Thursday, December 16, 2010
By Michael George
December 16, 2010 – New York City – As the New Year approaches people like to believe, and think, understandably so, that the time is right for a new beginning. The reality is that anytime is a good time to start reaching towards a new goal or establishing things we’re hoping to accomplish. At ParentJobNet, we understand that finding employment in these uncertain times can be tenuous at best; however, accepting the journey as a prelude to reaching the destination is all part of the process.
A major ingredient in any process, and one of the few certainties in life, is change. A few things have changed since we started this series last month. We were following the journey of Susan and Nathan who were both meeting with Lisa Chan, an EVP for a private company and volunteer Job Developer for PJN. Susan, a mother from
, was making her second visit to PJN for a session concerning revisions of her resume. Susan has stayed involved with PJN’s Computer/Job Readiness workshop as she continues to seek employment. She had been in contact with organizations seeking employment but the outcomes are still pending. Manhattan
Lisa discovered that Nathaniel, a first time visitor to PJN, had experience as an entrepreneur and a real interest in working on environmental issues and with people. Nathaniel’s enthusiasm level was lifted after the meeting and he left with assignments to re-do a hastily put together resume, which emphasized more of his potential, and to give some real thought to figuring out what he wants to do as opposed to just finding any job.
“I’ve been looking at job training programs and I want something that’s solid,” said Nathaniel at the time.
Currently Nathaniel, who recently became the father of a baby girl, remains steadfast in his determination to have a say so in his destiny.
“Things are going good,” said Nathaniel via telephone.” I’m working on getting my GED and putting my resume together. It has been difficult at times because I have a little daughter now, but I’m still on course. Everything feels more open now.”
Part of Nathaniel’s experience had been as a counselor at a drug rehabilitation facility. However, not having a GED became an obstacle to him keeping the position and stymied any possibility of advancement. Statistics have shown that high school graduates make an average of $200,000 more than non graduates and a college degree will net you $1,000,000 more over a lifetime of employment. This fact isn’t lost on Nathaniel, who also explored a job possibility listed in the PJN classifieds, working for Amtrack.
“When I was a counselor, having a GED at least, was a requirement,” recalled Nathaniel. “I eventually want to get a bachelor degree. I’ve found a little part-time job, so I’m doing a little better for myself, but I want to plot my own course, not stay where I am forever.”
Nathaniel’s positive outlook can only be an asset as his story continues to unfold.
The other change that’s taken place is that now I am doing job development as part of my duties at PJN. So far the experience has been gratifying and eye-opening. One client in particular however caught my eye mainly because of her vastly overlooked potential. She is not alone though because several of the clients that come through PJN are full of potential. Putting them in the right situation to positively exploit that potential is what PJN hopes to do. With Flora, the client’s name, that is exactly what we hope for. Flora, originally from
and a first time visitor to PJN, was interested in improving her English skills, the lack of which makes her very nervous in interviews. Ecuador
Flora opened up a bit after being reassured that PJN could help with her request. She didn’t have a resume, but after a while Flora revealed she attended college in
Ecuador for three years, studying civil engineering, and Hostos Community College in the Bronx where she had accumulated over 50 credits. She also has computer skills (Lotus), loves calculus and has been a math tutor. Flora has a lot of employable skills; however she is lacking confidence, weighted down by her need to improve her English skills, which frankly aren’t terrible.
“I have things I want to improve,” said Flora. “And I don’t want to be taken advantage of because of my English.”
Flora, a single mother, is putting together her resume and taking ESL classes at PJN. Like Susan and Nathaniel, Flora, like so many PJN participants, has specific employment needs and desires, but quite often a boost of confidence in their own abilities, is the catalyst they need to lift themselves to another level.
“I want to be sure and practice [interviewing] skills,” said Flora. “I like this type of personal counseling. It makes me feel confident and keeps hope alive in my heart.”
With that type of sentiment in mind, how can any of us have anything but a Happy New Year.
For more information or questions call PJN at 917-546-9104 or 917--546-0971. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.