NSCN Success Story: Kathleen

Read how working with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach, taking advantage of NSCN resources and other strategies helped Kathleen land a new position.

After hearing about NSCN from a volunteer with the Women’s Center at County College of Morris (CCM) who spoke highly of the group, Kathleen became a member and worked with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach. She states, “I am grateful for the opportunity to have a coach.  It made me stay focused and accountable.  She was positive, upbeat and encouraging.  I also met with another coach to talk about my LinkedIn profile.  Her thoughts and perspective were good to hear.”
Kathleen also took advantage of a variety of NSCN resources including webinars, accounts with Big Interview and Jobscan, employment experts, author zoom sessions and weekly support groups. She used the following strategies to find a new position:
  • Focused on networking groups both in person and then online once the pandemic started.
  • Took advantage of any free resources out there such as the Women’s Center at CCM and Dress for Success - Northern NJ 10 Counties and all of their free programs including Steps 2 Success which is a Job Readiness Boot Camp.
  • Sought out and volunteered with organizations to gain skills and expand my network.
  • Took a part time and temp jobs
  • Took free online classes offered by Passaic County Community College.
  • Participated in a 3-person job buddy group and am still part of an accountability group which meets weekly.
  • Grew my LinkedIn connections and started to post articles and comment. I wrote an article for LinkedIn.
Kathleen shares, “I was only unemployed for about 4 months, but I was under-employed for 10 years while I worked part-time in retail.  Before that I had a 3-year gap of no paid work, while I focused on raising my children and volunteering with local schools and sporting organizations. With regard to the most challenging part of her job search, Kathleen states, “The most challenging part was never feeling as if I had done enough. It was hard to relax and enjoy time off.  Searching for a job these days is more than a 9-5 job. “
Kathleen recently landed a job asa customer service representative for a small company that supplies head-to-toe personal protection equipment.  The company has been in business for more than 30 years. The industry is new to me but I have used customer service skills in my past 4 jobs encompassing 25 plus years.  My past experience was in person, face to face and my interactions were very simple.  Now I service clients over the telephone, frequently using 7 or more computer screens to answer their questions.  Right before I started my job (and part of the reason the recruiter thought of me for the job), I had received a certificate in Managing Customer Service from a community college.  After starting my job, I took customer service classes on LinkedIn Learning and watched YouTube videos.  I was also able to listen in and observe my coworkers.”
As she returns to work, Kathleen offers this advice to other NSCN members, “Stay positive.  Network.  Find people who work in the company or industry that you want to work in.  Use LinkedIn.  Take classes.”