Training Success at Open Door Community House

Training Success at Open Door Community House

Training Success at Open Door Community House

Circles in Columbus

A focus on the contributions of the African American family

BETTER WORK Columbus delivers Marketing Yourself training to clients of our non-profit partners upon request. This training gives students insight into the perspective of an employer and what matters to them during the hiring process. They leave this training more hopeful and with a new understanding of steps they can take to communicate well when they are looking for work. If you have clients who are preparing to look for better work opportunities in the Columbus area, they will benefit from this training. Send an email to kristin.barker@georgiaopportunity.org to schedule a training for your organization. 

Barbara Moushon, Circles Coordinator at Open Door Community House shares below why this program is helpful to Circles Leaders in training.

“We are very grateful for the Marketing Yourself training brought to our Circles Group here at Open Door Community House. Our group was very engaged with this presentation and they appreciated the information Kristin and Inez shared. They are still talking about this training. The topic of ‘What Employers Want’ explained to our group why it is so important to stop and really reflect when preparing for an interview. This information explained that the interviewee needs to analyze why an employer would want to select them.  The concept of knowing themselves and what they really want before going into an interview was a powerful message. Our clients understood that they need to spend a little time in self-reflection prior to seeking a job.” –Barbara Moushon

 

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

Finding Focus and Direction with Better Work

graphic design intern

Finding Skilled and Teachable Talent

 

BETTER WORK is helping our neighbors find better work opportunities in Columbus. We care about facilitating life transformation and not only an initial job connection. We want local families to thrive, become self-sufficient, and find the dignity that comes from sustainable work. Good relationships play a huge role in this process. This is why open doors of opportunity and mentors are so important.

I want to share a story with you. This is the story of a young woman who was unsure of what she wanted to do. Rachel Guzman first reached out to BETTER WORK because she knew she wanted more, only she wasn’t sure what more was.

Today Rachel has greater focus and is finding her success! All she needed was others who believed in her to clear the way. She is performing well in a Graphic Design internship with Alexis M. Creative. Owner Alexis Lott recently shared the statement below.

“Finding Rachel and having her as a virtual digital assistant this year has changed my business for the better. Being a small business owner trying to run my digital marketing and coaching business by myself was exhausting. I knew that I had to make a move, and I was initially scared to hire someone as an intern, and finding Rachel was a true god-send. She graciously decided to work as an intern and within months I was able to hire her on a contract basis to help with my digital marketing needs.”

 

Rachel

“Finding Rachel and having her as a virtual digital assistant this year has changed my business for the better. Being a small business owner trying to run my digital marketing and coaching business by myself was exhausting. I knew that I had to make a move, and I was initially scared to hire someone as an intern, and finding Rachel was a true god-send. She graciously decided to work as an intern and within months I was able to hire her on a contract basis to help with my digital marketing needs.”

 

“I would love to have her full time hopefully in 2022 as my business expands. I am forever grateful to you (BETTER WORK Columbus) for helping me find skilled and teachable talent!”

Rachel has also been working with her mentor, Renee Lambert. Renee works with Rachel to help her overcome obstacles like insufficient transportation and is helping Rachel as she considers her long-term goals and short-term options to reach those goals. Rachel shared early on that she feels hopeful because of the support she receives from Renee. These obstacles may limit Rachel’s work options right now, but they aren’t slowing her down.

Rachel recently stated how much the internship means to her when she shared, “My internship at Alexis M. Creative Agency has been a great learning experience. To me, it’s not just an internship but an opportunity to learn and grow as a freelancer and entrepreneur.”

Candidates like Rachel Guzman have more hope because of partners like you. Whether you are an employer opening your door to give people second chances, a service provider offering needed resources, or a mentor cheering someone along their journey, your impact changes lives through BETTER WORK Columbus.

The Power of Community Connections

The Power of Community Connections

The Power of Community Connections

A belief in working together is key

 

BETTER WORK Columbus is connected with groups and organizations across the Chattahoochee Valley. These groups include both the Chattahoochee Valley Poverty Reduction Coalition (CVPRC) and the Mayor’s Commission on Reentry. A belief in working together in the local community as the key to eliminating poverty in our city is the common thread binding these groups together.  More specifically, the CVPRC holds a shared vision to reduce the poverty rate in the Chattahoochee Valley by 50% over the next 10 years.

BETTER WORK Program Manager, Kristin Barker, plays a leadership role in both of these groups. As forthcoming chair of the Reentry Commission, she works to identify key people in our community and bring them together to address the needs and concerns that impact individuals who are justice-involved. This is necessary to further the mission of preventing recidivism by strengthening cooperation and collaboration between law enforcement agencies, corrections and supervision entities, resource agencies, social service and non-profit organizations, faith-based non-profit organizations, community members, and other private and public stakeholders. Embedded in the group’s purpose is a focus on finding key people in the community and bringing them together to address the needs and concerns that impact individuals who are justice-involved.

 

The Success Sequence provides an outline of how to reverse the cycle of poverty in our communities. GCO uses this as a framework for much of our work.

Local Connections and National Partnerships

It is these local connections and national partnerships like Jobs for Life that will allow Columbus to discover the high-impact strategies needed to support families in poverty and connect them with resources that will move them toward self-sufficiency.

Find more information about the Chattahoochee Valley Poverty Reduction Coalition and the Mayor’s Commission on Reentry online.

