Name: Kara

Age: 31

Family Status: Married with one child

Occupation: Purchasing

1. Argue my point of view on business-related issues when engaging in a professional exchange of ideas
2. Presenting well-prepared material to small groups of people
3. Meeting with customers to discuss their needs and then finding an appropriate way to meet those needs

1. Managing people
2. Saying no to requests for help from higher level managers
3. Confronting a subordinate or fellow employee face-to-face about disciplinary matters

Biggest lesson from workshop: The most important thing I learned from the workshop was how to look inside myself to really define what my strengths are. This forced me to be more honest with myself and helped me discover that I really could be happy in a job.

Update since workshop: Since the workshop, I have started a new job. Although I am in the same field, I am now with an organization that plays to my strengths by allowing me more opportunities to offer those strengths up. Working for city government didn't allow me to really focus on my strengths. Instead, it actually required that I spend most of my time trying to get past my weaknesses. For the first time in my professional career, I had staff to manage. And even though it was only one person, it was a very difficult task for me. I was very uncomfortable having to discipline someone, regardless of how minor the reason for discipline was. Also, because of limited resources, I was often called upon to perform tasks that traditionally did not fit within my job duties, but I was the "most appropriate" person to do so. These tasks were often simple day-to-day tasks that offered no intellectual challenges. I now work for a university. Even though I've only been there a short period of time, I have already been able to offer up my strengths by being a part of a policy-writing committee, introducing myself to various members of the academic community in an effort to further the relationship between my office and that community and meeting with various members of the academic community to discuss efficiencies in the purchasing system. Unlike the city, the university's resources are not as limited. Two of its primary goals are to be one of the leading research institutions and one of the leading educational institutions in the country. Its atmosphere is more intellectual, which challenges me to be more intellectual.

Goal: To work on a request for proposal at the university. Although it is something that will be very challenging the first time I have to do one, it will also be exciting to go through the process. I currently have one scheduled to begin midsummer.


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