Drive and Passion Lands Gretchen Her Dream Job
If you have the pleasure of meeting Gretchen, you’re guaranteed to walk away with a smile and a little seed of inspiration. An avid life-long learner, Gretchen wanted to challenge herself after putting her career on hold to raise a family, but the prospect of learning computer skills to land a job she loves felt daunting.
Gretchen turned to the supported employment program at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota (GESMN).
“When I first started at Goodwill, I didn’t even have access to a computer, because the library was closed due to COVID-19,” said Gretchen. “I felt confident using a computer, but I knew I needed to learn Microsoft Office.”
Through connections with the Science Museum of Minnesota (SMM) Gretchen was able to attend one of their computer skills courses. “It was a little intimidating at first. I wasn’t sure I could do it,” recalls Gretchen. “But Amy [her career navigator at GESMN] was always there to provide positive support.”
Emboldened by her experience with the SMM course, Gretchen decided to attend twice weekly Microsoft Office classes at the Woodbury Library through Great Rivers Adult Education Consortium, and went a step further by applying for [and receiving] a grant to attend Century College’s Pathways to Office Technology course.
“What is so powerful about Gretchen, is her drive and openness to learn,” said her career navigator Amy. “People like her are a joy to work with and the reason I do this job.”
After gaining the computer skills she needed to succeed in her next role, Gretchen and Amy got to work designing her resume, cover letter and preparing with mock interviews. Confident she was ready to enter the job market, Gretchen secured a dream role at Schneidermann’s Furniture as an office specialist.
“I love my job,” said Gretchen. “I get to learn something new every day, which has been so good for my mental health.”
When asked if she had any advice for other adult learners, Gretchen says, “Do the leg work. It is going to feel tough at first, but each day it gets easier and easier. Lastly, do not be afraid to ask for help. Without Goodwill’s help, I would still be at square one.”
If you or someone you know could use assistance landing your dream job, contact our team at Goodwill-Easter Seals Minnesota.