Dining Room Server Finds Leadership Opportunity
March 8, 2017
Her dedication to helping seniors and the support she received from supervisors at Brookdale put Amber Bossio on a career path that led from dining room server to manager of personalized living. A culture of caring, team-oriented environment and opportunities for growth kept Bossio with Brookdale for 17 years.
“One thing that I really love about Brookdale is a lot of our managers started out in hourly positions just like I did and worked their way up,” Bossio said. “I like that they promote from within. We are placed where our strengths are. There’s so much here for you if you’re willing to give your heart and time.”
Bossio was 16-years-old when she joined Brookdale as a dining room server. Less than a year later she was promoted to lead server and the next year she made another step up, becoming a dining room supervisor. Within six years of starting her career at Brookdale, Bossi was offered the position of dining room manager.
Learning how to lead
Each promotion came with the challenge of navigating relationships between her co-workers and transitioning into the role of a supervisor.
“It was always interesting going from working side-by-side with someone then becoming their boss,” Bossio said. “I had to show and prove I could do it. I’ve always felt that you want to treat people how you want to be treated. Just because you’re the manager doesn’t mean you’re better or smarter than someone else. I’d do anything for my team. I’m not going to make them do all the hard, dirty stuff. I’m willing to roll up my sleeves and clean a toilet if I need to.”
After spending nearly 12 years in the dining department, Bossio found an opportunity to work more closely with residents. She took a position as a Clare Bridge program manager, assisted residents with dementia. In this role she designed memory care programs and supervised the care staff. It was through a meeting with one of Brookdale’s health and wellness directors that Bossio realized she wanted a role that would let her make deeper connections with residents.
“I had a good one-on-one conversation with our HWD about how I can be in the world of caring for residents,” Bossio said. “I realized I just have a way of reading people before they even ask. When you’re caring for someone, you can anticipate what they want and make their lives so much easier. Sometimes they are not always going to ask. They have too much pride.”
Opportunity to advance
Bossio enjoyed working with seniors so much that she decided to pursue a degree in social services, a move that would qualify her for more advanced positions. During this time Brookdale allowed her to work part-time as a resident activities assistant. After graduating, Bossio was offered a position as manager of personalize living, her current role.
“When I graduated and was offered this position it was like a dream come true,” she said.
Bossio supervises a team of seven associates, offering coaching, counseling and evaluation. She also markets the program, coordinates services and assists with budgeting. A big part of her job is to motivate others and Bossio tries to lead by example.
“I take the whole community to heart,” she said. “Even if it’s not my department, if I notice something wrong I’ll take action. This is where our residents live and I’m going to make sure it’s the best home they can have.”
As for showing job candidates and current associates the opportunities for advancement that Brookdale has, Bossio says she simple shows them her resume.
“I pretty much grew up working here,” Bossio said. “I tell people all the time, the opportunity is here.”Share this:
7 Creative Ways to Turbocharge Your Job Networking
March 2, 2017
Feel like you are hitting dead ends with on-line applications? You may need to get some face time. Many times jobs are landed because of who you know, as much or more as what you might know. If you are feeling stuck and your job search is going no where then it’s time to expand your network. Here are seven creative, outside-the-box networking ideas to get you started. And best of all, they’re not hard to do. Go ahead, take off your slippers, put on some real shoes and kick your job networking into high gear!
1. Meet Ups. This is a great way to find “your people.” Meet ups are organized around shared interests and the organizers build in activities to get you talking to people you don’t know. Could be hiking, cooking, or gaming, just to name a few examples. You can search on-line for groups in your local area based on your interests. Start with Meetup.
2. Hit your local watering hole. That is right, head to your neighborhood pub, coffee shop, smoothie place or juice joint. Spend a few bucks a few times per week to get to know the folks in your area. Don’t be afraid to ask someone what they’re working on. You could have a whole network of folks right in front of you. Literally.
3. Go to a conference or find a speaker in your area. Do you live near a local university? Is there a local speakers group nearby? Check out the area Chamber to find out happenings in your area. Be sure to search for events related to the industry you want to work in. You’ll be surprised how many gatherings there are.
4. Take a class at your local library. Lots of library branches offer interesting classes and hands on activities. What’s a better place to meet smart and resourceful people than the library? Parents, this may sound bad, but use your kids to network. Take them to children’s events like book readings and educational sessions where you’ll run into other parents who may have connections to jobs.
5. Call up your cronies. Make your own creative networking group. Reach out to old friends, former colleagues, mentors, etc. Schedule a lunch, happy hour, or a time to grab coffee. You could actually come out a hero by connecting the folks you know—while working on networking for yourself.
6. Invest in your cause(s). What causes are you passionate about? Homelessness? Animal Welfare? Veteran support? Literacy? Whatever it is, find a local organization you can connect with. Let them know you want to volunteer with other professionals.
7. You gotta have faith, faith, faith. Do you attend a faith or spiritual community or group? This could be a church, synagogue or even a yoga class, if that is what spirituality means to you. Do they have events that could provide a possible networking opportunity? If there isn’t one built in, maybe you can suggest going out for a coffee or lunch with others from the community.
Great – you are feeling inspired and ready to get yourself out there. Feeling a little shy and need some ideas on how to present yourself? Check out our Job Networking Dos and Don’ts blog post to help you out. You got this – just look at you in your grown up shoes!Share this: