Post-Pandemic: What Will Companies Do Now?

By Joni Burton, CPCC, CEO

The COVID-19 pandemic was the most extreme disruption of the workplace since World War II. So what happens to the workforce after the pandemic?

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, some workplace shifts are permanent. For work that can be done remotely without a loss of productivity, 20 to 25 percent of the workforce will shift to working part-time or full-time remotely on a permanent basis.

Should companies do away with Zoom and return to a pre-COVID workplace? For most, the answer is no. Over the past year, employees have proven that they can be just as effective while working remotely, and most want to continue enjoying this benefit even after the pandemic subsides.

Will employees even want to flock back when it’s safe again? How badly do employees want to hold on to the ability to work remotely? A study by Robert Half found that one-third of professionals (34 percent) currently working from home due to COVID-19 would quit if required to be in the office full-time. Nearly half of respondents (49 percent) said they prefer a hybrid work arrangement, where they can divide their time between the office and another location.

Given this new desire for remote work, how can business leaders create a new work world that will keep employees both happy and productive post-COVID? Managers will have to be accommodating. As much as some employees will crave the return of in-person social connections in the office, all have become accustomed to the flexibility that comes with virtual work—from less time to commute to more time with family and pets. Organizations need to find out what employees want and implement a model that supports the organization as well as the employees. Additionally, if an organization wants to emerge as successful post-pandemic, with top talent intact, it needs to attend more to the human side and a reaffirmation of its mission and values. For example, companies should encourage leaders to create time blocks, either online or in person, for the random connections that are critical for developing team culture.

Remote work can be an opportunity for an organization to attract talent. For example, remote work offers companies the opportunity to enrich their diversity by tapping a broader pool of workers who, for family or other reasons, were unable to join your organization before the pandemic.

Remote work of course has downsides, such as loneliness, which leads to higher rates of employee burnout, turnover, and disengagement. And contrary to widely held assumptions, better technology is not increasing a sense of connectedness, and in many cases actually has the opposite effect when depended upon as a substitute.

So what does a manager do to support their employees post COVID-19? Exhibit kindness: actively listen, check in, offer support and understanding, help connect employees to necessary resources, acknowledge their efforts, and thank them generously. Be creative and innovative about promoting kindness. By sincerely caring about your employees’ wellness and doing what you can to foster it, your workforce will be more engaged and, in the long run, more productive.

What is Work Going to Look Like Now?

By Dedra Perlmutter, Senior Career Coach & Human Resources Manager

It has been over a year, are you ready to go back?

Most of us are not. USA Today recently noted: “Forty percent of Americans prefer to work from home full-time, compared with 35 percent who seek a home-office hybrid and 25 percent who want to go back to the office full-time, according to a Harris Poll survey of 2,063 adults May 14-16.”

After all this time of remote work, are you ready to leave your home? Your kids? Your pets? Your casual dress code? What about your daily routine and flexibility? 

And more importantly, which decision—home, hybrid, or in-office—will your company make? Does your boss or CEO know the plans yet? In reality, no one knows the best answer yet, not even leadership. They can’t—this workplace revolution has never happened before. But it’s being talked about as on the same level as the tech revolution, or the industrial revolution that moved the West from agriculture-centric to factory-centric. Like these immense changes, the post-COVID workplace may revolutionize the look, feel, and even existence of your workplace, especially if you don’t do manual labor or service work.

The “new normal” may not be the same as the old normal, despite the power of tradition and familiarity. One reason? The efficiency of remote work caught the eye and pocketbook of CEOs. For example, a study by McKinsey & Company in early April found that 60 percent of businesses surveyed in early April said that their new remote sales models “were proving as much (29 percent) or more effective (31 percent) than traditional channels.” That’s 60 percent on the side of remote work being as good as or better than before the pandemic.

In addition, because of the drastic nature of the pandemic, companies from start-ups to stolid giants were forced to be innovative, flexible, and agile. That is good for you as an employee, because that attention to flexibility may remain, having proved its worth. It may mean employees get more choices, across a far wider range than previously thought possible.

Are the lines of communication open?

These days, many thought leaders who advise employers recommend consulting with you, the employee as they plan for their futures. Employees want to be heard and employers are listening.  Together, they are working through the numerous questions and individual scenarios that will result in a positive transition to the “new normal.” Since there are no correct answers, employees do have power to influence change. Speak to your peers, your manager, and HR, to let them know how you feel and what kind of workplace you would prefer. Respond to a survey if you are sent one on this issue.

