Each week, the Career Transitions Workshop helps job-seekers -- or those needing to change jobs -- find solace, help, and new faith in themselves while hitting the pavement on the job hunt.
The director, Pam Harper-Pollard, says it’s a way to help the unemployed find a life while looking to find a living.
Harper-Pollard says they help those who are hurting from job loss by using and building faith in a tough time.
“It just has catapulted people to help them see what they thought was impossible becomes possible because God is in it. And we do that every single week,” she said.
While likened to a support group or bible study in its emotional benefits, the Career Transition Workshop’s weekly meeting are very hands-on in offering knowledge and training to find the next position, and making sure it’s the right one for you.
After a prayer, mentors like Robin Whitson offer advice from the podium, suggesting, for example, “How you write reveals volumes about you. People's first impression is often a piece of written communication ... your resume, your cover letter."
A big emphasis in this regard is to teach social media newcomers to use tools like Linked In, Twitter and Facebook to network among those who can help them land the right position for their lives.
Harper says, "Resumes are first, packaging is next, networking is next, interviewing is next and then, finally, you negotiate your job. We cover it all."
People like Don Makalous lost his job of 21 years ago as a minister. He has gone through the workshop twice in the last 10 years, and now enjoys a new job at Oak Hills.
"It was like a breath of fresh air for me, trying to figure out what God wanted me to do with my life, where I was to go now, " he said.
Another believer is Robert Deleon, who has been searching twice now for the right job using the tools of the workshop. He says the faith-based support kept him afloat, while the networking advice worked magic. He starts a new job this week as a warehouse manager.
“Every week as you're kind of beat down," he said. "'I've applied for this, I've applied for that, I haven't heard back.' You kind of get run down and every week, I would look forward to Thursdays."
Those who graduate into new jobs often become mentors in the workshop in the future, helping newcomers from a point of personal experience to get over the shock of job loss and unemployment.
“If you can't tell me your story without telling me, 'I can't believe what she did to me,' then you still need some work. We don't even want you to get on the market yet," says Harper.
The Career Transition Workshop is held each Thursday night at Oak Hills Church, but another session is held weekly at Redland Oaks Church, as well.
For more information on this free group, contact www.oakhillschurch.com.