Career Profile: Executive Director - Bill Schwingen
(Source: Creative Commons)
Sue Dye Babson, Kansas City Star
Bill Schwingen, 51: Executive Director
About the employer: The Gardens at Barry Road is an 86-unit, not-for-profit assisted living community in Kansas City. It is operated by Bethesda Adult Communities, which is based in Colorado Springs, Colo.
My role: I ensure our residents are provided excellent care and the services they expect from a premier provider of assisted living services. I am responsible for a staff of 60 employees and providing them the tools they need to be empowered to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
How long have you been in this position?
How did you find your job?
The position was posted in The Kansas City Star. The ad requested I e-mail the resume, which I did. I also took the liberty of mailing one as well. I followed up with a phone call to the gentleman who was executive director here prior to his promotion. I then interviewed with the former executive director, a corporate representative in Colorado Springs and a panel of department managers from this facility. The former executive director offered me the job the same day I met with the managers.
What helped the most in the job search?
I utilized traditional search methods such as the newspaper and the Internet, including visiting industry and company Web sites. I also utilized professional and personal contacts, along with job clubs and a career counselor. The career counselor probably provided the best help. We had quality one-on-one time that provided career assistance but also some counseling to help me through the emotional aspect of being unemployed.
Did you reach a low point in this process?
Yes, but I can’t say it was just one. When you interview for a position and you have moved on in the interview process to second and third interviews, you get your hopes up. Then you don’t even get the courtesy of a callback. To overcome that disappointment, I relied on my family, friends and going to several different job clubs.
What is your best advice for others in the job search?
I found the career counselor to be very helpful, but I know of others who did not have the same positive experience. I would suggest that you try a counselor for a couple of visits. If it works for you, then keep going. The only concern for some may be the fee. The fee for the one I found through the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City was based on what I could afford. Also, go to job clubs, as many as you can get to, and preferably not ones that are too close together and draw the same people.
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