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Partnerships and Building Blocks Come Together in Columbus

Building a stronger network of resources

On November 4th, BETTER WORK Columbus hosted a reception to announce a new partnership with Jobs for Life to bring its proven curriculum and a nationally recognized program to help struggling people find meaningful, self-supporting work. During the event, Ryan Ray, President and CEO of Jobs for Life, shared his heart as well as the passion behind the Jobs for Life training program and the power it has to impact lives in a transformative way.

Problem:

In Columbus, 11,406 people are unemployed, despite more than 6,500 job openings. The problem is not an issue of availability but an issue of access. There are personal, educational, and systemic barriers that prevent some of our neighbors from working or thriving at their jobs. Without work, many begin to identify themselves with their circumstances which creates a vicious cycle of poverty—economically, spiritually, and emotionally.

Solution:

Our BETTER WORK Columbus team has already built a strong network of partnerships and has been using the Jobs for Life framework to recruit and train mentors. Now, we want to take this a step further by extending the network of support to Jobs for Life training sites in our community.

Our BETTER WORK Network has allied with Jobs for Life to help break the cycle of poverty and build up our communities. JFL sites are uniquely positioned to address the root causes of un- and under-employment by uniting churches, businesses, and community organizations and facilitating positive transformation within lives and communities. This model reinforces work as more than just a paycheck but a source of pride and dignity. It is designed to address the loss of identity which often accompanies unemployment.

We will join hands and work together to bring the change our community needs.

How can we work together?

It starts here! We will join hands and work together to bring the change our community needs.

If you live in the Columbus area, we need your help! You can: 

  • Champion a student through mentoring, 
  • help us with recruitment, 
  • hire a graduate, 
  • or simply celebrate with us. 

 

You may also choose to donate by giving online

Then send an email to kristin.barker@georgiaopportunity.org to have your gift support local Jobs for Life classes. Include your name and the subject line – “I donated to the BETTER WORK Network and Jobs for Life”.

5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)

5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)

5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)

cropped impress employer

5 Ways to Impress an Employer (Soup to Nuts)

Let’s pretend you’re getting ready for an interview. You’re probably wondering what you should wear and whether you should prepare to shake hands or fist bump in the post-COVID world. You may even be practicing eye contact and commanding your best smile in the mirror. While these things are great, and I encourage you to pay attention to them, the real preparation to impress begins long before you even secure that interview.

The impression you will make on your future employer begins with the very first touch. Maybe that’s the instant your friend who works for the company sends an email inquiry on your behalf or the minute the hiring manager first views your application and resume. An impression is formed from those first moments and through every point of contact (whether virtual or in-person) until you accept a job offer.

This means you must consider every response to every email, text or phone call, and anything else that can be searched and discovered about you online as admissible in the court of employer perception.

Here are 5 ways that you can prepare to impress an employer and set the stage for a good relationship:

  1. Make a good impression by cleaning up your online presence

Search for yourself on Google to see what you find. (One tip is to include your city and/or state in search to refine the results.) Change your settings on your social channels so that only your friends can view your profile, and remember that employers expect to find some information about you on Facebook and other social channels. This makes it important for you to share a public post every so often that paints a picture of yourself that you are proud for employers to see.

 

  1. Keep your communication professional

When you respond to an email or a text inquiry from an employer, use full sentences and punctuation. Don’t talk like you would to your friends. Instead, pretend that you are already talking with the employer in an interview and respond like you would in that situation.

 

  1. Don’t over share

When responding to an interview request, it’s ok to ask for an alternate date or time. However, you don’t need to give a potential employer every detail of your situation. There is no need to tell an employer that your child has the flu or that you have to take your father-in-law to the doctor. You want to be honest, but this is far too much information to share right away, and there are much better ways to find out if an employer has family-friendly values. 

BETTER OPPORTUNITY is a project designed to bring together the communities we serve to BETTER the lives of our neighbors. As a first step we currently have work resources available that help individuals find and maintain work.

Over the coming months and years we will be expanding our efforts and locations to include family and education resources.

A job is so much more than a paycheck. BETTER WORK is proud to be serving local communities.

  1. Refine your resume 

Of course, preparation doesn’t end here. You will want to keep your resume fresh and mention the skills that make you a good fit for the job you’re applying for. If you don’t think you have all of the needed skills, find someone who can help you refine your resume. Working together, you can usually identify skills you do have that are transferable.

 

  1. Be able to explain during an interview why you are interested in the job you have applied for 

As a rule of thumb, everything you say and do must show that you care about the job and understand why it is important to you. If you can do this, you will have a good chance of getting a job offer. I recommend that you never answer the question, “Why are you interested in this position?”, with the response, “I just need a job. I’m happy to do anything you need me to.” This answer has kept many good candidates from receiving the offer they hoped to get.

 

Wrapping up

All of these steps are important and more. You must research the company before you apply and review that information before you show up for an interview. You will also want to prepare to follow-up in an appropriate way after the interview. It’s a good idea to ask the interviewer how and when you should follow-up. This is one way to show that you care.

As mentioned earlier, it can also help to have someone in your corner to encourage you and help you consider transferable skills or prepare for interviews. If you are looking for better work and would like someone by your side to help you prepare to find and keep a job that meets your needs, BETTER WORK communities have mentors who are available to walk alongside you during your journey. Visit betteropportunity.org to find out more.