LaDonna’s Memorable Experiences at Goodwill

This is a follow-up to the story, “LaDonna’s Potential Realized Through Goodwill” published on January 25, 2019. If you would like to read this story visit the link:

LaDonna wasn’t expecting to receive an award at the Employee Connectivity Retreat this year. Her face in tears as she was accepting this award says it all. “It felt good to know the people I work with really appreciate me,” Ladonna said while smiling. “As a manager, I want to help people grow and to see my team sees this is a reward enough.”

LaDonna will be retiring at the end of this year and she is reflecting on the time that she has had with Goodwill. “When I came to Goodwill I knew nobody but as time went on I got to know names and I give people hugs now. I tell my co-workers they are family. I spend more time with them then I do my own husband,” LaDonna said while laughing. Goodwill has been a special place for LaDonna because she has learned leadership skills that have inspired her employees. “The one thing I can’t express enough is Goodwill giving me this chance. When I first started I was unsure of myself and Tami kept encouraging me saying, ‘You can do it’. If it wasn’t for Goodwill giving me a chance I wouldn’t have been able to experience what I do now,” LaDonna stated with reflection.

The plans that LaDonna has after she retires from Goodwill is to travel and spend time with family. LaDonna states with excitement, “It’s important for me to spend time with my family. I have a daughter in California and 2 brothers in Arizona. I want to spend as much time as I can with them.” Some of the places that LaDonna wants to travel to is Niagara Falls and the Redwood Forrest. LaDonna is excited about the next chapter in her life and we wish her all the best for the future. 

I Have a Side Hustle. Should I Tell My Boss? Why Should They Care?

First Job Compact 940

By Randy Wooden

Moonlighting has given way to a new term – side hustle.  Throw in gig economy, and it’s a new world out there. But does your boss need to know what you do in your spare time to earn extra income?  Some companies require you to tell them if you’re earning money outside of your employment with them. They have three primary reasons for wanting to know.

  1. They want to be sure you’re not creating a conflict of interest. In my role with Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina (Winson Salem), I lead our Professional Center, assisting professionals with their job search.  It would be a conflict of interest for me to have a side hustle where I provide similar individualized services for an hourly fee. It would also be inappropriate for me to go to work for a direct competitor.
  2. They don’t want other work to negatively impact your ability to perform your current job. For example, if my job requires me to be on call or perhaps work an irregular schedule, but my side gig requires me to be on site, my full-time employer would have issues with that. You can’t be in two places at once. If your side hustle work means you show up tired or late, your full-time employer won’t be happy.
  3. Your side hustle could reflect negatively on your primary employer. Companies guard their brand to avoid controversy and awkward publicity.

Even if your employer doesn’t require you to disclose your side hustle, I’d encourage you to level with them. Any potential fallout is likely much less than if they happen to discover it later, especially if they find  one or more of their concerns above apply.

Whether it’s out of necessity to make ends meet or simply as a way to earn a little spending money, many people have multiple income sources.

Let’s consider some potential side hustles. There’s always the part-time hourly job in the service industry; retail, restaurants, and others come to mind. Scheduling work hours could be a challenge and mayconflict with your full-time job.

The internet has given rise to a multitude of jobs you can perform whenever you wish. Whether it’s being a driver, renting out a room, doing tasks, providing care or perhaps selling items online, you choose how much time you wish to devote to it. You could also choose to work an hourly job part-time from home. This could alleviate trying to be in two places at once – the issue you might encounter if trying to work in customer service, for instance.

Lots of people work a side hustle, and many employers realize this.  Regardless of your reason for taking on a second job, keep in mind why employers would want to be informed. Good luck!

The Smiling Face of Goodwill

As soon as you walk through the doors of the Goodwill Support Center you will see Keegan with a big smile on his face greeting you with a warm, pleasant, “Hello, how are you?” Keegan has been with Goodwill for 3 years and has made a lasting impact on everyone he meets. He loves his job at Goodwill as a phone operator and being the first one to meet and greet people each morning. Keegan likes being around people here at Goodwill and enjoys working with everyone. Keegan has an upbeat, outgoing personality that we are happy to have at Goodwill. Let’s learn more about Keegan!

