“My JVS Career Services career coach was Dedra, and she was brave when I was not,” remembered Dan Rapp. “She was confident when I felt insecure and her moxie was transferred to me. That really made a big difference in how I felt waking up each morning, how I went about my day and how I felt when I was lying in bed at night.”
Dan lost his job at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown and said he felt a sense of embarrassment about that. “When you’re laid off you’re just off balance, you’re not yourself.” Dan said he was at first reluctant to tell friends, family, and former coworkers that he was looking for work. “Then I realized getting laid off is not a unique experience. Almost everyone at some point will lose a job. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about,” and with that, Dan contacted JVS Career Services.
“Dedra and the staff at JVS Career Services really helped ground me and helped me work through some of the emotional distress and discomfort of not having a paycheck for the first time in 25 years.”
Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, JVS Career Services has moved its career coaching entirely online and over the phone. It is also hosting a number of free webinars to help job seekers, like Dan, improve their job seeking skills. “I took a really great workshop on how to get your LinkedIn page optimized so recruiters can find you more easily and find your skills more easily. That was really important to me.”
As for finding work when you’re unable to leave the house Dan said that has been an interesting experience, “I’ve always been a big networker, and for me, not being able to go out and have coffee or lunch has been hard, but JVS Career Services taught me how to move those networking meetings online. They made sure that I understood how to dress, what backdrop to have, and how to navigate this kind of networking versus in person networking.”
He said when he first lost his job he felt like he was missing out on a large cultural shift, “everyone is in Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or any number of digital collaboration platforms, and I felt a little bit like I was on the outside looking in. Not only had I lost my job, but now I was missing out on the opportunity to learn this new way of communicating and doing business.”
Dan said that’s another reason doing digital networking is important; it keeps him involved and active with new technology.
“My advice for people who may have just been recently laid off is don’t panic. That’s easier said than done, but JVS Career Services is here to help you. Also, quickly start looking into filing for unemployment. JVS Career Services can help you with that, too. They understand the system, they understand how it works and they can walk you through it so that your income doesn’t go from whatever it was to zero.”
He said the most important piece of advice he can give anyone is, “there’s no shame in asking for help. Let JVS Career Services help you. Being laid off happens to almost everybody and is not unique to you. It feels unique to you because it’s personal and it’s happening right now. And if it’s happening during Corona virus, it’s feeling extra weighty, but there is help out there for you so just accept it and use it and listen to it.”
JVS Career Services is currently offering free virtual career coaching sessions to anyone experiencing hardship due to COVID-19. To get in touch and start your process, contact JVS or reach out by phone at 513-936-9675.