We recently connected with Samara Fritzsche a member of the JEVS Career Strategies team to learn more about her background and how she came to be in the career advising field. Get to know Samara:
How did you decide on a career in the career counseling field?
After finishing my Master of Social Work degree, I spent many years working with children and families, as a foster care social worker, a counselor in a residential treatment program, and supervising treatment for children and teens who had behavioral health issues. Through networking with a friend who worked at Moss Rehab’s Drucker Brain Injury Center, I landed a job there. This was my first role that focused solely on helping adults. As a Cognitive Therapist in this outpatient program, I was assisting individuals with transitioning their lives after they’d experienced a traumatic brain injury which effected cognitive functioning including memory, organizational skills, and time management – skills that are all vital for working. Many of my clients were unable to work, and in these cases I focused on teaching life skill strategies to help them compensate for cognitive changes that impacted their lives. We also worked on figuring out what daily life would look like moving forward, whether it included volunteering, working, or new hobbies. This experience provided me the insight I needed to realize how passionate I am about helping people match their strengths and limitations to their abilities, to find fulfillment. My job as a Career Counselor at JEVS provides me the opportunity to do this, and it brings me immeasurable gratification when I’m able to guide people trough making positive life changes.
How did you find your way to the career counseling position at JEVS Career Strategies?
I am giving away how old (and wise) I am when I tell you this… eighteen years ago I found my way to JEVS Career Strategies. This was back when job openings were posted in actual newspapers, and I read about the position in the Philadelphia Inquirer. It is both rare and amazing to work at one company for such a long time and I consider myself fortunate.
What is it that you enjoy most about the job you do?
I love helping people prioritize, problem solve, and set and achieve their goals. Sometimes people come to their first career counseling appointment with no idea what career direction to go in, and others have a clearly defined path but are stuck at a certain point along their journey. Wherever someone is at is where we begin, without judgement. My approach is holistic, and I truly value the relationships I build with my clients. I strive be someone that my clients look forward to seeing. If a person is in financial crisis and needs help finding housing resources or if they are feeling depressed and need to find a therapist then that is the priority, and that is what we will work on together. To me, everyone needs both career development and emotional support as they go through a job search, as it can be unbelievably isolating and stressful to do on your own. I love being there along this journey, to make things more manageable and to celebrate all successes no matter how small they may seem.
What is the one key thing you tell all your clients to do?
There is never just one thing! Resumes need to be optimized for “resume robots” aka applicant tracking software which are used to screen applications at the majority of mid to large sized companies. Most people feel overwhelmed by the prospect of writing several versions of their resume that are customized for various roles they are applying for, incorporating the right industry specific keywords. I never tell my clients to do this, I actually help them do it. This is one of the first things we work on together, as it is directly correlated with increasing interviews. Following up after job applications is key, and is part of the networking plan we develop. This follow-up involves finding the key contact person, often via LinkedIn, and figuring out what to say and how to say it. I also help my clients with every part of this process. It is something that we work on together until they feel confident doing it on their own.
If you are interested in learning about the JEVS Career Strategies team or how we can help individuals get to the next stage in their careers or job search…
> Contact us at 215-832-0878 or email@example.com