From the Desk of….. Marion Heaton

When I applied for a part-time position at Literacy Rochester, I was focused on getting out of the house and working once again being around people with a committed drive to succeed. The learning experience was not considered.

In 1989 I was downsized from my employer of 18 years before the term “downsized” was coined. It was frightening, but an incredibly liberating experience. It was then that I made the realization that no one should stay in the same place for over ten years; keep moving and learning. Within the next five years I went back to school and earned my Associates Degree at Monroe Community College. After leaving my employer of 18 years, I became a risk-taker and never remained in one position for over five years.

My career history is in manufacturing, hospital administration, telecom, executive outplacement, cable tv, and the security division of one of the world’s largest organizations. I have supported five CEOs and a vice chairman of the board in both private and publicly held organizations. I supported a CEO and vice chairman during their bankruptcy, the third largest in US history, at that time. During my time in executive outplacement, as a candidate coordinator, I realized the indignation, shame, and strength of powerful senior executives that had been downsized from Fortune 500 companies. They endured the same humiliation as any blue-collar worker who had lost their job, their parking spot, their health insurance, club memberships, their WSJ subscription, and their dignity.

It was the executive outplacement experience that drove my passion for resume writing. I am a certified resume writer and member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers (PARW) and have contracted with a local recruiting firm to write resumes for candidates that are seeking new challenges and those that have been downsized.

In the security world I realized the value of CCTV whether in an airport, hospital, or major shopping mall. We see CCTV footage in the media and if just one isn’t working it can eliminate critical footage of a crime or significant event. There is no room for failure.

In my 18-year manufacturing employment, they manufactured steel and glass lined vessels that were produced for the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. These vessels were shipped across the globe to mix an abundance of chemicals and pharmaceuticals for world-wide use.

I wouldn’t trade my experience for anyone working in the same environment for 20 years.

I will be celebrating my one-year anniversary at Literacy Rochester this month (March). This is my first non-profit experience and another learning experience. LR is a wonderful community giving organization. Not realizing how many people need the services, it was overwhelming to me meeting those that need reading, math, and English skills. The devotion of the volunteers is commendable; those that provide LR with donations, and the staff here is so dedicated. I just may break my five-year record here.

In my spare time I enjoy reading, watching movies with my husband and entertaining our Pomeranian, Sooty, who was named after a children’s book character in England, where I was born. I recently returned to school to earn my Bachelors’ Degree in English Literature.

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