I have the pleasure of receiving many of the feedback forms, surveys and reviews that our job seekers complete, noting their experiences at our employment services agency. We often receive helpful feedback, shout-outs to staff and success stories. I enjoy reading and sharing these stories as people chronicle their job search journeys and reflect back to us how coming to our organization helped them achieve their goals.
A Pattern of Success
Success stories often have a pattern, starting with a self-assessment, where the writer identifies their starting point and the gaps or obstacles between where they are and where they want to be. Our organization usually appears next in the story, as the “guide”, to help review and assess the gaps. The writer will describe how they worked with our staff to create a plan, or what they might call a “map”, to help them achieve their goals.
Next, the job seeker will often chronicle their journey through the map of learning opportunities, citing certain programs or services that stood out as impactful and mentioning staff who helped them along the way. The stories often end with a crescendo as the writer describes the job they have obtained and the positive impact that working has made in their life. I enjoy looping these stories back to our team members to remind them that their work matters and that they are making a positive impact in the lives of our participants.
A Common Theme
I have noticed that there is a common theme among these stories–a theme of hope lost and hope found, of confidence gained and perspectives changed forever. Almost every story I read mentions an increase in hope, confidence, and self-worth, along with the value of having partners in your job search who believe in you.
To gain confidence you may have to take risks, step out of your comfort zone and do things you have never done before. You may have to go to class, even if you haven’t been a student for many years, you may have to make a cold-call or speak in front of other people, but with risk comes reward.
What risks are you willing to take today?
Author: Colleen Penner, Director of Programming at OFE