit at her desk in the front of that office, she resolved all the issues her colleagues brought to her with grace, hospitality, and the application of great people skills. When I marveled at all she had done that day, she explained to me that she was a state government ‘civil servant,’ and providing the best service to those people wound up assisting a wider audience than she, herself, was even aware of. Right then, I made the decision that’s what I wanted to do; work with people helping to resolve office situations, doing my part with skill and dignity (just like my mother did) so they could go on to accomplish bigger tasks. While I always knew my role would be one of support, it would also be very important and worthwhile. I’ve never regretted my choice.
I’ve had secretarial experience with legal, contract administration, oil and gas, records management, and information management/information technology areas of expertise. The key has been to always stay challenged and grow, and I believed that Professional Secretaries International (PSI), and later, the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) networking and educational opportunities were the best to be had in the administrative field.
One success story I like to tell was when I was elected President of the MS Division, PSI and knew I would have to begin to speak in public (which I was always so frightened to do). At convention that year, I attended a workshop on the basics of public speaking. I learned to organize my thoughts and was able to lead seminars at work and IAAP chapter meetings with confidence. I would have never ventured into public speaking if it had not been for the education (and encouragement) I received in IAAP.
I looked upon the Certification program as my license to practice; just like an accountant who strives to obtain the Certified Professional Accountant certification. I thought achieving the CPS and CAP ratings were the greatest personal satisfaction (and they really were exciting); however, after all my years of membership (since 1988), I’ve come to realize once again that it’s all about the people and the service. The old adage is true; “You get what you put into it.”
If a member starts out with a W.I.I.F.M attitude, fine. Hopefully once they’re in a chapter, they’ll meet up with other seasoned members who will share how much they have received from others who have come before them. To me, it’s all about mentorship and service -- passing the torch. And new members have just as much to offer as more seasoned members. Newer members bring fresh, new ideas to the chapter…to the newsletter…to the webinar! More seasoned members pass on their experience about Parliamentary procedures, Bylaws, meetings, etc. There is something for every office professional in IAAP.
One day (soon), I hope to see the acronym get changed to W.I.I.F.E., because I believe when an office professional joins IAAP and becomes active in a chapter, then it’s truly a case of:
WHAT’S IN IT FOR EVERYONE?