The first Jobs For Life class, sponsored by Love INC of Mason County, is nearing graduation. On Saturday, October 25, 2014 at Shelton United Methodist Church, four students will be honored for completing the program.
According to program Site Director Beth Johnston, this will be an uplifting event where family and friends are invited to hear students speak about all they’ve learned in the Jobs For Life course.
“The class has been a great learning experience for everyone. We’ve had two separate round table discussions with local business owners who talked about their businesses and guided students through a ‘mock interview’ process,” said Johnston. She described how, over the course of the program, students prepare for interviews by practicing their communication skills, writing resumes, and learning how to properly fill out job applications.
“The business owners were very helpful to the students. They talked a lot about the benefits of having a positive attitude, building character, and how to interact well with the customer.” said Johnston. “They offered valuable tips, such as submitting an application even if a position is not currently available, because you never know when someone may leave a job.” Johnston went on to explain how classmates critique each other’s work to help improve their own resumes and applications. By sharing job listings and assessing the skills employers are seeking, students are able to see the commonalities in job descriptions. “This helps students realize the skills they need to cultivate in order to land and hold a particular job,” added Johnston.
“I believe we will have at least three of the four current students employed either before graduation, or soon after,” Johnston said. “One of the original seven students left the program when they got a good-paying, full-time job, and another one obtained a seasonal position which could lead to full time employment.
“One of the biggest obstacles for many students is the lack of self-confidence to just go in and fill out an application,” explained Johnston, adding that, “One student had this issue, but through the encouragement of a mentor and other students became ready to start applying and interviewing for jobs.”
This program is also helping students match their job expectations to their current skill set. “We’re helping them see how they can work their way up to the position they want. That way, even if they don’t get the job they are aiming for, if they work well and show ability, they can eventually move up to the job they really want,” said Johnston.
Another unique aspect of this program is that it uses personalities from the Bible to help students learn what kind of character traits are important to employers. For example, King David was a man who did what was right and was rewarded for it, but at one point in his life made a wrong choice and it had devastating consequences. The program asks students to look at examples like this and relate them to a work situation by asking the question – “If this happened to me, how would I handle it?”
“We also let students know that people are praying for them, and that helps a lot,” Johnston said.
If you would like to be involved with the Jobs For Life program, contact Love INC of Mason County at (360) 462-5684.