“I love the people I work with, and I love the job. I look forward to going into work each day.”

Phil’s enthusiasm shows – even in his voice, via a telephone call.

The 33-year old Philadelphia resident is happy and enthusiastic about being back to work – but especially after landing a coveted job not once, but twice, with JEVS Career Strategies.

“I’m originally from upstate New York, and so when I moved to Philadelphia for grad school in 2008, I was still building my employment network,” he said. Upon graduation, Phil was able to pursue his passion for education by working at the Holocaust Awareness Museum and Education Center in Northeast Philadelphia.

“I felt very involved there,” he said. “I felt very passionate about it, and love the people, but after five years, I wanted to transition to a volunteer role, so it was time for me to make a career change.”

Enter JEVS Career Strategies. Phil, who had supervised Ash and Lasko program interns for several summers at the Museum, casually mentioned that he was looking to get back into the job market – but didn’t really know how to proceed.

“I had been on a few interviews, but nothing was hitting. I’d go on an interview, and think it went well, but then hear nothing,” he said. At Career Strategies, he worked with Samara (his Career Advisor) and Gary (his Job Development Specialist), “on creating great cover letters and on my interview skills, and on making contact and follow-ups with employers of interest.” Even more helpful, Phil found some intangibles – confidence and encouragement.

“When I was very discouraged, they got me back on my feet and back on my computer. They were a sounding board – they wanted to be kept informed of my job search progress at all times, and they would always be there to say ‘Let’s regroup and keep moving,’” he said.

“It was just what I needed in that moment.”

After about four months of job hunting, persistence paid off, as Phil landed a job as a Project Manager in web development – which he liked, but realized it wasn’t his true passion.

“I called Rhonda and said, ‘Let me know if there’s anything you hear of in the nonprofit world. So I really ended up utilizing Career Strategies twice!”

Phil’s determination and passion to find his niche paid off, as the JEVS Career Strategies team was aware of a Mitzvah Food Project Associate position within the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia. Phil applied and won the position, which assists those who have food insecurities within the Greater Philadelphia region.

“Today I coordinate our volunteers for five food pantries, among many other duties, and I’m learning every day. I’ve never felt more rewarded or challenged, and I can’t speak highly enough about the folks at Career Strategies who made that possible,” he said.

Phil’s passion for social responsibility and for education is palpable – and it’s an excitement that he wants to share with others.

“My dad likes to use the quote ‘if you love what you do, you never work a day in your life,’” he said. “I feel like I found that – I got that “shove” in the right direction from CS – and now I’m encouraging all my friends in different fields to try them out! They’ve been a great resource in helping me find where I’m supposed to be.”

Posted in Blog JEVS Program: Career Strategies