The following is a piece written by JFCS Career Development Center Career Consultant, Jeanne Williams.
Client Success Stories: A Model Client
I first met Joan at North Hills Community Outreach, Millvale in August of last year. She was quiet, introverted but obviously bright and teachable. When we first met, I learned that she was bartending, previously worked as a hair stylist, and a customer service representative for a cleaning service. As for her career goal, when Joan was going to a technical college, she was one of the few women who graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Specialized Technology Electronics. Upon graduating, her objective was to find work as a technician in manufacturing, electronics, or as a test technician. She found some temporary assignments, experienced a lay-off from a large manufacturing company, and quit a technician position that did not offer her room to grow. During this entire time she continued bartending.
Increased frustrations and the hope of reaching her career goal in her field of choice, and in an environment she could learn and grow seemed less and less possible. Her daily expenses, ability to pay rent and keep up with student loans became more and more of a challenge. We discussed talking to a critical needs specialist at NHCO in order to be proactive with budgeting and paying bills. Joan was open and willing to learn of non-profits that could help her with juggling her expenses. In addition, she was given information about a local NHCO food pantry, and advised where she would receive help with dental issues.
Throughout the course of our appointments, we revamped Joan’s resume, practiced interviewing skills, recommended workshops that she attend at JFCS Career Development Center, and agreed upon a career development plan. Although she had no idea how to network, she remained open to learning and willing to step out of her comfort zone. In addition, Joan was accountable for each step of her action plan and began feeling more confident with her job search. Her career counselor had connections at the technical school Joan graduated from and initiated a conversation with the school’s career services area. Additional job leads were provided from the technical school’s advisory board as well as assistance with a refresher course and career-related testing. This connection proved to be invaluable for Joan since current information in her field and testing were prerequisites when she did receive interviews.
Positive changes became evident and eventually a job offer as a full-time Electronic Repair Technician was offered. The employer is located near her apartment, they offer room to grow, tuition reimbursement, a good salary and benefits. After accepting the position, the one request Joan asked of her counselor was to relay her appreciation to everyone at JFCS Career Development Center and NHCO for believing in her and encouraging her throughout her job search. Joan wants to pay it forward to help others and is grateful that she was part of the WorkAble program.
To learn more about the Career Development Department, click here.