Learning to teach, teaching to learn

November 12, 2015 |

By learning you will teach, by teaching you will learn. Latin Proverb


Lisa McMillan
has a passion for education and a love of learning.

And she uses both to benefit both the clients she serves as a resume coach at the NCWorks Career Center at W. Morehead Street and herself.

A volunteer since May, McMillan left a 20-year career in investment banking at Bank of America three years ago.

But she learned about Charlotte Works through Nations Ford Community Church, one of the organization’s earliest Share Network Access Points (SNAP) site hosts, where she is an involved member. McMillan helped launch the site when it opened in 2012. She renewed her interest in Charlotte Works this spring after seeing a presentation about its work.

“The opportunities here are not your typical task-oriented kinds of volunteer opportunities. Volunteers at Charlotte Works share valuable career skills and knowledge to benefit others,” she says. “Even though I’ve not been in a typical HR [human resources] role, I’ve always been involved in training and talent acquisition throughout my career, so the role of resume coach feels quite natural to me.”

When she left the bank, McMillan spent a year-and-a-half volunteering both at her children’s (she has a college sophomore and a high-school senior and sophomore) and other Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, but still wanted to do more. “Charlotte Works provided the perfect blend of an opportunity to give back in a meaningful way while utilizing and expanding some of the hard-earned skills I developed in the corporate world.”

For example, McMillan notes that as a former hiring manager, she understands “what people in that role are focusing on when they’re looking to hire someone, and I can bring that expertise to this role.”

She hopes to expand her work here to include mock interviewing and career coaching. “I believe the opportunities are out there,” she says. “Sometimes people just need a little guidance, encouragement and patience to see the process through.”

When she’s not seeing clients, McMillan spends time exploring NCWorks Online so she can better advise them about the resources available there. She also combs through the Charlotte Business Journal’s Book of Lists and other periodicals in the Resource Center’s library to stay sharp on local job market trends and news.

“Everything I’m learning is of great value,” says McMillan, “especially information on the overall labor market in Charlotte. All my corporate experience was narrowly focused in the financial services segment. The resources at Charlotte Works have given me a much broader view of the market and a greater appreciation for the diversity of our local economy. This is not the perspective I had prior to coming here because most of my friends and contacts were in banking!”

While not currently seeking employment, McMillan says the NCWorks Career Center is where she would come if she was; she’s already recommended us as a resource to several job-seeking contacts. “I felt like I should tell someone, ‘Do you know there’s this place with all these resources? And they’re free?’ This is not the ‘unemployment agency.’ It’s the ‘career development agency.’ If you’re a new job-seeker or a career-changer, this is the place to re-tool.”

 

Want to join Lisa McMillan as an NCWorks Career Center volunteer? Learn how here!