After being the person to dot the i's and cross the t's on so many insurance contracts, administrative assistant Toni Myers was an expert, even though she had never made a sale.
So when a new sales person came to her company with lots of great selling chops, but a perplexing inability to navigate his new employer's sales contracts, Myers offered to help and her boss readily agreed. For two and a half hours, she sat in her office and carefully explained every aspect of the contract. She was patient and never let the sales person say he understood when she saw that he did not. She provided cheat sheets and amended them to fit her student. In the end, her pupil "passed."
"To me, that was fantastic -- to be able to reach somebody like that, to make him happy," said Myers, who has had a 30-year-career as an administrative assistant in insurance. The salesman, who worked in another office, said he wished he could hire her at his office, located in another state. It's a shame he wasn't able to hire her, because six months later, in April 2008, she was laid off and has been unable to find similar work since.
"I'm up to 995 resumes and I had my 41st interview yesterday," she said on Thursday.
Myers, of Devon, said she loves the work. "You have to be detail-oriented. You have to be a multi-tasker. You have to love a fast-paced environment. I love being busy. I like doing five or six things at once and I'm good at it. You have to have a good sense of humor and enthusiasm."
An accomplishment? "In the last year I was there, I handled 375 contracts with no errors," she said.
Myers said she is expert at supporting multiple bosses. In her last job, she had 6.5 bosses. How did she juggle? Whatever task led to the most money immediately for the company came first, she said. "It was sales-driven," she said. The days of one boss, one assistant are long gone. "That's the marketplace of the 21st century. I'm used to it."
Besides looking for work, Myers has volunteered to handle administrative support tasks for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in Conshohocken.
She laughs when she thinks about her first job. "I was hired on the spot. If that ever happened today....."
Update: As of December 2011, Myers is extremely frustrated by her job search, but will continue it in January.
- Toni D. Myers
- Hometown: Devon
- Profession: Administrative assistant
- Experience: Worked for insurance companies supporting sales staff, handling contracts and reviewing them for accuracy and compliance. Managed database of customer information. Handled general administrative work including scheduling, travel arrangements and expenses. Prepared reports and invoices. Set up spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.
- Education: Delaware County Community College, coursework in business, accounting and computer applications.
- Toni D. Myers' resume.
- E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
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The Inquirer is not endorsing this individual as a job candidate; potential employers should do their own background checks.
Contact staff writer Jane M. Von Bergen at 215-854-2769 or email@example.com.