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LaDonna’s Potential Realized Through Goodwill

If you walk into the Spencer Goodwill you will find La Donna talking and laughing alongside her crew. La Donna is currently the Store Manager and has been there for 6 years.  La Donna states, “I like to see everyone happy, talking and helping each other out.”  For a majority of her life La Donna spent traveling with her husband who was in the Army.  La Donna said, “I worked for the Military Exchange for about 20 years.” After her husband’s Army time was completed they both moved to Spencer.  La Donna started out as a Cashier at Goodwill, however, Tami who was their regional manager at the time, encouraged her to be an Assistant Manager. “Goodwill helped me see my potential,” La Donna stated proudly. One of the reasons that La Donna loves her store so much is that her crew takes care of her. “I had knee surgery about 4 years ago and they always are helpful and will ask if they can lift a box for me,” La Donna states. La Donna believes that Goodwill is a blessing to community and that they do so many good things with their employees and programs.

Job Center Spotlight-Sioux City, IA

Each week we are going to spotlight one of our Job Centers. This week we are spotlighting our Job Center right here at 3100 W. 4th Street in Sioux City, IA. Our Job Centers are a great free employment resource for our community to use to search and apply for jobs, improve computer skills and access community resources. At our Sioux City, IA location we also offer free English language learning and Adult Hi-Set (GED) Classes. Our Job Center Representative, Silvia, is willing to help you reach your employment goals. Let’s learn more about Silvia.

  • What are 3 things still left on your bucket list?
    • Visit another country (France)
    • Learn an instrument
    • Overcome my fear of heights and go sky diving. (Hopefully I don’t die)
  • If you could have one superpower what would you choose?
    • Flight
  • If you had to listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
    • Stand by Me By Prince Royce

Come visit Silvia and our Job Center in Sioux City IA. Our Job Center hours are Monday-Thursday 9am-5pm and Friday 9am-noon.

A Positive Outlook on Life Despite Life’s Challenges

Before Tracy came to Goodwill of the Great Plains she was living in Eastern Iowa where she was battling Breast Cancer. She knew that she wanted to be closer to family, so she moved back to Sioux City. There were challenges that Tracy was facing after she had fought Breast Cancer which included needing time off for doctor’s visits and having a more flexible schedule. She knew that she needed to find a position that would help support her during this time. She applied for a job at Goodwill and they were flexible around her schedule for doctor’s appointments.

Positivity and lifting people up has been one of the lessons that Tracy has learned during her life especially after battling Breast Cancer. She carries her uplifting spirit to other people whether they are co-workers or customers. One of the ways that Tracy has a positive impact on her co-workers is through her inspirational quote board. There are quotes about team work and it is just a way that spread positive thinking in the work area. She says, “It has helped team work in the back area since the inspiration board has been posted.” Tracy has been with Goodwill for a year and a half and has achieved a lot during this time which has included to being promoted to Key Holder within 6 months after she started, becoming CPR certified, and completing the Sky’s the Limit leadership training program.  Tracy said, “Sky’s the Limit pushed you to your goals and taught you how to work with people.” Tracy loves what Goodwill stands for and wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. “I love the job, I love what I am doing, and I don’t want to go anywhere else,” Tracy stated with a big smile on her face.

Phillip’s Purpose Found in Helping Others

Phillip has come a long way since he first started in the Pre-Vocational job training program. “At first, I was struggling with my job tasks,” says Phillip. However, since he was open to suggestions and change Phillip has progressed through the job training program and is now more independent and confident in his job. Phillip said, “I started in the balers, and then moved on to Contracts working with the nuts and bolts. Currently, I do janitorial work in the Retail Store and Support Center. I am willing to help anyone who needs help.” Phillip loves that Goodwill is about working together for a greater good. Phillip said that what he likes most about Goodwill is that “We serve people in the community and they are willing to go out and take the extra step for people in need.” 

Start Your New Year Job Search the Right Way

As we turn the page to a new year, some of resolve to eat better, lose weight, give up bad habits… and some resolve to land a new job in the coming year.

While I can’t help those other areas, I can offer tips if you’re planning to step out into the job market in 2019.

What’s changed since the last time you looked for work?  I guess that depends on how long it’s been since you looked around.  Technology has heavily impacted how people learn of, apply to, and interview for positions.

You’ll want to become familiar with job sites such as Indeed, Monster, Career Builder and others.  LinkedIn has many jobs listed, too, but it also serves as the primary social medium platform for professionals in a job search – so much so that I host a weekly LinkedIn workshop to ensure my program’s clients are fully utilizing it in their searches.

Be aware you’ll need to customize your resume based on the job for which you’re applying.  Gone are the days with a one-size-fits-all resume where you use only your cover letter to show why you’re a fit.  Yes, you should still write a cover letter, just be aware the employer likely won’t read it unless they like your resume.

Customizing your resume means incorporating the key words (functions, processes, acronyms, jargon) mentioned in the job description and/or qualifications.  Of course, do it only if you’re being truthful.  Make sure to cite your accomplishments, quantifying them where possible.

Technical skills have taken on a much greater role in someone being able to perform their job.

The days of someone without technical skills being able to support themselves, much less support a family, are largely gone.  Does this mean you have to go back for a college degree?  Not necessarily.  But it may mean you’ll need to upgrade your computer or other skills.  Our workplace is changing.  It’s important you keep your tech skills up to date.

Another change is the increased reliance on staffing companies/recruiters.  More and more we’re seeing employers elect to use a staffing company in lieu of hiring the employee directly.  This allows the employer to “try you before they buy you.”  So don’t discount staffing firms – they can often be that “foot in the door” to employers.

Now you have the resume(s), you know to conduct web searches for openings, you’ve created your LinkedIn account and you’ve sought out recruiters.  That’s a great start!

Start?  Yep.  One thing which hasn’t changed over time is the value of networking.  People tend to hire those they know, like and trust.  You’ll want to speak with as many people as possible to let them know you’re looking and what you’re looking for.  Ask for names of their friends so you can continue to grow your network.

While you’re talking with others, be sure to ask questions about any barriers (education/past experiences/skills) which might hold you back.  You’ll hopefully not only learn about any obstacles, but in the meantime you’ll be developing new business relationships.

The job search has changed.  If you’re starting a search in 2019, I hope today’s blog has given you a general sense for what you’ll need to do.  Good luck!