Meet Deborah

Deborah Howell’s dedication to working hard began when she landed her first job at only 15 years of age. She was interested in technology, which led to a career in the electronics industry. “I like working in electronics because I like to see a product out in the world and think, ‘I worked on that. I did that,’” she says. However, due to rapid changes in technology, Howell’s position with that company was eliminated and after more than 20 years of employment and she found herself looking for work.

Though her career was changing, her passion for technology remained constant. Howell knew she needed appropriate credentials if she wanted to continue advancing her career. With no college degree, Howell looked to Goodwill to assist in her career development. In 2014 she was one of the participants in the first soldering program ever offered at Goodwill of North Georgia.

While enrolled in the program Howell received hands-on soldering training. She also learned how to build a résumé and how to prepare for an interview. “The training and certification from Goodwill helped me get the job I have today and has allowed me to stand out,” she says.

Deborah Howell is all smiles as she works on assembling an electronic piece at L3 Technologies.

For two years now, Howell has worked as an Electronic Assembler for L3 Technologies. Not only is she an assembler, but she is also an advocate for Goodwill’s mission. “When I started at L3 Technologies, they wanted to know where I got my training,” she says. “I told them Goodwill and since then five additional Goodwill program graduates have started their careers here.”

Howell is a true testament to the Goodwill mission. “Whenever I hear that people are cleaning out their closet, I tell them to go to Goodwill,” she says. “I wouldn’t have a job if it wasn’t for Goodwill.”

I Got the Interview. Now What?

I got the interview. Now what?

– Submitted by Ben Pitts, Career Coach for Goodwill of North Georgia

Out of a stack of who knows how many résumés, yours was chosen as a potential fit for the job. You received the call. You remained calm while scheduling the date and time, and then did a little happy dance after you hung up. You know you are a good fit for the job. All you have to do is tell them why. Simple, right? But what will they ask? How should you respond? How should you dress? Job interviews involve a number of different choices, each sending a different message to the employer. Luckily, Career Connector – an online job search resource – is here with tips and information to help you enter the interview room prepared to impress.

When I was a Career Coach at the East Athens Career Center, interviews was the topic that seemed to stress job seekers the most. They had past interviews where they did not know how to prepare. So they entered the interview room unsure and unconfident. But a simple trick showed them how to prepare for the interview, which boosted their confidence and enthusiasm for the interview, which increased their chances for success. Several job seekers came back to tell me about their experience. So what is the trick?

The trick is that you already know what the interviewer is going to ask. No, I don’t have a cheat sheet for you. The company already gave you one. It’s right there in the job description. All of the qualities and experience the company needs is right there. All you need to do is go through the job description:

  1. Turn the desired skills/qualifications and responsibilities statements into questions.
  2. Practice how you will answer those questions.

For example, “Plan the production schedule for the build cycle” becomes “Are you familiar with or do you have experience in production scheduling?” Or, “Proficient Computer Skills” becomes “What computer systems and software are you familiar with?”

How you answer the questions will set you apart from other candidates. Simply answering that you have production scheduling experience is good, but telling a story about a time you overcame an obstacle while scheduling or how you improved scheduling procedures at your previous company is even better. For each question, try to recall an event where your actions demonstrate the answer.

Don’t worry if you are unable to do this for all of the questions or even answer all of the questions. Just like with other tests, you do not need to score 100% to make the grade or get the job.

For additional tips on interviews, check out Career Connector’s “Interviews” topic and “Interview Questions” article at www.careerconnector.org

Click the link below for a printable version of the latest blog post from Career Connector, powered by Goodwill®.

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Leadership Tip from Elisa Buckner, Summerhill Community Ministries

never give upLeading an organization (or department, or project at work) can be hard, tiring work. But, according to Elisa Buckner, Board Member of Atlanta’s Summerhill Community Ministries, it’s important to stay strong and focused, and get through the task at hand, no matter what.

“Never give up,” she said. “There are definitely times when the funding might not be there, or challenges might come up and you feel overwhelmed, but don’t give up. When you are working with people and you are working with real, live beings, you want to keep encouraging, keep teaching, and keep giving positive alternatives to what may be a very dark situation that they are in.”

As a leader, how can you inspire others (and yourself) to keep going with the work gets tough?

  1. Break it down. Sometimes work can be overwhelming. Take the project or work one step at a time, setting smaller, achievable goals and benchmarks. Focus on the smaller pieces that will eventually make up the whole puzzle.
  2. Stop to smell the roses. Or, to take a walk. Or, to have dinner with a friend. Encourage staff to take time for themselves. If the work is hard and stressful, they will need some moments to recharge and refresh, and come back ready to try again.
  3. Celebrate small wins. Motivate the team by recognizing accomplishments along the way.
  4. Show them the bigger picture. The project at hand may cause some long hours and sleepless nights, but it’s all part of the larger mission. Accomplishing the task will set the organization up for success.

Meet Rosita

Rosita Aranad completed Goodwill's C3 program and now works as a medical translator.
Rosita Aranad completed Goodwill’s C3 program & works as a medical translator.

Rosita Aranad faced challenges assimilating into a new culture after immigrating to the U.S. The single mother of two had to overcome language barriers, learn new customs and find a way to provide for her family without the equivalent of an American G.E.D.

Goodwill’s Youth Employment Services (Y.E.S.) program helped Aranad find her way back into the public school system to complete her secondary education and helped her with the transition to college. “The Y.E.S. program helped me with gas money and a part-time job,” she says. “But that was high school. Goodwill helped me go back to college and get a certificate so I can work in the medical field — that was my dream job.”

Now employed as a full-time Spanish/English translator at a medical office in Gainesville, Aranad is glad to be a provider and role model for her family.

 

Spring Spotlight: Youth Employment

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We’re hoping to put a spring in the step of youth ages 16 to 24 looking for their first job or a new one. Here’s a look at youth-focused job fairs and employment workshops at Goodwill career centers throughout North Georgia this Spring.

March 25

Youth Job Fair Workshop in Stockbridge

March 26

Youth Job Fair in Stockbridge

April 5

Youth Job Fair in Woodstock

April 7

Youth Job Fair in Decatur

For more information on career center events for all job seekers (youth and older) check out our career center calendars. With 11 local centers that are free and open to the public, Goodwill career centers are great resources for taking the next step in your career.