Securing Her Future: Amber’s Goodwill Story

  • Michael Fox |
  • | Mission
amber poses in front of the Ames city logo.

Amber has always been an organized person. She has a plan for her life and everything has its place. Part of her plan, after graduating college in 2016 with a degree in human resources, was finding the perfect HR job. What ended up happening was a revolving door of temporary contracts.

“I was jumping from assignment to assignment. The pay rate fluctuated constantly. It was frustrating,” recalled Amber.

With no stability in her career and needing to provide for her daughters, she asked for help. Amber sought out the services of New Sight, Inc., where she worked with Breanne Ward to do some life exploration. Breanne had a great working relationship with Goodwill Career Connector Andrea Haynes and knew that she would be able to help Amber at the Des Moines Career Connection Center.

The Goodwill Career Connection Centers provide absolutely free job readiness services to anyone who is unemployed or underemployed. The team of career connectors work one-on-one with individuals to give them the skills needed to confidently pursue a career.

“Amber was very intelligent and articulate but at the same time very unsure of herself,” Andrea reflected on their first meeting in June 2018. “I think that’s what happens to most people like her that are obviously educated, intelligent and capable. As so much time goes by and you keep getting “no’s” to what seem like even simple entry-level jobs, you start doubting yourself.”

Through their conversations, Andrea recognized that one of the most important parts of Amber’s growth would be believing that she could actually get the job she wanted. Amber was getting to the point where she was willing to apply for jobs that she was vastly overqualified for. Andrea refused to let her do that because she knew that Amber had the talent to earn the type of job she deserved.

Amber looks over HR forms at her job.

When it came to chasing her dream job, Amber was thorough with her efforts at the Career Connection Center. She immediately took two interview training classes, participated in practice interviews and sought one-on-one resume and interview preparation sessions. Then Andrea took Amber’s resume and helped her articulate that she had repeatedly demonstrated the skills of a top HR professional in her previous experience.

“Andrea really helped me to focus in on what my best qualities are and adjusted my resume accordingly,” said Amber. “Working with Andrea was easy. She was very professional, but also relatable. She was fast-paced, which made me happy because I like to get the ball rolling. It was easy for me.”

Amber files paperwork for her job with the Ames school district.

With newfound knowledge, Amber was ready to aim at an HR specialist position in the Ames community school district. Taking everything she had learned from the Career Connection Center, she went in and aced the interview. She started her job in August.

“This position means a lot to me because it’s directly aligned with what I studied and what I’m interested in,” said Amber. “I love it. It makes me very happy to know that I can do what I set out to do.”

In the past, Amber would worry that her temp assignment might end without notice. Now she feels much more comfortable with the stability her job provides.

“I would encourage people to work with Goodwill of Central Iowa if they want to improve their lives. The first step is to ask for help,” said Amber.

When you donate and shop at Goodwill of Central Iowa, you make successes like Amber’s possible. In fact, 85 cents of every dollar earned in our retail stores and through Shopgoodwill.com goes to support our mission of improving the quality of life for all individuals by providing skills training and helping people find jobs. Find the location closest to you.

To learn more about the Goodwill Career Connection Center offerings and free classes, please follow the Facebook page for updates and announcements.

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