I joined the Warwick Career Transition Group in 2014 as a means to gather a fresh view with regard to how to search for a job and to gain the emotional support I desperately craved. I was unexpectedly laid off from an executive level job in 2009, where I had been for 3 years, was adored by all whom I worked with, and had perfect performance evaluations. A change in the management's direction was the reason provided to me along with "you've done a great job." I was still feeling lost, with low self-esteem, and not knowing how much longer I could survive with a 75% reduction of my income. Then months later I gave up on my pride and started going to a food pantry for assistance. I was determined to not let life get to me and kept hanging on, saying something had to happen after being unemployed for 5 years. I knew I was a good person with a lot to offer, but could not find the door of opportunity to open. Persistence proved positive when in February 2015 I accepted a full-time job in my industry.
I had initially been referred to the Warwick Career Transition Group by someone whom I had met while attending another career group in the county when I first was laid off. The group sounded of a higher caliber of professionalism due to an insightful leader who possessed years of direct hands- on experience in human resources. My first meeting consisted of fewer than 10 individuals, making me feel instantly comfortable and welcomed. I walked in feeling very alone, defeated, lost and in a turmoil of "do's and don'ts" with resume formats and how to conduct my job search. By listening to the leader and to others, I acquired knowledge, suggestions and ideas which I took back home with me following each monthly meeting.
The group allowed me to connect with others and not feel so alone and unworthy. Being unemployed can wreak havoc on your emotional well-being. It takes strength, determination, and fortitude to not give up which is not an easy task, but this group provided warmth and bonding on a common level. This was one of the biggest fights of my life and if I hung on for 5 years, then I would say you can too. It's not an easy feat to conquer, but you need to believe along with allowing yourself to take days off from job searching (which Gregg [Knowles] taught me) and to know you are a good person."
"I first joined the Warwick Career Transition Group in March 2014, after seeing calendar listings for the group’s meetings in local newspapers, and shortly after moving to Warwick from Yonkers NY. I had learned from past periods of unemployment and career change, how important it is to be part of a support group, and I am grateful that one exists here.
The group has been a way for me to connect with folks in my new community and learn more about the area. I anticipate that, although I was (and continue to be) employed part time, I will eventually expand my local job search activities. It’s good to know someone will “have my back."
While regularly attending monthly meetings I’ve met and heard the stories of so many interesting individuals. It’s especially inspiring when members who have endured long periods of unemployment and job search frustrations come back to report they have found new jobs."
"I had been unemployed for a quite a while (six months or a year) and I met someone in a restaurant and we began to talk about our lives. When she heard of my employment issues (over fifty-seven, worked in the same place for over twenty-seven years, was let go without warning or any performance issues) she suggested that I check out the Warwick Career Transition Group. My hope was to find other folks in a similar situation who might have ideas or suggestions, or who could at least understand the loss of self-esteem and purpose that occurs when you are in this type of situation. I was also hoping to get some resume help and help with the best use of social media.
The group has more than lived up to my expectations. In many ways I was just looking for some support. What I found was a group of people who had walked in my shoes and who were non-judgmental, who understood how hard this situation is on those of us who find ourselves there. It became a safe place to talk and get ideas and help. It also offers the opportunity to help others and give suggestions, which is helpful for my self-esteem as well. The group is wonderful and when I have to miss a meeting, I feel as if I am missing a meeting with friends and an opportunity to find out how they are making out. We cheer each other on, are happy for each other’s successes and saddened by each other’s troubles.
The group has helped me to stay positive, to have hope, and to be more inventive in what I do. If I stop looking or don’t do what I know I need to do, they understand why and tell me it is okay - I will get my focus back. They understand what is happening and are very supportive, which in turn helps me to continue. The moderator of the group, Gregg Knowles, gives additional sessions on job searching, social media, resume writing, interviewing techniques, much of which I have also taken advantage of and found very helpful.
I would (and have) recommend the group to anyone who is unemployed, fears being unemployed, or who is thinking of beginning a job search. There are many good ideas shared, but more importantly, the sharing and support is unquantifiable."
WEST MILFORD, NJ
"I became a member of the Warwick Career Transition Group when I was outplaced from my full time position. I wanted the opportunity to interact with other people who were in the same situation. It is very helpful to be able to talk with people to get feedback and ideas.
I have enjoyed the meetings. You get to share your activities with other members and get feedback and ideas. When one has been let go from their job, it is very easy to get down and lazy. I feel that being a member of the group and attending monthly meetings keeps you active in your search. At the meetings, you want to show that you are active and searching by sharing your activities.
I would encourage anyone who has been let go from their job to join the group or take advantage of any outplacement."
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