The “new normal” may actually be, for some, the “old normal.” But, for many, “the workplace” may have a brand new definition. How collaboration, creativity, socializing and team-building happen may change. And you will be part of this revolution, just by working. The one thing we can all agree on is that flexibility, for companies and for employees, will be key to the “new normal” at work. 

COVID-19 Survival Guide: A New Emotional Reality After Vaccination

Ann Stromberg

By Ann Stromberg, MSW, LISW, Emotional Wellness Coordinator 

If you have made the choice to be vaccinated against COVID-19 you know that giddy feeling that accompanies the vaccination appointment. That little white card that shows the world we are fully vaccinated is our passport out of isolation. However, for some people, the joy of freedom can become anxiety caused by the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

If your hopefulness has been replaced with some new anxious feelings, you are not alone. Uncertainty about how to move forward is real. How do we become “normal” again?

What about reentering social and office spaces? Your first question may be whether others are vaccinated, and how safe you are as a result. People are also expressing anxiety about how we will interact. We are ready to break out, but what are the new rules? Spending a year socially isolated means many of us have become accustomed to spending time alone(ish). Inner conflict occurs because we want to connect, but connecting creates anxiety.

Do you wonder if you still know how to be social? We have all been there doing the awkward social dance: should I reach out to hug, shake hands, or what? It’s just not automatic anymore.  

Anxiety is normal. If you are getting ready to head back to the office or considering an upcoming social event, know that anxiety can be managed. One of the best strategies to manage anxiety is to troubleshoot the situation. Ask yourself what is concerning, and devise a plan to handle it. You may want to create an “exit strategy.” If you have a plan, you will feel more in control of the situation.  

Similarly, if you know you are returning to the office, you can troubleshoot first. Your office will have new policies in place; take the time to read them, or ask for more information. It is also always possible to continue to take the safety precautions that help you feel safe. One thing that is universal as we move out into the world is our choice, which gives us a sense of control, which lessens the anxiety.

Anxiety is like focusing on an object through a zoom lens, you only see a small part of the picture. Pulling back to the wide-angle lens you can see the big picture and the focal point fades into the background. Shift your attention to your space in the picture, and create the space you need.

Another perhaps surprising concern is getting used to socializing again. Little things like eye contact, small talk, and other people’s idiosyncrasies may take some time to get comfortable with again. It seems odd to think you may have lost some social skills, but a year is a long time. It is always easier to start back with small steps. Most importantly, accept that anything you are feeling is normal for you at this time. We will each have varying levels of comfort. Take a few minutes and assess what you need. Listen to what your instinct tells you. We spent twelve-plus months in a truly unprecedented situation. Moving forward, it will take some time to feel “normal” again.   

More Than a Network: JVS Career Services Helps Client Get Back to Work and Inspires Him to Give Back

Brad Wagner Photo

“If you’re not willing to listen, you’re not willing to learn,” reflected Brad Wagner on his experience with JVS Career Services. “The career coaches there are in the profession of helping you develop your professional skills, and if you’re not listening to them, you’re not benefiting yourself.”

Wagner lost his job of six years in May of 2020, due to COVID-19 cutbacks. “It was a complete shock,” he said. “I had just taken on a new role around the start of 2020, and I was growing a new team and taking on new responsibilities. Then March came along, and we were all sent home. Then in May I got a call from my boss and HR. I was expecting a pay cut, or a furlough—I was not expecting to be let go.”

Wagner had envisioned spending the next 20 years with the company, but he understands the reality of the situation and harbors no ill feelings. “I still talk to a lot of people there,” he said. “After six years, you build not only professional relationships, but also friendships. And I believe in not burning any bridges, because you never know what’s going to happen down the road.”

Understanding the situation doesn’t make losing a job any less scary. “It was pure panic,” he said. “It was right in the middle of COVID and it felt like no companies were ever going to hire again. But I’m not one to sit around and wait on handouts. I was on the phone, and I called more people the day I lost my job than I had in a really long time.”

One of those calls was to JVS Career Services, which had helped Wagner find a job a decade ago. “I had success with JVS Career Services back then, so I reached out to Kim Slaton and she put me in touch with Dedra Perlmutter.”

