Power of a Job: WorkSource Vancouver helps job seeker mend her “broken spirit”

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 Debbie Smith, a job seeker with a broken spirit who got back on track at WorkSource Vancouver in Strategies for Success: a life-skills class series.

Here’s Debbie’s story:

I’m 61 years old and got fired from my job in September 2017. I was completely broken and didn’t know what to do with myself. I had never been let go from a job, fired or used unemployment benefits. I was in bad shape emotionally.

I signed up for unemployment benefits and learned about WorkSource. I met Charles at WorkSource Vancouver who helped me do a reality check. Once I realized I had lots of options, I calmed down and knew it going to be OK.

I was enrolled in a six-week Strategies for Success course at WorkSource. I learned about interviewing, how to create a resume and the proper way to fill out an application.

Afterward, I attended a Clark College class. The instructor encouraged me to return to school and look at different career options. I’d been a product manager and really didn’t want to do that again. She signed me up for an AutoCAD [computer-aided design and drafting software] class and a career exploration class.

My first semester ended with six credits and A’s in both classes. In January, I started as a full-time student to earn an associate degree in marketing. I’m working to get my unemployment benefits extended.

I have nothing but the highest praise for WorkSource. I tell everyone what they do for people who are dislocated or unemployed. I’m even encouraging my daughter, who is 19, to take the Strategies for Success series.

I’m so enthused by the things I learned in just six weeks. I’m ready to go out and conquer the world and start the next chapter of life!


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