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What Happens When You Contact JFCS Career Development Center for Help?

JFCS Career Development Center’s Holistic Approach for Job Seekers

“I am grateful to be where I am, especially after such a huge personal upset as losing my job of 15 years.. And during a pandemic. I am thankful for your support and the other amazing staff at the JFCS Career Development Center.”

-JFCS Career Development Center client testimonial 

JFCS Career Development Center helps people find and land their dream jobs. Whether you’re just starting to think about a career change, considering a job or were recently laid off, our expert staff can provide the support and resources you need to move forward.

You may be wondering, what happens when I sign up to become a client of the Career Development Center? While the process may seem involved, it’s built using a holistic approach to make sure both the client and the counselor work together as a team to ensure the client’s needs and goals are met.

The Intake Process

A client can join us a few different ways, either from a referral from a partner organization (like Immigrant Services and Connections or Center for Women) or they can contact us directly.

When a new client contacts us directly, they can call (412-422-5627) or email (cdc@jfcspgh.org) at which point our intake coordinator will reach out to them to schedule an intake appointment. This is an opportunity for a potential client to learn more about the services we offer and for us to learn more about the client’s circumstances.

Based upon the intake conversation, the client is assigned a career counselor – this is decided with their needs and goals in mind to find a good fit as each counselor has focus areas of expertise. The client will also receive documents to fill out so we can continue to get to know them and understand their needs and situations.

Meeting Your Career Counselor

After the client is assigned, within 48 hours the career counselor will reach out to them directly via their preferred method of contact and schedule an appointment. That appointment is an opportunity for the counselor and client to talk about what the process looks like. The client can discuss their circumstances, work history, needs, background – the goal is for both parties to get a better understanding of each other, including the counselor’s own background and ideas. 

This initial appointment is also a great opportunity for the client to learn what else JFCS offers and look for ways the agency can help. The process is holistic, as we can refer clients to other JFCS departments and programs if needed.

The Job Search

Once we get a sense of the client’s needs and goals, we make a plan and move forward. For people who need to work immediately, we focus on getting them a job as fast as possible. If they have more support and resources, we’re able to take a more exploratory approach to their career counseling. We help them grow their network by using our own relationships for potential clients to gain access and pursue future employment opportunities, and we explore current JFCS Career Development Center programs, workshops, and other JFCS programs.

Counselors try to meet with their client weekly for one hour at a convenient time in a format that works best for both of them. During these meetings we provide resume and cover letter feedback, advice on employment opportunities, and overall career counseling.

Our career counseling strategy is a collaborative process. If a client has other factors that will impact employment (language, mental health, etc.), we assist using counselors with a specialized background.

Building A Relationship

One of our career counselors, Chris, has had a client who has worked with multiple times. A few years ago he helped her get a survival job (a job that pays the bills while they worked together on something better), and eventually, she was able to get a job at Highmark. During her job at Highmark, she contacted Chris again looking to continue to advance her career. With his help, she was able to land an even better job with PNC. 

We help clients build stability and gain skills along the whole journey of their job search process. These relationships can last years, across multiple jobs.

At the end of the day, we offer encouragement while also wanting the client to be accountable. We connect them directly to employers, offer job postings via our client-only job blast emails, and hold weekly workshops on improving one’s skills and abilities. 

If you would like to begin your career journey with us, let’s get started today.