After moving from Wilkes Barre, Pa., to be closer to her son and attempting to search for a job in the midst of COVID-19, Catherine B. felt completely alone and as if she was slowly going down a black hole.
Working in the management and food service industry for quite some time, she was aiming to find a job in a similar field. She had searched and applied to several restaurant management positions, but found herself running into obstacles she struggled to overcome.
“I was having some success to a degree, I went on 4 to 5 interviews, but no luck. I felt the age discrimination,” she said.
By the luck of the draw, and a tiny blurb in her local newspaper regarding another woman who used JEVS Career Strategies program to find a job, she immediately went on the website in search of help.
“I was desperate for help, I was looking for somebody to help me,” she said.
Catherine made use of the career services JEVS provides. She worked on her cover letter, elevator speech, networking skills, and created a business plan for job searching. During this time, she was encouraged to branch out and began investigating what jobs were offered, outside of the industry she was familiar with.
“I knew I wanted to expand the scope of my search, but I didn’t know how to do that,” she said. “They allowed me to take advantage of the services with no costs, which was huge because I was unemployed for four months.”
Catherine’s counselor at JEVS noticed her compatibility with customer service and recommended looking into a contact tracing job. Her willingness to explore new options gave her confidence in signing up for this position and applying. After mock trial interviews provided by JEVS, Catherine was able to get her contact tracing certification. Thanks to JEVS and Catherine’s determination, she felt prepared to take on this new role.
“Catherine, your resilience is your superpower,” said Peggy Truitt, program director of JEVS Career Strategies.
“I have been on the job for several weeks. it’s perfect, I love it. I’m working out of my apartment, I’m learning new stuff and meeting new people,” she said. “I’ve learned through this process that you just have to ask for help sometimes.”
For those who have felt the heavy stress that unemployment brings, Catherine stands as an example that career readiness services can provide new job options and a promising future.
by Madison Baer, JEVS intern & senior communications major at La Salle University