By Tina Cervantes
After eighteen years of employment with a firm, I suddenly found myself without a job. What? After eighteen years of loyal service, they no longer want me! I knew the business extremely well; I was given awards for being a valued employee, someone they didn’t want to lose. Now they were discarding me!
Regardless of the reason, losing a job is painful. I had assumed that because I was loyal to my employer, they would be loyal to me—I was wrong.
When I first started attending Career-Confidence.org, I benefited from the technical and practical know-how—from learning how to write a resume that recruiters want to read to negotiating job offers. The team of experts, recruiters, and HR professionals lets you know what you need to do to land a quality job.
Then there’s the individualized aspect of Career-Confidence.org. Robert Brandau, the Founding Director, will meet one-on-one with job seekers to assist them in applying the information taught in the seminars.
Although I benefited from the first two aspects of the program, what really changed my life was the increased confidence I gained by being a part of the group.
I had the opportunity to represent Career-Confidence.org as a volunteer at a few job fairs. The first fair I attended was a Corporate Gray job fair, www.corporategray.com. I went there depressed, anxious, feeling worthless, and thinking to myself: “Why do I have to look for a job?” “Why couldn’t I just be employed like I was for eighteen years?” “Why do I have to have the stress of not having a paycheck?” I spent the first 40 minutes sitting in my car, having a pity party, and then went in. I stayed for about an hour and left; it was too depressing to be out of work.
Later, one of the speakers at a Career-Confidence.org seminar shared with us a weekly schedule for job searching. I found out that when you’re unemployed, you do need to keep a work schedule. Your “job” is to find a quality job. Having a work schedule made my life feel normal and productive. It also helped me focus on critical job search activities and avoid unproductive activities.
After a few months of being around the team at Career-Confidence.org, I gained confidence by believing that my skills were of value to others. My value no longer came from having a paycheck, but from knowing that I have, can, and will benefit future employers. This time, when I went to the Corporate Gray job fair, I was full of energy and enthusiasm. I was there for the entire time, confidently talking to people about my skills and value to others. I had a bounce in my step and a smile on my face. Yes, I still needed work, but I knew my skills were valuable to future employers. Career-Confidence.org gave me CONFIDENCE, a priceless gift.
The Path of Increased Confidence
Career-Confidence.org is a business education organization with a Christian component; at the end of each seminar, volunteers share how Jesus changed their lives. This is a 15-minute presentation, and attendees are free to leave before or ignore it altogether. For me, however, this segment became the path towards a different kind of confidence.
I had put my confidence in the paycheck and the steady job I had for eighteen years. That proved to be a bad idea. Then I learned to be confident in my abilities as a benefit to future employers; I am still confident that employers need my skills. However, the economic realities of our world are unpredictable. After being around Career-Confidence.org, I understand that my confidence should be in the creator of the universe (Jesus), who came into the world and died on the cross to draw us back into a personal, loving, and caring relationship with God. There are countless stories about God caring for people who didn’t deserve His love, nor could they pay Him back. God loves Tina just because God loves Tina. God loves you just because God loves you. God loves us because that is His character; we can’t earn His love. The confidence we have knowing that a loving God is controlling our lives gives us peace, even when life makes no sense.
Career-Confidence.org offers hope to those who need help finding their true value and path in this world.