Currently I’m serving as a Copyeditor at UJA Federation of New York where I started in September 2011. When I went for my interview, I discovered that the head of the department was 20-something. The department is small, and in fact, everyone there is 20-something. My supervisor and colleagues are younger than my son, but luckily, older than my grandchildren.
The work they wanted me to perform was right up my alley. I know information and referral databases as well as anyone and better than most and they wanted to engage me on the spot.
I bring to the assignment a lot of experience; a work ethic forged more than 40 years ago, and an interest in helping the organization set up the best possible, most useful online database that they can. I use every bit of my experience, from the beginning of my career as a proofreader and copyeditor in print publishing (back when publishing meant print), to more than 11 years experience organizing and managing a not-for-profit information and referral databases, very similar, though much larger, than the UJA database.
I read for sense, for grammar, for spelling. I look up references and setup styles. I help create style and grammar guides, to guide how UJA wants the database to look like, and ensure consistency no matter who inputs material.
What do I gain from the position? I’ve learned to listen to and respect the ideas of younger colleagues. They are bright, interested, and work hard. I have enjoyed observing different kind of people in the office. It’s been encouraging to listen to the call specialists, who have so much patience and work so hard to help people in need. It’s been interesting to see how savvy young women are about the politics of an organization, and how some work to get ahead, not only in the job, but in their careers as well.
I hope I let these youngsters know that we older folks can be active and vital parts of their lives, that we can also work hard, that we make and keep commitments, and that we can share our experiences to help enrich their lives.
My work at the UJA, through ReServe, has been a win-win situation. When this project is finished, I hope to find other assignments to enjoy, and I know I’ll enjoy working with colleagues of all ages.
Dianne is a publishing professional with more than 35 years’ experience in editorial, marketing, and selling. Her most recent position was as director of publications/database for Resources for Children with Special Needs. While there she selected, planned and implemented move of 10,000 records from flat file to new relational database system for information and referral. In a volunteer capacity she helped a fundraising for a private school by developing individualized letters for parents. To commemorate Older Americans Month, ReServe invited ReServists to write original essays about their current or past assignment. This is one of twelve essays. – ED