Wagner said Perlmutter made him feel confident and secure about his job search. “After the first time we met, I had this feeling of, ‘Where did she come from?’ Dedra was able to help me update my resume, my LinkedIn profile—she made it all look so easy. And that took a major stressor off of me.”

In addition to polishing his resume and online presence, Perlmutter helped Wagner navigate the new world of job searching. “Brad is a master networker,” she said, “but there’s more to looking for a job than networking, and a lot has changed since the last time he had to do it.”

One of those changes involved learning how to present yourself on a video call, “Dedra was always telling me a suit and tie never hurt anyone,” Wagner said with a smile. Other changes focused on the evolving nature of the interviewing process, “and all of the different, non-human, interactive personality tests,” he said. “It was also about putting in the extra effort of writing a thank you note—not just an email—right after an interview. Dedra also worked with me on how to research people and connections on LinkedIn. She worked with me on how to navigate those tough interview questions, and to develop different ways of answering them to catch the interviewer off guard and get them intrigued.”

Wagner began interviewing for his current position in July, and started in August, after having been let go in May. “It was a pretty quick turnaround,” said Perlmutter. “Brad was only officially out of work for two and a half months, but to him it felt like an eternity. It’s a testament to how seriously he took his job search. He was constantly on networking calls, and he’d tell me, ‘I have this, this, this, and this,’ and I’d have to reel him in a little, just to keep him organized, because he was reaching out to so many folks.”

“Everyone is so well connected at JVS Career Services, and that’s what sets them apart from other agencies or head hunters,” Wagner said. “The people at those other places, they’re pretty much just salespeople looking to get their percentage from finding you a job. But at JVS Career Services, you have the support of the entire team, not just a single coach. That extra care and attention is what makes them different, and it’s also what makes you different as a candidate.”

Without JVS Career Services, Wagner believes he would have polished up his ten-year-old resume and sent it out blindly. “There’s no doubt in my mind that without JVS Career Services, I’d still be unemployed. I’m not going to sugarcoat it.”

Not only did working with JVS Career Services help Wagner find a job, but it also inspired him to give back and donate to the organization. “You have to give back, look out for others, help that next person that needs it,” he said. “I can recommend them to JVS Career Services; I can share my story with them: ‘I’ve gone through this, it won’t be easy, and I can’t guarantee anything, but you need to trust the process.’ If we want these talented people to stay in town, we have to be willing to help them, because someday down the road they will be able to help someone else.”

Best of Two Worlds: JVS Career Services Helps Client Leverage Past Experience to Gain New Position and Cultivate Skills

“I had no idea what to do,” said Michael Hoffman after he lost his job in July of 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “My resume was 20 years old and I never had to look for a job before—my two previous jobs found me.”

Hoffman said he tried a few things on his own, “but I wasn’t at all organized. I thought it would work like it did before—I just tell somebody I was looking for a job and they would point me to one.”

That’s when a friend recommended he start attending the free webinars for job-seekers from JVS Career Services. “I started to go to those, and that became part of the schedule I made for myself,” Hoffman said. “Having that to look forward to every Monday afternoon gave me something to focus on.”

Hoffman explained it was through those webinars that he learned the basics of finding a career in the 21st century. “I found out the things I learned in the 90s are outdated, and what was standard practice then would make me look out of touch now,” he said.

Eventually he took advantage of JVS Career Services’ offer of a free career coach to anyone who had lost their job due to COVID-19. “Brian Kerstine was my coach, and he was very helpful in getting me more focused,” Hoffman said. “He looked over my resume, set up practice interviews, and helped me polish my networking skills. He also helped me set goals—one of which was to send out 12 applications between each of our visits.”

Hoffman said Kerstine really pushed him out of his comfort zone and helped him apply for jobs that he normally wouldn’t. “Michael had skills that he didn’t know he had—we helped him discover those skills,” said Kerstine.

Kerstine recalls when he first encouraged Hoffman to apply for that position, it took some convincing. “He kept telling me that he wasn’t an analyst, and I had to point out to him his transferable skills that did qualify him for the role.”

“There’s no doubt in my mind,” said Hoffman, “that without the help I got from the team at JVS Career Services, I would still be unemployed.”

