Our Experts | Darlene Clapp
I have been with Alliance Solutions Group for three years now, and I have served three different positions. The latest switch I made was from Program Coordinator for one client, to a Vendor Management System (VMS) Consultant for many clients. A VMS program essentially helps post and fill job orders and lets hiring managers see candidates, all electronically. While I had some experience with VMS, this position was much different than my previous work.
This new position was created because in the automated system things were getting lost – emails, compliance items for vendors, etc. There needed to be a human point of contact to ensure things were getting where they needed to be, and was easily accessible for other people involved in the process (managers, recruiters, administrative assistants, accounting). Everyone was waiting for someone else to take action, so I stepped up.
As a brand new position, there was no one to train or mentor me – I created the job myself. Knowing one system already, I had a good start knowing how other systems worked and the right questions to ask. I expanded my knowledge where I didn’t know things by using Internet searches and asking various co-workers for their knowledge in other areas; sometimes it was accounting, sometimes the IT team – they all had knowledge I could use collectively. For things they didn’t know, I learned how to look it up in our company system. That’s when I learned the secret to getting a promotion: work beyond your job description to learn more outside of your own realm.
Before this, I knew it was important to help others and learn as much as possible, even if it was outside my job description. I frequently asked others around the office if they needed help with a project, and even if it was a challenge for me, I would see it through to the end. Asking for work that you aren’t familiar with can be one of the best things for your job, and always say yes if someone asks for your help. I learned that there are always resources around to help, and there are always opportunities for growth.
I used many of our Alliance values and pillars to better myself in my position: I used Relationships to leverage knowledge from my coworkers, I expressed Gratitude for everything they taught me, I used Active Learning to teach myself the ins and outs of the system and I Made It Happen by starting a brand new position and making it work.
In this experience, I have built relationships that I otherwise would not have. I have gained skills in time management, organization and resourcefulness, to name a few. In my new role, I am a main point of contact and things aren’t getting lost anymore. I have made the process easier and more reliable, avoiding fines and the loss of clients.
I have made myself an asset by learning skills outside of my realm, and was able to move to a brand new position because of it. It is so important for everyone to reach out and take on challenges that could someday save their job, or even get them promoted. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t work to become versatile in my job, and gain personal and professional growth in the process.
What have you done to actively learn in your company?