NSCN Member Success Story: Judy

After being underemployed for a total of three years, Judy landed a job with the help of her NSCN Volunteer Career Coach and her own determination.

Judy was laid off in 2012, and although she spent time doing work in between then and now, she continued looking for a full-time, permanent position. She attended the Health Care Career Event co-sponsored by New Start Career Network (NSCN) and AARP in June 2016 and learned about the services being offered by NSCN. She joined and then requested a volunteer career coach.
 
“I was laid off in February 2012. I have worked for my husband’s company since that time, however the company did not bring in any income, so I was unpaid. I started a temporary administrative assistant job in April 2014, so I was underemployed for three years altogether.”
 
Judy used a variety of online jobs sites as part of her job search strategy.
 
“I used alerts from various online job sites. I applied to this job in September 2016 as a result of an alert from an online job site.”
 
She also benefited from NSCN services, which “provided a one-on-one coach to answer questions, give me pointers on interviewing, my resume, and my specific job search challenges. My coach gave me suggestions and confidence on how to answer certain questions during my interviews.”
 
After three years of searching for the right job, Judy has transitioned into a position as a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer at a healthcare IT solutions provider, which is similar to the QA job she held prior to becoming unemployed.
 
“This is a new job in the same occupation, but different industry. My previous work experience was in the telecommunications industry; the new job is in the healthcare industry.”
 
The biggest challenge for Judy in her job search was, “remembering technical details about my previous job assignments.”
 
Judy’s coach offered perspective on what helped her succeed in transitioning into a full-time, permanent job.
 
“Judy needed to see her place in the rapidly changing marketplace, deal with her work experience in and on today's terms, and keep her spirits high. We spoke regularly and discussed ways to address her situation and buoy her emotions. Judy listened intently, asked a lot of questions, took guidance graciously and gratefully, explaining that she would have little time to put it into action. But she stayed with it and adapted over time.”
 
Judy learned a lot from her job search and shares the following advice with NSCN members who are seeking to transition into a new career or job:
 
“Take advantage of the Ready to Work grant that gives incentives to companies that hire unemployed/underemployed New Jerseyans. Keep a job search log—date applied, job title, employer name/location, source of job posting, results, contact name/phone, etc. and check your log before applying to jobs to see if you have already applied. Write and submit cover letters with your applications. And job searching takes a lot of time—try to allocate several hours each day for job search activities.”
 
Judy admits that she did not put as much time into her job search as she could have because of time constraints, such as working her temporary, full-time job and helping her husband with his company. She believes that NSCN could offer “specific guidance on how people who don’t have a lot of time can make the best use of their time for job searching, such as how to organize/schedule time for job search activities, and how to prioritize job search activities.”