“The job I have now,” Hoffman said, “I never would have applied for without JVS Career Services understanding the talent I had within me—talent I didn’t even know I had. Long story short, I ended up in a position that is the best of two worlds. I had previously been in marketing research, and my new position is a marketing position. So I’m learning that role, but am also heading up the marketing research that will assist us with our marketing. So I get to do a little bit of what I know, and then I’m learning new stuff, too. I’ve even done a little analysis of market research that we’ve done in-house. So I can now say, ‘Yes, I can analyze data, too!’”

JVS Career Services helped Hoffman find his competitive edge, and expand the scope of his job search, while helping him articulate the skill set he had already developed. Hoffman believes that without JVS Career Services’ expertise, he would still be floundering; clumsily trying to network, while neglecting the scope of positions for which he was qualified. “I’m certain I would still be looking for work. Brian and the JVS Career Services team kept me focused,” Hoffman insisted. “They pushed me. Then, when I started having success, and going on interviews, that encouraged me; it showed me that I was doing something right—that people saw something in me and wanted to talk to me. That success keeps you going.”

Hoffman has already encouraged a few of his former colleagues to reach out to JVS Career Services. “About a dozen of us lost our jobs this summer,” he reflected. “And I’ve told them about my experience. I can’t recommend it enough. Brian was like my coach, teacher, and boss—all rolled in to one. Everyone at JVS Career Services was always very helpful, and very willing to give advice.”

To learn more about the wide variety of services JVS Career Services provides, please visit their website at: jvscareers.org.

Covid-19 Survival Guide: The Season of Hope

Ann Stromberg

By Ann Stromberg, Emotional Wellness Counselor

Hope is an emotional state that we have all experienced at one time or another. It is a trait inherent in everyone, and we all possess unique levels of hopefulness. Hope has several definitions: a feeling of expectation, the desire for a certain thing to happen, and wanting something to happen.

While we all have different levels of hope inherently, it is something we can increase with our beliefs and actions. Hope is also an important driver of positive emotion and happiness! We all need to see the future as full of potential during every stage of our lives.

Hope is a future-oriented belief system rooted in the belief that our dreams can become reality. One of the greatest times in life when hope is present is the changing of the seasons, especially winter into spring. Did you notice a positive shift in your outlook over the past week as we shed the mountains of snow and enjoyed some beautiful sunshine? It’s almost impossible not to feel a mood boost as we anticipate the onset of spring, perhaps more in 2021 than ever before!

The opportunity to head outdoors to enjoy all the beauty of spring along with the potential to socialize again naturally creates hope for our future. Being hopeful enhances our performance in all areas of life from academics and sports to career and relationships. Hope is closely related to optimism and happiness, and it’s essential in a positive mindset.

One phenomenon of the pandemic has been a loss of hopefulness due to social isolation, anxiety, and uncertainty about the future. If you have noticed that your level of hopefulness has been strained or reduced due to the events of the past year, there are strategies to help increase your hopefulness and happiness. The energy of the change of seasons is the perfect time to start! To begin to cultivate hope, you need to start with self-awareness.

Pay attention to your thoughts and ask yourself, does this belief help me? If the answer is that it does not, then take steps to change that belief and commit to it. Often just acknowledging the faulty belief is enough to make a shift. Create a list of reasons why the belief is false to help to create a new mindset for yourself. Writing a new story about our life and our life’s journey allows for the potential to create a hopeful future. Visualizing a positive future is essential for growth, along with the belief we can accomplish it. The belief we can do something creates hope and has the bonus of improving our brain health!

Growth is always good, it not always easy but it is good. Our belief that we can try something regardless of the outcome is key to maintaining a growth mindset. A boost in self-esteem occurs through our efforts to try and to work toward a goal. Honestly, is there anyone that can’t benefit from a boost in self-esteem?

To achieve change and to create a more optimistic, hopeful future also requires good self-care to maintain the incredible body and brain we are given. Movement, good nutrition, and good sleep not only help us feel better but also boost our immune system. Although creating good habits can be hard, it is so important to our well-being. There is no reason to make wellness a chore, a good balance is the 80/20 rule, which means 80% of the time you are focused on wellness you will utilize our good habits, and 20% of the time we allow for some time off without guilt.

Our mind, body, and soul are so deeply connected that when one area falls out of balance the rest falls out of balance too. It is easier to feel happy and hopeful when we feel good physically. If some of your good habits have taken a back seat during the winter, let the shift to spring be the reason to clean things up. Take advantage of the positive energy of the season to enjoy a new hopeful, optimistic way of life.

