Brookdale Careers

  • Housekeeper Job Leads to Executive Director Position

    February 20, 2017

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    Four years after joining Brookdale as a housekeeper Ashley Woodcox was offered the position of executive director, the top job at an assisted living community in Marion, IN. Her career advancement story is just one example of the opportunities associates find at Brookdale, a company that supports employee growth, rewards hard work and looks to promote from within. Ashley’s transition from cleaning rooms to calling the shots at a Brookdale community illustrates how a good first impression, strong relationships and dedication can lead to the fulfillment of career goals.

    While studying healthcare administration at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ashley developed an interest in senior living. Veering away from the hospital industry was a career move that separated her from many classmates.


    Ashley Woodcox

    “I felt like if I went into the hospital field I’d be in a cubicle pushing papers for years and years and years,” she said.

    Ashley started taking classes to become a certified nursing assistant in the summer of 2010, and decided to seek a position at a local nursing home. She applied at all of the Bloomington area’s senior living centers and visited several in person to see if they had any openings. The last place she checked out was Brookdale Bloomington.

    “I rang the bell and a nurse came to the door,” Ashley said. “She looked at me and said, ‘Oh hey, it’s you.’ I felt like she knew me, but we’d never met. I told her I was looking for a job and she went on and on about how the residents are awesome and she had actually taken a pay-cut to work here because she loved the place so much. From then on I was set on working at Brookdale. It was the only place I wanted to work.”

    Ashley took a job as a housekeeper and, after getting her license, she began working as a CNA. Brookdale offered her a flexible schedule, allowing her to pursue a degree while picking up shifts on weekends or days when she didn’t have classes. She eventually worked up the courage to ask Cheryl Sarver, the executive director at the time, if she could do an internship.

    “I knew at that point that I wanted to do what she did,” Ashley said. “I walked up to the front area five or six times then finally went over to her and asked her how people become an administrator and told her I really wanted to do an internship there. She didn’t hesitate. She said, ‘Yes, I’m a preceptor.’”

    That internship helped Ashley develop an understanding of what it would take to become an executive director and allowed her to build a relationship with Cheryl Sarver, who eventually became a guiding force along her career path. After graduating, Ashley became a sales manager, then a marketing director at another company before being given the chance to become an executive director with Brookdale.

    Cheryl, who is currently a district director of operations, says she and other Brookdale leaders are always looking for associates with drive, ambition and determination. Five out of the 12 executive directors that Cheryl oversees were promoted to their positions. Cheryl said she knew Ashely had leadership potential from the moment she was hired.

    “I knew that she was an individual with the passion and the drive to succeed in this business,” Cheryl said. “She had her future pretty much thought out and that impressed me. She was using her initial job as a ladder to take her career where she wanted it to go.”

    While she relishes her job as executive director, especially the relationships she has with residents and their families, Ashley said she’s open to further advancement. Brookdale is a company where Ashley, and anyone with the drive to succeed, can reach new career heights.

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  • 6 Tips to Make Your Workspace More Productive (and Enjoyable!)

    February 17, 2017


    Making Your Workspace Pleasing Productive

    In our recent article, Ten Tips to Loving Your Job, we mention having a workspace you enjoy being in as part of your employment enjoyment. Ready for more? Here some specific ways that you can improve your work environment, making your space a happy and productive place to be.

    Temperature. Sometimes it is difficult to control the temperature in your office, especially if it is a large shared space. Even so, there are things you can do to control your comfort. Did you know that warmer is better? It’s true. Advocate for a heat hike in your office if possible. Keep your sweater or hoodie handy. Most offices won’t allow space heaters, but consider a heating pad, hand and foot warmers or a rice pillow you can warm up in the microwave. Go ahead, cozy on up.

    Happy seat and feet. You are at work a lot. It is at least a third if not half of your time spent Monday through Friday. Make sure your seat and your feet are comfy. If you are on your feet a lot, invest in a good pair of shoes. Comfort is much more important than looks as far asthe quality and quantity of the work you put out. If you are sitting, make sure you have a comfortable chair. If you need to accessories with an extra pad or one that is ergonomic, do it. Your body and comfort are worth the investment, and your work will be better. Nothing hinders work performance more than aches and pains.

    • Natural light is important for mood, and is a well-know contributor to increased productivity. It adds to a better night sleep too! Try to get near a window in your office if you can. If you can’t, one possible solution is to have smart LED lighting that acts like natural light. At minimum, head out during breaks and lunch to grab a few of those rays. Hard to believe that getting out of the office can help you be more productive, but it’s true!

    • We all have our favorite tunes, you know the ones that make us feel happy or make us work out harder. The music we hear (or don’t hear) can really affect our happiness barometer and work productivity. Some of us may love to block out the world with some headphones and music so we are in our little cocoon. Others want something light in the background. What works best for you? Create a playlist of the tunes that move you. Be aware of how your days progress when you listen to music. Maybe music during the day isn’t your thing; you prefer silence to keep you on task. That is okay too. Consider listening to your favorite music on the way into work or on your break. A few tunes here and there can help keep your creative juices flowing and productivity up.

    Bring the outside in. Have a plant nearby. Incorporating plants can help boost productivity. They can provide an oxygen boost to a stuffy office. They also are a reminder there is more to life than the office, there is a big world outside. We all need that reminder sometimes.

    Add color. Many offices are pretty neutral. Add some of your favorite colors. A little red to stimulate you, a little yellow to keep you happy and/or a little orange to keep you social and engaging with co-workers. In a high-paced environment? Add some blue to keep things calm.

    Inspired to get busy and upgrade your space? A healthy, happy and productive work environment can be yours! Use these tips and settle in to your perfect work den. You feel better about going to work and leaving it too. You’ll be satisfied with your productivity and better able to balance to enjoy all the other areas of life.

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