Whether it’s dealing with adoption paperwork, helping first-time home buyers, assisting the elderly, or mentoring someone, helping others can be personally and professionally rewarding. We recently asked members of our community to share some of their rewarding experiences as Notaries, and here’s a sample of what they had to say.
Bringing Families Together
Like many Notaries, Linda McDougall of Tallahassee, Florida, continues to renew her commission because she is able to help people from various walks of life for different reasons. Even after 30 years of Notary work, she sees every appointment as rewarding because she loves that the work she does gets to help so many people.
Although she assists her clients with an assortment of documents, nothing has more of an impact than helping with adoption paperwork. She has notarized many sets of adoption papers over the years, and it can be challenging work, but it wasn’t until she was actually present when a couple received their new child that she saw firsthand just how vital a Notary can be.
“Seeing the mother receive her baby girl made me proud to be a Notary,” McDougall said. “I will always remember it as such a blessing.”
Breaking Language Barriers
As public officials, Notaries play an important role in making signers feel at ease knowing their paperwork was handled with care. Fascinated with American Sign Language (ASL) since she was a child, Jamie Liggins from Shreveport, Louisiana, was able to use that added skill to expand her business. For Liggins, the NNA’s 2004 Notary of the Year, there are plenty of rewarding notarizations, but nothing compares to making her hearing impaired signers feel comfortable.
Knowing she can communicate with ASL signers brings a sense of gratification. Although she has been a Notary for almost 21 years, these type of signings are most pleasing because the client leaves content without the help of an interpreter.
“I enjoy communicating with people, meeting them, and being an asset,” she said. “It makes me feel good to be able to help someone.” It also gives Liggins a sigh of relief knowing she can understand the borrower, without being in a situation where she couldn’t understand what the interpreter was saying.
Supporting Fellow Soldiers
National Guard Veteran Shalou Alberto of San Jose, California, became a Notary for her medical unit before deployment to Iraq in 2010. That helped ease the stress of the paperwork involved in deploying — for her fellow National Guard members and their families. More than 50 young soldiers in her unit and their families needed Notary services before the National Guard members headed overseas.
Because she was being deployed with them, Shalou and her husband knew how worrisome the situation could be. The paperwork involved in deployment packets is very personal, so having one of their own go through the daunting experience gave the soldiers confidence that they would get taken care of. “It’s very good for the spirit. It motivates me to keep going and do more,” stated Alberto.
Playing the Mentor Role
As Notaries evolve into knowledgeable and experienced professionals, many are willing to share their knowledge with new Notaries. In fact, Patricia Warmack of New York, New York, believes in paying it forward by instilling the skills she has learned in new Notaries.
“When you’re new, you want to have someone to bounce ideas off of,” she said. She finds mentoring new Notary Signing Agents the most fulfilling experience in her career. Networking online on various social media communities has allowed Warmack to connect with many new NSAs.
“This is personally important to me because when I first became a Notary, I also sought a mentor,” Warmack said. She didn’t have the opportunity to learn from an experienced Signing Agent herself so when given the chance to help someone who was once in her shoes, there was no hesitation.
Apart from the gratification that comes with helping someone, Warmack has discovered that being a mentor brings an unexpected benefit. She has built a lasting business relationship with her mentee who refers business to her, and Warmack can refer assignments she cannot take.
“It’s a win-win situation for both of us. If you give someone a helping hand, it can really turn into a nice relationship,” she said. “There are enough roles and enough work for all of us Notaries to work together. There is no need to say ‘I’m not going to help you’.”