If you’re having trouble developing good habits, check out this Covid-19 Survival Guide: Habits post for inspiration.

Talent Acquisition for Nonprofits

A critical component of any successful talent management strategy is a strong plan. For many nonprofits, talent acquisition efforts are limited to placing ads, sifting through resumes, interviewing, and ultimately hiring and hoping for the best. To ensure your nonprofit is making the right hire, serious time should be given to developing an acquisition plan designed to attract qualified candidates, and effectively assess those candidates for skill and cultural fit. Here are four things your talent acquisition strategy could be missing:

Strong Employee Value Proposition

Have you defined your organization’s employee value proposition (EVP) in a way that clearly defines the value, rewards, and benefits your employees enjoy? Effective EVPs are simple, focused statements that summarize why someone would want to work with your organization.

To create an EVP, compile data from Employee Engagement, Onboarding, and Exit surveys. Work to identify key trends from these three types of employee/company interactions. This information might touch on the benefits your employees value, aspects of the workplace culture that help them succeed, or simply what they enjoy about working in your organization.

Strategic Sourcing

Are you placing ads on Indeed or LinkedIn and thinking that’s all there is to it? Or are you carefully targeting candidates on industry-specific or function-specific career sites? Strategically and proactively sourcing a talent pool for your organization’s current and future positions is paramount to building a robust and successful talent pipeline.

Review the data you’ve received from hiring sources to determine where you’re finding the best applicants. Review the resumes of current high-performing employees to revisit their backgrounds. Think back to where you found them, then use that information to streamline which sources you use for your latest searches.

A Candidate-Driven Focus

A positive candidate experience can be the difference between a failing talent acquisition strategy and one that routinely delivers excellent hires. To stay competitive, your organization needs to think about what applicants want; what will turn them off; what will attract them and encourage company loyalty; and what will result in the candidate selecting your organization over others.

It’s a good idea to stay in close contact with your applicants. Collect feedback from those who have been through the application process, and gather information on their attitudes toward your organization. You’ll want to ask what they thought of your particular application process, as well as what they think you could improve upon.

Culture

Review the vision for your workplace culture. Do you value having a group of employees who know, like, and trust each other? Is your company a place where employees feel valued and supported? Are there mechanisms in place to help employees work through difficulties? Are you striving to create an environment where work-life balance is prioritized? And finally, it’s a good idea to ask: what defines your company’s culture? Once you arrive at a fair and truthful answer, do everything you can to achieve it.

It can be hard developing your organization’s talent acquisition on your own. That’s where the expert help of JVS Career Services can come in. To learn about the wide variety of executive services JVS Career Services provides to Nonprofits, click here.

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Job Market

By Peter Landesman, Senior Business Development Manager

The most recent report from the US Labor Department shows that the US unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.3 percent in January 2021. Translating that number to individuals, at least 10.1 million persons are currently unemployed.

The most recent report from the US Labor Department shows that the US unemployment rate fell slightly to 6.3 percent in January 2021. Translating that number to individuals, at least 10.1 million persons are currently unemployed.

Although this is much lower than the rate in April 2020 (14.8 percent), unemployment is well above the pre-COVID levels of February 2020, when the rate was 3.5 percent. 

This data serves as a type of counterweight to the most recent report from the Labor Department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), which indicates that there are nearly 6.5 million job vacancies in the country. Job vacancy increases were seen in professional and business services, transportation, warehousing, utilities, and nondurable goods manufacturing. Decreases were reported in accommodation and food services.

While this kind of information might be easier to parse and analyze when one is not directly affected, it is harder for those who have lost a job and are actively looking for work. What are some options for today’s workers seeking employment?

Gap Jobs or Side Hustles

The loss of regular income can be traumatizing. Although many workers can qualify for unemployment benefits, the benefits may not be enough to cover basic living expenses. Some workers elect to take a “gap job” as a way to generate income while looking for a more suitable opportunity.

It is easier for those workers to seek jobs in high-demand sectors, where employers often offer fast-track or even immediate employment. Examples include retail, warehouse, financial services, and call center or customer service work.

Some workers take advantage of their gap job by leveraging their access to employee-only intranets, which can expose one to career opportunities that may not be posted on public sites, such as LinkedIn or Indeed.

