Career Services On Demand!

July 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

As I have been transitioning from staff to volunteer with the Empowerment Center, I have had the opportunity to be a guinea pig for some of the services from PEC to help me understand what Coaching can do. One of the latest developments that we are very excited about is the introduction of the new Virtual Career Center. The VCC is a tool that Lisa, Cindy, & Maria have used before in the past and they really liked it and they knew it would be a valuable addition to PEC.

One of the biggest barriers that was cited in the Howard County Association of Community Services report, “Making Ends Meet” report last year was transportation and access to services.

  • Our area is very car dependent.
  • Services have traditionally only been available Monday – Friday, from 9 to 5 when people are working.
  • The majority of people seeking services are women with small children.
  • Childcare remains a constant challenge for most working mothers.

Women are good at putting everyone else first. That’s why we know when it comes to career advancement and job searching, the above issues prevent women from being able to progress in their careers. Which is why we were so keen to get the VCC up and available. If you have internet access (either at home or at the library) you can do career coaching work on your schedule at your pace at your convenience!

I took some time to experiment with the VCC and then discussed my results with Cindy Virtue, our Career Coach. Cindy suggested that I start with some of the assessment to help me identify things I am good at doing or like. Further, Cindy told me the assessments give me a vocabulary to use on my resume.

I started with a Quick Profile. It is an interactive section that helps you identify your values, temperament, personality, interests, and skills and talents. Here’s an example of a question:

As you went through, it directed you to click on statements and not think to hard about them. After a few minutes, I got results that I thought was pretty spot on with regard to the kind of environment or industries where I would thrive.  I found it mildly interesting that it recommended the banking industry!

I really liked the professional skills assessment. During the assessment I was asked to select a variety of skills that I enjoyed and felt I was good at doing. The results came back.  Again, surprising but not surprising.  Business acumen, who knew?

I completed the Values Assessment and it mirrored the other results I received. As Cindy and I discussed, she said you want to find a job that aligns with your values. Otherwise, you won’t be happy and be there for the long-term. It certainly explained why I’ve done better in some positions rather than others.  Here’s a screen shot of how the Values Assessment was conducted.

The best part of the VCC is that I could start and stop. It saved my progress. I could also see that it would be a benefit if I were preparing for a coaching session with Cindy or Maria. With this background information, it would mean that coaching sessions could be more focused. The VCC allows you to share your information and results with your coach allowing you both to work effectively outside the coaching sessions.

There is way more in the system than I have had time to explore. There’s a Resume Builder and Cindy is raving about the Industry Research section which I am going to try next.

Cindy is conducting a live demo of the Virtual Career Center on Tuesday, July 17th at 10:00 am in the PEC office. Send her an email at cindy@empowerctr.org to RSVP your spot!  You can also help make the VCC available to a woman who cannot afford services with a tax-deductible contribution to our scholarship fund!  

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