It’s not often Resource get to help a family back into employment. The Grodner-Benjamins were our first.
Wife and mum Debby came to us first. She had stopped work to have a family, but as the children grew older, she felt the need to return to the workplace. However, she wasn’t sure what kind of work to go for.
“My luck changed when I turned to Resource. Their voluntary advisors are professional employment experts and thanks to Resource’s supporters and donors, everything is provided free.
“My advisor helped me build my confidence and I went to many of Resource’s workshops, including how to make best use of networking – in other words, getting to hear of employment opportunities among friends, acquaintances and former colleagues – preparing job applications and CVs, and interview skills.
“Together, my advisor’s support and sharing the experiences of others at the workshops helped rebuild my confidence. They got me thinking constructively about the kind of job I’d enjoy, the employers to approach, and how to do so. I began to feel empowered. I decided to look into voluntary work and with my advisor’s encouragement, I took on a role as a volunteer at the Holocaust Survivors’ Centre.”
Later Debby found new work but felt that she needed guidance on what to do next. Unsurprisingly, she sought the help of Resource.
“My new advisor was incredibly supportive and immediately got me thinking positively. I again went to a number of Resource’s workshops. I became truly motivated and felt my self-confidence return. My advisor recognised my strengths as a people-person and I found work at a school where I specialised in working with students needing learning support. I’m delighted to say I’ve been there ever since.”
Dex’s success story
Debby’s eldest, Dex, then 23, with a first-class honours degree in English and a master’s in social history, was having a tough time finding work in the arts.
“I had applied for lots of jobs in galleries and theatre but with repeated rejections. I had performed and produced my own events for some time but lacked the necessary administrative experience.”
Mum persuaded Dex to make an appointment with Resource.
“I saw the same advisor who had helped Mum. He worked with me on my CV and interview skills, encouraged me to think more broadly about my career path and helped strengthen my resilience. I took on a range of ad hoc jobs while I was building up my creative projects as work in the arts can fluctuate.
“My advisor helped me understand that concentrating solely on the creative side wasn’t enough for me to advance my career; it was essential to learn and understand the business side too.
Geoff’s Resourceful move
Husband and dad Geoff qualified as a Chartered Accountant in his twenties, starting in accountancy practices before heading the finance departments in a couple of fund management organisations and then moving into the property sector. He subsequently joined an office space management company as Finance Director, but after 19 years decided it was time to move on. Debby suggested he should see her Resource advisor.
“I was pretty rusty at job hunting, which in itself had changed considerably. For one thing, much of it is done via social media, particularly LinkedIn, of which I had little experience.
“My advisor encouraged me to up my game using LinkedIn and to develop a networking plan. It’s surprising how many contacts and friends you may have built up over the years without realising it.
“So many job opportunities began coming my way through past acquaintances, friends and even friends of friends. Within three months I found the perfect job through a combination of networking and using LinkedIn, back in the financial side of a real estate investment company.
“I owe so much to Resource and my advisor. He helped me create a job-hunting strategy, build my LinkedIn profile, strengthen my CV, select specialist workshops, attend networking events where Resource clients are put together with employers, and develop my interview skills. They all kept me busy, active and positive.”
Debby’s, Geoff’s and Dex’s Advice
“Job hunting can be lonely and depressing, the more so as time goes on,” says Debby. “Resource help rebuild your confidence, instil in you the knowledge that you’re not alone and keep you focused. Do take in the workshops relevant to you and your situation, where you can mix with others in the same boat and become again the working person you really are. Amazingly, it all comes at absolutely no cost.”
Dex says Resource gave him much needed perspective, helping him to keep positive and resilient and enabling him to think logically about his employment options.
For Geoff, the key benefits Resource provide are confidence-building, learning to use social media such as LinkedIn for job-hunting, joining with others in similar situations and gaining vital skills from attending their events and workshops.
Truly, a family matter that has ended so well for the Grodner-Benjamins!
For further information about Resource and its free support for those in the Jewish Community seeking employment, visit www.resource-centre.org or call 020 8346 4000.