Still, others take on side hustles—such as driving for Uber or DoorDash—during those times when they aren’t specifically looking for a job. 

Remote Positions 

Many workers do not feel comfortable working on-site during the pandemic. It’s now possible to search for remote jobs, which often means that job seekers can work for employers that are not located near them. This significantly increases the number of job opportunities, as the search area now becomes nationwide, or even worldwide, in scope. Local employers might also offer remote opportunities that have the potential to become on-site jobs once it is safe for that to happen.

Career Pivot

Some workers may want to consider changing or pivoting in their careers. Perhaps they feel that their industry will recover too slowly from the pandemic, or will not recover at all. Acquiring new skills, or enhancing existing skills, usually requires training.

One option is to investigate training opportunities offered through The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In Ohio, these grants, which help underwrite or defray the costs of the training, are administered on a county-by-county basis through OhioMeansJobs Centers.

Forge Ahead With a Traditional Job Search

For workers who have been laid off or furloughed due to COVID-19, seeking a similar job in one’s field is often the most appealing choice, and there are plenty of employers with open positions they need to fill. However, for those who worked in industries hardest hit by the pandemic, such as hospitality and restaurants, exploring options beyond your chosen field might be a wise course.

Job seekers who have the skills and the experience for available jobs can still face challenges, due to the greater competition for those open positions. Of course, candidates who have the ability and desire to network; candidates who can convert strong resumes into interviews; and candidates who excel in those interviews will always have an advantage. 

Fortunately, the education and training needed to acquire these skills are precisely what JVS Career Services is offering through their Career Success Package. To learn more about the wide variety of services JVS Career Services provides, please click here.

JVS Career Services Scholarship Programs Open for Applications

“College was something that I was kind of worried about how to pay for,” said Ohio State University senior Ashley Schlaeger. “I knew my parents would help me a little bit, but having the scholarship going in to college really helped me financially. It’s also helped me to keep my grades up, because one of the requirements is that you have a GPA of 3.0 or above.”

Since 1955, The Jewish Federation of Cincinnati Hilb Scholarship has been providing need-based financial assistance to students in the Cincinnati Jewish community.

“The Hilb Scholarship Fund is committed to making funds available for students who want to further their education after high school, and adults who want additional education and training,” said JVS Career Services CEO, Joni Burton. 

Gus Hilb established the Hilb Scholarship Fund at the Jewish Federation of Cincinnati in 1955 in honor of his parents, Mannis and Yetta Hilb, and since its inception it has been administered by JVS Career Services.

“Not only has the Hilb Scholarship been an immense financial help, but it has encouraged me to work to my full potential in all of my courses,” said Alex Katz, a senior at the University of Cincinnati. “I had a low GPA in high school, and I didn’t participate in many clubs or sports. I was lucky to have JVS Career Services take a chance on me.”

Katz continued, “I’m looking forward to what’s in store for me after graduation, and thanks to the skills I’ve gained over the past four years, I’m optimistic about my future. I would like to thank JVS Career Services from the bottom of my heart.”

For the 2020-2021 academic year, 83 Hilb scholarships, totaling more than $200,000, were awarded.

“I love watching the students succeed, and getting to know each of them individually,” said Kasey Rouse, Scholarship Coordinator at JVS Career Services. “I love that I have the chance to make a difference in so many lives.”

The Hilb Scholarship isn’t the only opportunity available to students. These additional funds are also available to students who complete the Hilb scholarship application: the Anne and George Heldman Family Scholarship Fund, the Saidel Award, the Guthman Award, the Graff Award, and the Weiss Award.

Another fund available is the Weiland Scholarship, which is open to Jewish residents of the Greater Cincinnati area who are attending Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. This fund is available through a separate application that is open throughout the year.

The last day to submit an application for the Hilb scholarship for the 2021-2022 academic year is May 1st, 2021. Students interested in applying must set up an appointment for an interview with the scholarship coordinator. You can learn more here.

Scholarship assistance is just one of the many services that JVS Career Services offers to students. The agency also works with students on career coaching, resume writing, networking, and interviewing skills all free of charge.  As students approach the end of their schooling, JVS Career Services helps students find internships or jobs after graduation. JVS Career Services is dedicated to helping students get the most out of their college careers, and will be there with them throughout their professional life.

How JVS Career Services is Helping Dan Rapp Get Back to Work

“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.