#Powerofajob: WorkSource lifts customer out of unemployment blues

It’s Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight Power of a Job success stories.

This week, we bring you Greg Krager, who came to WorkSource Vancouver to polish his skills after nearly two decades away from job-hunting. He gained so much more, including insight into his own strengths and abilities, when he felt down and out.

I’m Greg and I’m here at WorkSource Vancouver taking the Strategies for Success class, because after 17 years working at a law firm, I was unexpectedly laid off. I knew I needed to update my job-search skills, so I came here to take classes in resume writing and filling out job applications.

Then I figured I needed some more help, so I took the Strategies for Success class, to help me get through the mental block of being unemployed. It’s actually opened me up to going out to try new things and to be more adventurous.

This has all happened for me because of the instructor at WorkSource, Joseph. Without him, I would probably still be in a funk, with no energy to even get out of bed to do anything. I realized it’s time to be among the living and not hanging around doing nothing. I’m still eligible to work and I’m a hard worker. Joseph helped me remember that and know that I’m not alone in my journey.

As a partner in Washington’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. We also work with businesses, which are Powered by Jobs, to help them find employees.

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Strategies for Success students learn how to cope with losing a job

It’s Workforce Wednesday, when we spotlight Power of a Job success stories. Today we bring you Amy Mercy, who came to WorkSource Vancouver after she lost a job she held for 27 years. WorkSource helped her learn how to look for work again.

But the popular Strategies for Success course benefitted Amy the most, helping her regain her footing and move on with her life. This six-week course series teaches life skills and how to discover your potential.

Here is Amy’s story:

I came to WorkSource because of unemployment. I worked for a company for 27 years, so it was a severe shock, to tell you the truth, for me to become unemployed.

When I came here, I took the obligatory classes, which were great. It had been a long time since I’d written a resume. One of the classes I enjoyed the most was Strategies for Success [life skills course]. Joseph [Hennessey] was our leader. We had a wonderful group of people, so we could bounce ideas off different people. We learned a lot, like how to be interviewed.

But the best thing I found was how tied I was to my former employer. I didn’t realize how, after 27 years, I really I felt it had become my family. All of a sudden, I realized that I was basically going through the whole grieving process of losing my family, which was my job.

Then the class helped me realize that most people go through that when you lose your job. It was wonderful to be able to help everybody work through that. Following the class, we even started having monthly breakfasts to see how everybody was doing. It was a group of people coming together with a wonderful instructor and a really great course. It taught us how to see our potential again.

I wish everybody who becomes unemployed could take Strategies for Success because it gives you the confidence to go ahead. Being unemployed sort of makes you feel like a failure. Once you get a job, it makes you feel better. WorkSource explained the unemployment process and what was going on. But I think my favorite class — Strategies — really helped me prepare.

As a partner in Washington’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.  We also work with businesses, which are Powered by Jobs, to help them find employees.

To leave a comment, select the comment bubble icon next to the title of this post.