Second, do you feel that you are sacrificing anything in your life by being deeply involved in our community’s civic organizations?
Yes, as a mother, you always feel guilty. I look back and wish I would have been there more for my children. My oldest daughter still reminds me of the time I missed one of her cheerleading competitions. Plus, I missed numerous school events and social gatherings. I don’t think most people in the community realize how demanding county work can be. During my career, I would often return to work at night, come in on the weekends, or stay late. I tried to incorporate my family life into my work as much as I could. For example, Santa Cruz County had a child care center located on its campus. My younger daughter went to preschool there in the afternoons. I would go have lunch with her most days and would read her stories before she took her nap. We would wave at each other when she was playing outside in the afternoon. We would pick random roads on the way home and go exploring.
Third, what personal benefits do you get from your civic involvements?
Making a difference and believing that I add value to the groups that I’m involved with. I also get to meet people who have similar commitments.
11. Let’s turn to a different topic: Is there a relationship between your role as a working professional and your personal involvement in our community’s civic organizations? If so, how would you describe it?
There is definitely a relationship between my role as a working professional and my personal involvement in our community’s civic organizations. I want our community to be the best it can be, because I work here and because my family lives here. As a County employee, I feel I need to remain professionally neutral and do not get involved in some issues or community activities. For example, regardless of my personal beliefs, I would not participate in anti-war protests.
12. Do you see yourself continuing along the same career path with increasing responsibilities and leadership roles? Or at some point do you see a different path for yourself?
I actually see myself in the same position with the same responsibilities and leadership role. There isn’t another career path that I would like to follow.
When I was an Employment & Training worker and later a Job Club facilitator, I enjoyed the interaction with the clients. My promotion to supervision took me a step away from direct client contact, but gave me the opportunity to influence the quality of services. As a Program Manager I am another step away but I enjoy working in the community. The next step in my career path would be the DSS Director position but I am not interested in promoting. My current position in the county plays to my strengths and interests – I can provide support to the director, mentor my peers, build positive working relationships with community partners, and create a great work environment without the political pressure and broader responsibilities that are attached to the director position.Download Article 1K Club