#PowerofaJob: Focusing on what she can control helps student land a job

Happy Workforce Wednesday!

As partners in Washington state’s WorkSource system and the American Job Center Network, the Employment Security Department helps people – unemployed or not – find new jobs and learn new skills. We help them experience the life-changing Power of a Job.

Every week, we spotlight a different Power of a Job success story. This week, we bring you Kate Greene of WorkSource Thurston County. This instructor of Strategies for Success — a life-skills class at WorkSource — shares how she helped Jesse, a homeless mom. Kate helped Jesse move her attention away from circumstances beyond her control and focus instead on changing what she could control. The result: three interviews and a job offer!

Jesse was a Strategies for Success participant who I spent about three weeks with, off and on.

She was homeless and had been bouncing around, living at different times with her mother, sister or father. No situation was working out. She also had a four-year-old son. She was in and out of sanction* and, at one point during the class, was hospitalized. She was just struggling to figure out how to become independent and successful with her employment and as a mother.

So we worked a lot together on her roadmap to success, which is probably my favorite tool in our program. It’s basically a picture of where you are now and where you want to be. It was a great visual for her to keep adding to and working on.

But a lot of the work with her was getting her focus away from her external conditions and situations, which ultimately we can’t control. I watched her come into every class with a lot of scattered energy, responding to the chaos in her life and finger pointing to these situations being the cause of where she found herself.

Then I watched her hone in and learn what she can control. I watched her listening intently, taking it all in and continuing to design her plan. So, over the course of my short time with her, she had three job interviews and is now currently employed with Lucky Eagle Casino.

*Department of Social & Health Services clients can be sanctioned for failing to complete WorkFirst (Washington’s welfare to work program) activities without a good reason.

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