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Brighter Opportunities for Marcy at Goodwill

When Marcy moved out of her parents’ house, she had limited opportunities. At that time, she didn’t have a Driver’s License and this limited her to only a few jobs. She also was lacking some critical job skills to be successful in a job. Marcy was referred to the Community Based Vocational Training Program in Iowa Falls to gain valuable job skills.  Marcy was successful through the program and was awarded a certificate for the significant progress that she had made.

Marcy started at the Mason City store 11 years ago and has learned and grown in the store. She started as general retail and was promoted to Team Lead.  Marcy comes into work every day with a smile on her face ready to do her job. Marcy prides herself on her friendly service when she is at the register. She has had customers compliment her about how helpful and friendly she is on the floor. Marcy loves that Goodwill can help veterans through  Boots to Suits and school-aged kids through the Shoe and Mitten Parties. Marcy likes being a part of Goodwill and wants to continue to grow with Goodwill in the future.




When you make a monetary donation, you help support our veterans and children in need in our community for our Boots to Suits and Shoe and Mitten Parties. Our Boots to Suits program is for veterans who need clothing. They receive $40 Goodwill gift cards to use in our Goodwill stores to thank them for their service to our country and to give them a hand up. Our Shoe and Mitten Parties are held every December in seventeen of our store locations to children in need. Each child receives shoes, a pair of socks, hats, and mittens for the winter months ahead. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation visit https://www.goodwillgreatplains.org/donate/monetary-gifts/. Your donations are greatly appreciated.

Meet the Skills Trainers-Christine

Job Description:  The Skills Trainers works with many different participants for many different reasons.  Everyone is in the program for some type of supportive services.  Overall, a skills trainer needs to be adaptable, supportive, and empathetic to the specific needs of the participants that they work with.

What we do:  As a skills trainer I provide education and support of soft skills.  The soft skills we focus on are the personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people.  These are a combination of people skills, social skills, communication skills, character/personality traits, attitudes, career attributes, social and emotional intelligence.

What I like:  I like the variety of this job.  I like the opportunity to work with the variety of people that are in the program.  I really enjoy assisting someone overcome a barrier in their life.

Who’s my hero:  Anyone who has the courage to overcome something that tried to stop them from accomplishing a dream.

What’s my biggest fear:  Fear itself.

What’s my favorite holiday:  Thanksgiving.  Because no one is worried about presents.

Meet the Skills Trainers-Chasity

Hello! My name is Chasity. At Goodwill I have a dual role. I am the skills trainer and the employment specialist in Sioux Falls. As a skills trainer I teach participants the soft skills needed to be successful in the competitive work field. We teach them how to be on time, how to clock in, how to engage properly with their coworkers, and how to stay on track amongst other things. We also teach them how to approach management if they have questions or concerns. Any issues that come up we tackle them together. We are a team.  What I love most is when you see the confidence build in the individuals. It is truly amazing to help be part of someone else’s positive personal growth. It’s so neat to be part of their support team. When you see the participant complete the program and move on to search for competitive employment its very rewarding. I am very lucky to have been given this opportunity to work here. I love what I do at Goodwill.

Who is your hero?

  • Hero: Charles Alderton: Creator of Dr Pepper OR Leslie Knope (Parks and Rec, played by Amy Poehler)

What is your biggest fear?

  • Not being a successful parent to my children.

What is your favorite holiday?

  • Thanksgiving! Because it is all about family, friends and food.

Five Tips When Approaching Your Boss About a Raise

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It’s sweaty palm time: you’re going to ask your boss for a raise.  Today I’ll offer five tips to help you put your best foot forward.

#1.  Understand your worth in the marketplace.  Any number of websites can give you an idea of what your job’s likely to earn in your community at your size organization.  Salary.com and payscale.com are a couple resources, but also seek out recruiters and staffing companies for their input on what jobs like yours are earning in your area.

Talk with your co-workers and with former co-workers who do your job.  The game plan is to know what’s typical so you are well-informed and prepared when sitting down with your boss.

#2.   Show why you deserve a raise.  Make a list of your recent and past achievements. Ideally, support them with numbers just like you’d quantify your achievements on a resume.

Maybe you’ve taken on additional duties. Remember, your goal here is to demonstrate bang for their buck. Show them how you’ve added value to the organization.

#3.   Timing is important:  strike while the iron’s hot. Did you just finish a big project or have some sort of achievement? Chances are better for getting a raise when your achievement is fresh in everyone’s mind.

Schedule a time for your meeting with the boss so no one will be rushed. Stay away from Mondays. Be mindful of your manager’s stressful times. For example, don’t try to meet your boss in finance when the payroll deadline looms.

