Success Story: Lavette
Lavette Johnson had 20 years of work experience as a successful business woman with positions in customer service and sales. But when her younger sister was diagnosed with cancer, Lavette left her job in Virginia to move back to Charlotte to be closer to her family.
Despite her robust work history, Lavette struggled to find another position that matched her skill set and education. “I learned the term for my situation was ‘dislocated worker,’” she said. “But I decided that I would maintain a positive response to change throughout the job seeking process.” When a family friend who was also looking for a job picked up a flyer about Goodwill’s Occupational Skills Training program, it was Lavette who called the number first to enroll in the Banking & Customer Service class.
Lavette describes the benefits of her Goodwill experience as two-fold. First, there was the emotional support given by classmates and instructors. “The classroom setting exposes you to a lot of different people, yet we all ended up forming strong relationships and helping each other get through each step of the process.” Secondly, Goodwill allowed Lavette to sharpen skills that would make her stand out to potential employers. “While I had previous computer training, Goodwill gave me more in-depth skills that helped boost my confidence,” Lavette said. “I became stronger in Power Point, spreadsheets and public speaking, to name a few.”
Lavette says Goodwill helped her reevaluate her career goals and gave her new direction. She is currently seeking a position in banking or customer service and volunteer opportunities where she can draw upon her strengths of working with people. In the long-term, Lavette would like to be a trainer in the banking industry so she can help others gain the skills and opportunities that she gained at Goodwill. “I take all the good from where I’ve been and I put that energy into where I’m going,” she says.
How do you stay focused during a job search?