Success Story: Q & A with Jill

Learn how Jill landed a new position by expanding her network, being persistent and perfecting her interview style.

  • What is your new job?  
I am working as a college admissions counselor for a NJ county college.
  • Is this new job in a different occupation or industry for you?  If so, how did you position yourself to make the change?
Same industry and same occupation as my prior employment.
  • What type of career/job did you have before you were unemployed?
I was working as an admissions counselor for a private for-profit college in NJ.
  • How long were you unemployed before finding a new job?
I was laid off at the end of February 2019. Found out I got the new job in November after starting this application process in August 2019; my start date is January 6th.  So I went 11 months with not having a full-time job.
  • What was most challenging about your job search?
Staying in the right frame of mind, staying positive, was my most challenging aspect of looking for a full-time position. I am single. I have a family to support, and the daunting task of paying my monthly obligations was a wee bit scary. I practiced Mindfulness techniques, I upped my game networking, and I made sure to never miss or waste an opportunity.
  • What strategies or tools helped you get this job (online tools, personal contacts, job fairs, etc.)
So this is interesting. At my age I didn’t want to apply to every job opportunity even though I knew I had to have full-time employment. However I also knew I wanted to work at a job I felt I was going to love, and a job that was going to be my last one! I built up my LinkedIn account to over 500 contacts; I did reach out to my professional contacts to let everyone know I was laid off and looking for full-time employment. And I was persistent, because I knew I wanted to work for this county college so I continued to apply to all their jobs using their portal. (In education, it is important to use the posting school’s website rather than some of the popular search engine job sites, such as: Indeed.) In addition, I attended every job interview I was granted. This helped me to perfect my interview style so when I was being interviewed at the county college, I knew I nailed it!
  • How did you learn about the New Start Career Network (NSCN)?
Another interesting story I discovered through opening my mouth and asking questions. I was feeling a bit scared losing my job at the age of 56 and hoping someone would employ me. So I wrote to Victoria Lipnic, acting chair for US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which I stumbled upon by accident. Her executive assistant answered me immediately and shared I should reach out to NSCN; until then I was not familiar with the organization.
  • In what ways did NSCN assist you in your job search?
I used some of the webinars, I worked with a coach, and I attended some live events.
  • How did working with a NSCN Career Coach help you professionally and/or personally?
I liked getting different perspectives on situations, and I liked being able to bounce ideas off of her and getting feedback.
  • What advice would you give to other NSCN members?
Don’t ever give up! No matter what your age is keep plugging away, believe in yourself and your abilities find ways to stay positive.
  • What recommendations would you make to NSCN to better help job seekers?
NSCN is such a valuable resource; we have to find ways to get the word out that this organization exists. I would like to thank NSCN for being there for me and giving me hope. 

Jill's NSCN Volunteer Career Coach Linda, shared the following: "Jill was open to change and willing to try new tactics in her job search...Over and over again, she jumped in, put herself out there and most importantly, knew her value and what she could offer."