While our mission services may look a bit different as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, our team members continue to work hard serving those with barriers to employment. One team member that goes above and beyond is Career Specialist Nick Peters.
While select services halted due to the pandemic, Nick adapted to the needs of our community. Always willing to serve others and be a team player, he now splits his days between being a Career Specialist and a Job Coach. In fact, some of the participants Nick is now job coaching were once participants in our career development services in the Des Moines area.
During the week Nick now splits his time between helping people with a diagnosed disability find jobs and helping people succeed in their jobs. One major shift due to COVID-19 is a majority of the career development services he provides are done virtually. These services include exploring different career paths, resume building, understanding their talents and strengths, job searching and connecting with employers, application assistance, interview preparations, and more! Nick utilizes free tools like these with participants, which are available to the general public. While these services are primarily now conducted virtually, Nick does venture out for his job coaching services. As a Job Coach, Nick works with participants at their place of employment to understand what they can be doing better. He also provides encouragement, and offer suggestions on how to meet employer expectations. He does this all while following proper social distancing guidelines and routinely wearing a mask.
One of Nick’s favorite success stories about a participant finding gainful employment during the pandemic wound up being a new Goodwill team member. Nick shared, “I have helped one person find a job so far since resuming services. It is his first job ever. He wanted to work in retail. He was interested in the Valley West Goodwill since he just moved to that area. I helped him put together a resume based on some volunteer work and babysitting he has done. We also worked together to complete an application and work on interview skills. He was offered a job there last week and just started on Monday. The participant has been doing great so far. He has a super positive attitude that even the assistant manager complimented him on.”
In addition to working with participants, Nick communicates daily with the team of mission staff members we have right now. While our mission services look different right now, Nick shared what he hopes our community knows. “We are continuing to make a difference in the community and in the lives of participants. People need employment assistance now more than ever. Many people have been laid off and are in need of a new job. Having a job is such a big part of someone’s self-worth. I feel grateful to be able to continue helping people find a career they can be proud of.”