Editor's Note: This Q&A, edited for brevity, was originally published by the Nashville Institute for Faith and Work, a trusted partner of the VOCA Center.
The following interview was conducted with two participant's in VOCA Center's Career Navigator program, which equips job seekers to clarify their calling, strategically seek employment opportunities, and land a job that fits. To get started today, schedule your free consult.
VOCA: How did you feel going into the program, and how do you feel now having completed it?
Chad H. (CH): Coming into the program, I was nervous because job searching is a hard process, and I’m not always sure where to start. I knew having coaches would get me out of my comfort zone in needed areas such as changing my resume or refining my elevator pitch. After completing the program, I feel confident in the job search process. The coaches gave me great feedback, and I’m currently connecting with people and applying for jobs.
Niki F. (NF): I was extremely eager to learn more about my skills and how I could apply those to the job search. I came out of the Career Navigator program with a better sense of my innate God-given professional gifts, options for new career paths, and a toolbox full of skills that I can implement to land the next opportunity.
Voca: How are you more equipped to navigate a job search now than when you first started?
CH: I have a better understanding of my strengths and skills to talk about in an interview based on my assessment results. Also, I feel more confident in building a strong resume, knowing which stories to talk about in interviews, and how to use LinkedIn to target and network.
NF: I am better able to articulate my talents, define my path forward, and secure a position within a company that I believe in. My original career path felt like it was circular with no way forward. Now, my path feels more defined, and I feel equipped with the tools needed to move forward.
Voca: What job search challenges did you encounter during the process, and how did the training help you to address them?
CH: The question I was wrestling with during this process was whether I wanted to stay in my current industry, and if not, what field or industry I should pursue work in next. I had to do the work of narrowing down my industry options, which I was able to do through talking to different people and companies. Eventually, my career assessment results reaffirmed for me why I enjoy the type of work I’m currently doing.
NF: My biggest challenge was focused around having too many career options to pick from. I eventually realized that the informational interviews that were suggested were ways I could narrow that list. Once I made that connection, I was able to move forward.
Voca: What were your biggest takeaways that you learned in the program?
CH: Based on the different career assessments, I learned what my strengths and abilities were, which was reassuring and gave me confidence in understanding what field of work I should pursue. Additionally, learning how to tweak my resume when applying for jobs was vital information.
NF: My biggest takeaways from the program were learning that networking is essential (something I did not want to believe), developing a deeper knowledge of my God-given gifts through different career assessments, and being reminded throughout the process that God is for me.
Want to help change more lives like Chad and Niki? Consider a donation to the VOCA Center for Giving Tuesday on November 29th. Your gifts go towards building out our scholarship fund for job seekers in need.
Curious about whether the Career Navigator program is right for you? Schedule your free consult today.