  • What is your favorite movie?
    • The Fast and Furious Franchise
  • What is your favorite type of music?
    • Classic Rock
  • What is your favorite band/artist?
    • AC/DC
  • What is your favorite book?
    • The Series of Unfortunate of Events and Harry Potter
  • What is your favorite TV Show?
    • NCIS
  • Who is your favorite college sports team?
    • Iowa State Cyclones

Top 3 Challenges for Veterans Transitioning to the Corporate World


By Randy Wooden

Most job hunters face challenges, particularly when looking to change industries or job functions. Even though the unemployment rate for veterans is below that of the general population, veterans may face different challenges; let’s explore three and some tips for dealing with them.

1. The written word, particularly resumes. All industries have unique jargon, and the military is no different with its job titles, acronyms, and phrasing. Your task is to de-militarize your resume’s wording by using the corporate world’s equivalent terminology. For example, personnel could translate into associates or human resources. Mission could translate to project. Company/squadron/platoon could translate into department, division, or perhaps organization. The website is one of many resources that help translat military-speak into corporate-speak. Try having your resume reviewed by a career coach or civilian hiring official for their feedback.

2.  Networking. Most of us, veterans included, tend to spend time with our co-workers and family rather than establishing and maintaining a broad professional network. Try attending veterans  and professional events beyond hiring fairs.  Check LinkedIn or a Google search for veterans groups that focus on advancing careers.  You’ll find you have company wrestling with a career transition. You’ll pick up pointers on how to engage in the civilian labor market while establishing relationships with others who’ve already made the leap and are eager to help others do the same. Get out, and get involved.

3. The interview. Just as you’ve tried to replace military-speak with corporate language on your resume, you’ll need to do the same during your interview. Getting the words right is only part of the challenge

Boot camp works to remove a person’s individuality: “I” becomes “we.”  In interviews, you’ll need to cite accomplishments, ideally your accomplishments and not necessarily those of your team. Now is the time to toot your own horn.

Ask people to do practice interviews so you can practice using  civilian rather than military-speak. Your service is great; now it is time to convey how you did it in terminology your potential employer can understand.

Remember to smile and talk with your hands and arms open. You’re bringing lots of technical skills as well as training in a myriad of interpersonal scenarios. You have transferable hard and soft skills that include things like problem solving, negotiating, dependability, critical thinking and effective team work.

Many employers are wisely eager to hire vets. Do your part: show them how your past experiences mesh well in their corporate world.

My Boss Just Asked Me If I’m Looking for Another Job. What Should I Say?

Your boss calls you into their office.  “Are you looking for another job?”  Gulp!  Now, what?

Why are they asking?  How should you respond?

In all likelihood, your manager suspects you’re looking and is seeking to confirm that hunch.  Asking that question for no reason seems unlikely; assume they’ve heard or sensed something that prompted their question.

Let’s assume you are looking or interviewing.  Admitting you’re looking for another position could make you appear disloyal or uncommitted to your current job.  Instead of lying or being forthcoming, you could dodge the question. Ask why they’re asking.  “Why do you ask?”  Or, “Should I be looking?” With either dodge, you could gain insight as to what prompted their question.

Your boss may say, “Well, I’d heard you weren’t happy and were out looking.”  Do you use this opportunity to voice your concerns that have you looking for a job?  It depends on your boss.  If they say something such as, “Let’s talk.  I value your work,” then perhaps you discuss why you are looking for other opportunities.

If you choose to discuss it, don’t dwell on negatives.  Talk about seeking continued challenge and professional growth.  It’s not uncommon for workers to change jobs and/or companies many times in their careers.  Don’t be surprised if you’re asked whether you’re looking; be ready with a response.  Good luck!