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JFCS Career Development Center – Story of Hope

“Just about a year ago to the day, I lost my job. Since graduating from college in the 80s, my entire career has been in retail management. I have always been a positive, enthusiastic person with a lot of confidence, so when I was laid off, I thought to myself, ‘Everything will be fine. I will just find another job.’ I thought I would have another job in a few weeks – tops!

I hadn’t looked for a job since the 1980s, and imagine how shocked I was to find how drastically the job search process had changed. The last time I looked for work, the experience was very personal, and you met directly with a potential employer. Now though, the job search process is all about the on-line application, pre-employment testing, personality profile, background check, phone screenings, phone interviews, and if you make it through all of the above, then numerous face-to-face interviews. The process was extremely overwhelming, and I realized I had to acquire an entirely new set of skills to be able to compete in today’s job market.

Here I was, 46-years-old, with no idea where to begin. My positive attitude and enthusiasm had been replaced with fear and anxiety. How would I keep up with my mortgage payments and pay the bills? What would happen if I got sick? How would I continue to take care of my elderly mother?

I heard about the JFCS Career Development Center through a friend. A career consultant was assigned to me, and she helped me through the resume writing process, interview preparation and provided me with advice on the direction I should take with my job search. In addition, I attended every class and workshop that was offered. Slowly, I was rebuilding my confidence.

Whenever I had a question, or needed support, there was always someone to help. Whether I needed technical help or emotional support, I always knew that everyone at the JFCS Career Development Center cared. Thanks to the help of the staff, I am proud to say that exactly five months to the day I was laid off, I found a full-time job. I am back in a retail management career that I feel passionate about.

It is difficult to say where I would be without the help and support of the JFCS Career Development Center. They gave me hope and restored my confidence during a difficult time.”

– Karen*, JFCS Career Development Center client

*Name has been changed