NSCN Member Success Story: Beth

Read about how Beth first worked with NSCN Volunteer Career Coaches to land a job, then went on to become a Volunteer Career Coach herself!

Beth worked as a special project coordinator in the public health industry before becoming unemployed for nearly two years. She learned about the New Start Career Network (NSCN) through Northern N.J. Professionals in Transition in Maplewood, N.J. and applied for a Volunteer Career Coach. At the same time, Beth also decided to volunteer to become an NSCN coach herself and attended the coach orientation training. There she connected to other NSCN volunteers, including several who are affiliated with NSCN strategic partner United Way of Northern New Jersey, which also provides coaching to job seekers.
 
“I treated my job search as a full time job,” said Beth. She turned her unemployment into an opportunity to connect to many contacts on a more personal level, which is something she didn’t have time to do before. “Ultimately I built a loose partnership of support for myself as well as being available to volunteer and offer support to my contacts.”
 
Through her interaction with different NSCN Volunteer Career Coaches, she received good feedback and different perspectives, as well as support and ideas to help her improve her resume, LinkedIn profile, and social marketing. In addition, prior to joining NSCN,  Beth sought further education and earned her MPA at Rutgers, which proved useful in helping her find a job. 
 
She found the NSCN training, webinars, and in-person events to be helpful tools.  Of her experience with NSCN, Beth says, “All in all, the support at NSCN was welcomed and I felt heard and not alone."
 
Like many NSCN job seekers, Beth reported that “it is frustrating to feel like applications go in the big black hole,” and that “overcoming age discrimination and long-term unemployment” were challenging.
 
Through her persistence and networking efforts, Beth was able to land a position as part-time program coordinator for a major NJ healthcare foundation She noted  that the process of searching for a job should continue even after landing a position. “My position is part time, which will give me the luxury to continue to market myself to get additional work and to continue to always network.”
 
Beth will now give back by working with other NSCN job seekers and hopes they can learn from her experience.   Her advice to job seekers?  “Always keep a positive perspective. We are more than our work; I learned to define myself in other ways and not just by my work. I learned to value friends and support networks and that made all the difference in helping to keep a good perspective.”