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Published on January 21, 2020

David Anderson

Career Planners Help Retiree Find a Perfect Fit with Avera

With almost 40 years of sales experience, Dave Anderson retired, but knew it wasn’t going to be a traditional end-of-career move.

He still had a lot to do – and to give.

“I decided I was too young to be done completely,” said Anderson, who worked in the jewelry business for 28 years, and another decade in pharmaceutical sales. “I had always appreciated the way Avera took care of people, but I had no clinical experience. My ultimate goal was to keep helping people.”

Anderson saw his role as a seller in terms of how he could help people. Whether they were seeking the perfect gift or a unique creation in his store, he thrived when he was with people and busy.

“I thought about the possible roles in a hospital, and I went to meet with the team at Avera Career Planning Service,” he said. “I met with a workforce consultant, and we spoke for more than an hour, working to find a good fit.”

One possible avenue appealed to him: a concierge. In that role, Anderson would be busy, working with people and – as he saw it – it’d be fun.

“It was the very next morning, after the meeting, that I saw the concierge position posted on Avera.com. The position would be at the new Avera Specialty Hospital – and it seemed almost perfect,” Anderson said. “I started Oct. 21. It’s a job that seems truly tailored to my customer service skills.”

The 61-year-old said that for patients and families coming to the facility on South Louise Avenue, seeing a friendly face can make a huge difference.

“I’m not a physician, but I am here to help people, and when they see my smile, I think it can make a big difference,” he said. “No one really wants to go to the hospital, but when people do, they are in need of help. I can help settle their apprehension and give them directions or comfort as they seek out the office or room they need.”

Considering his career, it’s not a big surprise that he runs into former customers. He’s glad he worked with Avera Career Planning Service to find the right fit for him.

“Taking care of customers is something I’ve done my whole life, and I feel it’s important,” he said. “There was a little girl here not too long ago who was scared. I tried to be the friendly face she needed, and I joked around with her, drawing attention away from the reason for the visit. She smiled, and the tears stopped. Naturally, that sort of thing makes you feel you’re helping – putting someone at ease.”

Anderson said the help was valuable, and helped him see the wide range of possibilities in a health care system.

“My goals were probably quite a bit different than someone just starting their career,” said Anderson. “But the support was important and it let me find a good job than I truly enjoy.”

To learn more go to Avera.org/careers and click on the Career Planning Services option.

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