Name: Chris Myers
Organization: Area 10 Agency on Aging
Position: Assistant Director
How did you get into your current job?
I ask myself that every day. No, seriously, my current job is serving as Area 10 Agency on Aging’s Assistant Director. I came to work with Area 10 as their Housing Manager for the affordable senior housing apartments the agency owns and manages. All of my professional experience has been with managing nonprofit or government agencies and programs that serve our community, from child care voucher programs to a family literacy center to grants administration. A career evolves as opportunities ebb and flow through one’s life. As much as I am a planner, I have learned that you prepare, you perform, and the rest you need to be open to.
Could you describe your position at Area 10 Agency on Aging?
My position is Assistant Director. In this role, I am second in charge, under our Executive Director, and also directly responsible for all our facilities, affordable housing, Endwright Center (community center), and Rural Transit program. It’s equally keeping one part on the overall organization and moving forward as it is with responding to numerous demands and needs on the ground daily.
What is the most challenging and most rewarding part of your job?
I would love to say the most challenging and rewarding are one in the same. But, the most challenging definitely is managing our complex funding and trying to wrestle community support to fund program services that are so much needed for our service population in Monroe and Owen Counties. The most rewarding is the little things – seeing an elderly person be able to safely go in and out of their home and know that ramp or handrail will keep them living in their home, where they want to be, for as long as they can. At its heart, that is what our agency is about – about providing supports and services to elderly and disabled individuals so they can live fulfilling lives where they want to live, in their community.
How would you describe a typical day or week of work at Area 10 Agency on Aging?
There is no typical day or week. Often there are many facilities needs that must be prioritized into a work plan for our maintenance crew. Juggling changing needs as they arise is critical, while focusing on program and grant management, and steering projects forward, like transitions to electronic time keeping and our upcoming retirement of our long-time serving CFO.
What skills and/or characteristics are most essential in this field or position?
Excellent organizing, multi-tasking, and communication skills are essential. Being able to communicate equally well with people on the front lines of our services as well as community and state leaders. A true passion and drive for serving people as your motivator, and doing things well and right.
What career advice or tips would you give to current students interested in a similar job position as yours?
I think everything stems from knowing and being true to yourself – what brings you pleasure, what things do you enjoy doing, what are you good at doing and feel good about doing? As much as you can align what you do for a living with your motivators in life, you will find satisfaction. Only you can know that.
If you are interested in this agency, stop by the Public Health & Safety Career Focus Event! It will be held on March 1st (6:00PM-8:00PM) in the Frangipani Room.
Trishnee is a first year PhD student in the Department of Applied Health Science and her major is Health Behavior. She was born and raised in Mauritius and is currently having the best time pursuing her doctoral studies in the wonderful B-town. Her hobbies include cooking, reading romantic novels, and playing with her pets. Anything related to health highly interests her and she hopes to reach out to others on health-related issues that matter.
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