Keep in mind the company’s typical timeframe for giving raises, if they have one.  You’d ideally want your request to coincide with their typical salary bumps.

#4.   Avoid coming across as needy. The fact you need a raise to meet your financial obligations isn’t the employer’s concern and does not justify a raise. Your argument for a raise must be based on the value you add to the organization, not your inability to manage your finances.

#5.   No employer wants to face an ultimatum. Your threats to quit or to accept another company’s existing offer might help you get more money today, but you may be let go once your employer finds your replacement.

Think about it. Threatening to leave creates an disruption for your boss and the department. The boss might throw money your way to stop a sudden inconvenience, but only long enough to buy them time to find a suitable replacement in their timeframe, not the timeframe you’d just pushed on them.

Do your best to be confident, non-confrontational and prepared. I hope these tips have given you some confidence as you make your case. Their answer could still end up being “no,” but if you don’t ask, you may never get that raise you deserve.  Good luck!

New to Thrifting? How to Shop at Thrift Stores

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Do you remember your first time thrifting? The nervousness, the uncertainty — the thrill? The first trip to Goodwill® is always the start of something great, but it’s been so long since I’ve been a thrift shopper that I sometimes forget that other people might not be. I mean, I’ve literally made it my mission to study thrift culture.

So when I recently heard my friend utter the words “I’ve never been to a thrift store before,” I was in shock. I knew I had to introduce her to the awesomeness of thrift life. I offered to assist with her first foray into the racks, and being the great sport she is, she agreed.

jenna-1                                                    Credit: Jenna Pfueller

Emilie has AMAZING taste, and luckily total game for a new adventure. I always love having a person to dress instead of myself, because A) my closet is full enough and B) it’s like playing Barbies I was a kid.

We chatted a bit about her favorite brands, colors and patterns, then set off in different directions to scour the racks for some goodies to try on.

She picked out a few things she liked– a striped blouse, some jeans, a few skirts in muted colors. And I picked out a few things I thought she’d at least enjoy trying out– a floral dress, a few pairs of cute pumps, a gingham ruffle dress, and a vintage leather jacket.

 

Jenna-2                                                   Credit: Jenna Pfueller

It wasn’t until I got into the dressing room with her and laid out our items that I understood the gravity of what was happening. Emilie confessed not only has she never been to a thrift store, one of her most recent shopping trips involved a personal stylist and complimentary champagne!  She has literally NEVER owned anything that wasn’t new. This is a HUGE step for her and I am so excited to help open the door to this new, thrifty and stylish world!

Her (first!) thrift store haul included:

  • A pair of a nude heels (BRAND NEW!)
  • A pair of jeans
  • A blouse
  • A cashmere sweater dress
  • Long sleeved tee

Total = Less than $35!

Here’s a quick Q&A with our new thrifty comrade:

Q: Why hadn’t you ever been to a thrift store before? Any particular reason?

Emilie: I wouldn’t say I’m a germaphobe, I just don’t like used things. I don’t check out library books. I don’t own antiques or other secondhand furniture. I’ve never bought a used car. It honestly has never been on my radar to shop at a thrift store. Weird, right? But I donate allllll the things to my local Goodwill.

Q: What surprised you (if anything?) on your first foray into Goodwill?

Emilie: Well, That I actually did it and enjoyed it. That you left me alone to shop and I didn’t walk back out. It was not how I imagined it to be. The vastness! I expected it to smell like my grandmother’s closet of mothballs, but it didn’t. I expected the clothing selection to be mostly 70s jumpsuits or other Halloween-appropriate attire. I saw none. I saw name brands! And clothes that appeared freshly washed (they aren’t) because I was surprised at how well cared-for mostly everything appeared. I loved listening to and talking with the employees, each one incredibly personable and hard working. Let’s be honest, it was all one great big surprise.

Q: What were you most excited about?

Emilie: Barely worn nude name brand heels! And $3 jeans, say what?! The most recent pair of jeans I purchased was $250. This single mom can get excited about that cost savings. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to Say Yes. Shopping with you was a fun and memorable experience, something I ordinarily wouldn’t have done. It’s a nice reminder to try new things because (as Daniel Tiger says), you might just like it!

Q: Show us a pic of your favorite find and tell us a little about why you liked it.

Emilie: I have never had a (cashmere!) sweater dress. I get lost in the bulk and boxiness of the cowl neck. This one offsets my booty work at the gym and the short (yikes!) length well enough to give it a try! And all the heart eyes for those shoes. Also, who says to avoid horizontal stripes now?

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jenna-4                                                Credit: @photoemilie