Posted on November 28, 2017 at 6:00 am
At the end of 2015, right after Christmas, the entire department where I worked at a local company was laid off—not the happiest New Year’s surprise. The change was big and sudden, and one I hadn’t planned for. After over a decade at the same company, I didn’t know how the job-search process worked anymore. Listings were largely online, application forms were online, and there were social media decisions to make that could affect a job search.
I admit, the first time I walked into WorkSource Spokane, I was mainly there to jump through hoops for my unemployment checks. But it didn’t take me long to realize that WorkSource offers a lot more than that.
For anyone who makes it in to WorkSource for a program and asks questions about their job search, Spokane’s WorkSource will provide a wealth of information, opportunities, and strategies for finding work that works for you!
That’s why I was thrilled when WorkSource Career Coach Beverly Pogue—who personally helped me in my hours of need—was willing to answer questions for today’s blog.
Melissa Rhoades: What types of services does WorkSource Spokane offer job seekers?
Beverly Pogue: WorkSource Spokane provides a variety of services including workshops on resume writing, skills and abilities, perfecting applications, cover letters, interviewing, and job-search strategies. We also offer free use of computers, fax machines, printing, and all office tools needed for an effective job search. Job seekers can receive career coaching and one-on-one assistance in the job search process too. Plus, we sponsor events such as Job Fairs and Employer Showcases where job seekers have an opportunity to meet with employers.
MR: Do people need to receive unemployment benefits to take advantage of WorkSource programs?
BP: No. WorkSource Spokane is open to the public and can be used by anyone seeking employment. This is a tax payer benefit.
MR: What should people bring with them on their first visit?
BP: You will need your photo ID and a cell phone. If you have a resume, that would be wonderful. If not, we’ll help you build one. Bringing a list of past employment with dates is very helpful. When they arrive, we ask people to register on worksourcewa.com.
MR: What advice do you have for job seekers who have trouble adjusting from print to online applications?
BP: Relax, take your time, and remember we are here to help! If you have an opportunity to get a flash drive, we can show you how to make the whole process easier. Be willing to learn and be coachable; remember the new processes are used by most all employers, so we encourage job seekers to be ever learning. That is progress!
MR: When I used WorkSource resources and came to workshops, I found Job Club to be extremely helpful. In fact, that’s how I know you! Can you explain what Job Club is and who can attend?
BP: We have two Job Clubs at WorkSource. One is Career Club, and it’s open to the public. It is held on the second Wednesday of each month. It goes over various topics and brings in visiting employers. We also offer E3 “Mindset of Success” classes which teach the eight Life Principles of Success. E3 stands for Engaged + Energized + Empowered = Employment (E4).
Graduates of E3 are invited to attend E4 Professional Job Club, which is the club I facilitate. Held weekly on Wednesday mornings from 9:30–11:30am, the series lasts 12 weeks or until the job seeker returns to work.
The E3–E4 program has a placement rate of 93.7%—that’s an outstanding success!!
Orientation for these classes, called E3 Sneak Peek, is held every Thursday at 1:30pm. Plan to attend and see if this class is for you!
MR: When I was in E4 Job Club, I was greatly helped by your invention called the “Validation T”—especially when preparing for interviews. Can you share what that is and how it works?
BP: This is a tool I designed to validate, in story form, that the job seeker has the skills required for a job, as listed in the job description. It’s a tool to help organize true-life experiences: where you gained a required skill, the context of the situation, and a positive outcome.
MR: Yes, getting those concrete stories down on paper so I could practice telling them before an actual interview was very useful! I found the “T” format really helpful too, listing each skill in a left-hand column and each story to the right of its relevant skills in a second column.
Is there anything else about WorkSource you’d like to tell our readers?
BP: Depending on your situation and goals, WorkSource may be able to provide training opportunities to help match you to an employer’s needs. The best way to find out how you might benefit from these opportunities is to come on down and speak with one of our Workforce Professionals.
MR: If you could offer job seekers just one piece of advice about how to approach their job search, what would it be?
BP: My advice is to treat the job-seeking process as a job itself! Your job is now to find a position where you will be happy and earn the funds necessary to meet your family’s needs.
Work at it on a daily basis.
Set goals to learn the new processes and latest techniques to perform this job, assuring the success you’re looking for. That’s what we provide at WorkSource Spokane, the latest 21st century job-search skills and techniques!
At the same time, remember your value! Just because you lost your job does not mean you lost your value!
Stay positive and build your brand: dependability, hard work, and excellent work ethics. Remember, employers look for employees that will offer a good return on their investment (ROI)! They’re looking for a responsible individual—like you! And the job market has never been better. We have close to 8,000 job openings on the WorkSource Spokane job site right now.
MR: Beverly, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us! You—and everyone at WorkSource Spokane—have greatly helped me. I know you help a lot of other people too. I highly recommend that all job seekers in the area visit WorkSource Spokane for free, expert assistance that they won’t find anywhere else!