Kathleen and Janet take on New Career Paths
When they came to Goodwill-Easter Seal Minnesota (GESMN), both Kathleen and Janet wanted to transform their careers. Janet was ready to move on after over 20 years at the same company, and Kathleen found herself wanting to pivot into an industry that was a better fit for her lifestyle. Both were able to successfully change the course of their careers after participating in GESMN’s free business professional pathways program.
Michelle, a career navigator, says a goal of the program is to facilitate career transition, which is about “identifying who you have been and owning those strengths and skills, but then also building the confidence to take your strengths and use them in new ways.”
With the help of the program, Kathleen and Janet found new jobs. The 10-week program allowed them an opportunity to:
- Get assistance updating their resume, including access to people in the industry to help identify transferable skills and refine language
- Connect with mentors not only during the job search but in the transition into their new workplace via one-on-one sessions with a career navigator
- Participate in mock interviews that allowed them to receive feedback
- Work with other job seekers to build skills and contribute to s growth
For their instructor, Lexi, learning about how to be a business professional is more than just building specific office skills but also learning the soft skills of advocating for yourself and working within the office professionally.
Kathleen explains, “[One of] the major things we got out of the class was how to cooperate and build rapport and those office skills. If you really use the class like a little office and work alongside your teammates, you get those skills that you would not get from a video, and that is really what made the difference, I think, for a lot of us.”
Kathleen found her hard work paid off early in the process, “I don't think my route of getting to my job is the typical one, but I showed up around week five when I accidentally got a job interview.” Kathleen had submitted her new resume as part of a help wanted posting on a website, “They just asked me to come in for an interview. We had a little bit of a sit down and then I found out about the job.”
She continues, “my imposter syndrome kicked in and I brought all that anxiety back to Michelle and Lexi. They helped me settle those fears down and pointed out what part of the job posting matched my skills, [that] really gave me that confidence to go into that interview. Two weeks after that, I had a new job.”
She looks forward to her future in this position. “It is really important to me to be in a job that is helping and serving others. I am very fortunate to have landed in the one I have right now, and I just want to make it the best opportunity I can.” Kathleen is excited to continue to work on her project management certification and hopes to complete it by this time next year.
Janet took an offer just after she finished her final presentation for the program, “so as I'm presenting my final presentation about this specific job, my cell phone rings and as I'm presenting, I'm like here is probably my offer. So, I finished the two minutes of the presentation and I'm like, I'll be back.”
Janet added that she is excited to explore her new position. “It is a very small company which I like. There are 20 people in the office, and they do really big systems and big projects, which is right up my alley.” She continued, “They're giving me service techs that I’m going to manage and send them out and do their paperwork. So that will be an almost brand-new concept, but I am very comfortable there, through the interviews and the interview processes.”
If you are interested in gaining professional skills to build a new career in office administration, healthcare, finance or project management contact us today to learn more.
GESMN offers nearly 20 career and job training programs that serve over 4,500 Minnesotans each year. To help support our programs, you can make a donation here today.