NSCN Success Story: Patricia

Learn how working with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach, joining a Job Search Accountability Group and other strategies helped Patricia land a new position.

After hearing about NSCN from one of the members in the Accountability Group she belongs to, Patricia became a member, and worked with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach.  When asked about her coach, Patricia shares, “She was wonderful! She helped me rewrite my resume. She also gave me strategies on networking and getting noticed on LinkedIn. She was very good for my morale, which by then was taking a beating. Probably the most useful tool she gave me was learning how to create CARS/PARS stories. My IT support jobs didn't involve revenue or sales, so I couldn't figure out how I was accomplishing anything that increased revenue until my job coach had me creating CARS/PARS stories.”

Patricia also took advantage of a variety of NSCN resources including:
  • “They helped me realize I wasn't alone in finding the new job-seeking demands difficult.
  • The video on networking was very helpful in explaining how to think about it. When I started realizing that it was a matter of give and take, of offering help to others, it clicked. 
  • The PARS/CARS video was also very helpful.
  • My career coach was very good. She helped me rewrite my resume in a way that would appeal to corporations, and introduced me to Jobscan.
  • Jobscan was very useful in showing how to spotlight my skills on my resume. It also helped me retool my profile on LinkedIn. After that, the views of my profile increased. About a week later, I was approached by FIS Global.
  • New Start also introduced me to a Resilience Circle, which showed me I wasn't alone in the struggle.”
In addition, Patricia used the following strategies to find a new position:
  • Applying for many jobs through LinkedIn and Indeed. I also looked at Glassdoor, Career Builder, and ZipRecruiter. The company that hired me approached me through LinkedIn.
  • Career fairs at Rutgers and in my local community.
  • I participated in workshops at Rutgers networking and creating a personal brand.
  • I am in an Accountability Group that focuses on job searching. We talk once a week, and have a group on WhatsApp.
  • I joined some groups on Meetup, and took part in online webinars.
  • I consulted with New Start.
  • I took part in a hackathon sponsored by Amazon and Johnson & Johnson.”

Patricia was unemployed for about a year but during that time had a “small work-study job at Rutgers, …it covered food and I was grateful for it during 2020.”  The most challenging part was “learning that the entire job-searching process has changed, and how much it depends on networking and marketing yourself. This was completely new to me, and it's not something I was comfortable with. I was raised not to put myself forward, but to let my work just speak for itself. Now, you have to put yourself forward to get noticed at all. The pandemic did make looking for a job much more difficult, and it probably contributed to the time it took to find another position.”

Patricia’s new position is at FIS Global, also known as Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. FIS offers financial products and services on a global scale. 

Patricia says, “I've been in Information Technology since 1995, and I've worked in the financial industry for years, but this is the first time I've been close to the business side. Previously, my jobs were solely technical. This position is a combination of technical and financial duties. 

I was laid-off in 2017 from my last financial position, and I knew my skills were getting obsolete and in dire need of an upgrade. I decided to get a Master of Information from Rutgers University. The program included courses in information seeking and project management, as well as data analysis and design. It was also the first time I took any university courses in Information Technology; when I started in IT in the 1990s, I had been teaching myself until I was hired as an entry-level helpdesk technician and started getting professional experience. I don't think I would be able to do that today; the field has changed a great deal. “

As she returns to work, Patricia offers this advice to other NSCN members, “Don't give up, and don't take hearing "no" personally. Keep putting yourself out there, even if it's outside your comfort zone. Try to be realistic about what works and what doesn't; for example, if the resume isn't getting views, it might be time to change the resume. Learn new skills; there are ways to do it cheaply and in your own time (LinkedIn, YouTube, Meetup groups, etc.). Realize that you're not alone, and look into helping others that are in your position - it makes you feel better yourself.”