It Might Be Worth It for You, Too
I started volunteering for Daily Work when I was unemployed in 2013. While my volunteer work used to be more expansive, my current volunteer work is to help create content for the Daily Work website by encouraging the case managers, whether social work interns or volunteers, to write blogs.
I know my work may seem strange, but I guide each case worker through the fear to write and into a place to explore their experiences at Daily Work through words. Each of them is encouraged to write 2 or 3 blogs, and they aren’t given a specific topic. Strangely enough, they follow a pattern when writing their blog series. Most begin their blog writing by seeing it as a fear-filled activity.
Once we move past fear, I have the pleasure of watching the case managers move from blindness to sight. Before they at Daily Work, each one has a preconception of what a struggling job seeker looks like, and the first blog usually describes their first day with a job seeker through their current work. They write about how their preconception is shattered. One-on-one work is more than the statistics. Each case manager looks each job seeker in the face, sees their pain, understands their pain and digs deep to help the job seeker in all possible ways, from perfecting a resume, to registering for an English Language Learner Course, to practicing for an interview, to providing information about resources for cell phones, clothing or food.
Daily Work has helped me in a multitude of ways since I began volunteering 4 and a half years ago. I’m a struggling job seeker. I don’t fit into any preconception of what a struggling job seeker “should” be like. I am a highly educated, white, American born citizen working a white-collar job in marketing.
A few months ago, the atmosphere at my job became toxic. The toxicity was so severe it was causing me significant mental distress, to the point it made me physically ill. On work days, I would wake up with a small pain on the lower right side of my mouth, and by the end of the day, my jaw would be locked to the point where I couldn’t talk by the time I got home. Sometimes it would be so bad, I would have a locked jaw for the entire weekend.
At the beginning of October, I finally sought medical attention, my doctor gave me medication and instructed me to see a physical therapist, who said: “The first part of your treatment plan is to get out of this job as fast as you possibly can.” Those days in October were dark, dark days. How could I allow the toxicity of a job environment to leave me in such physical and emotional pain? I had fallen into the trap where the toxic, abusive environment ate at my self-esteem and self-worth; I didn’t believe another job was possible. Even now, at my job that I started a few days ago, I am still dealing with the effects of the struggle.
While I was going through this difficult time, I was still volunteering at Daily Work and reading the blogs from case managers about other struggling job seekers finding jobs and surviving! The stories gave me hope, and I knew I could contact Daily Work and seek any type of help I needed, even if just was someone to listen to my pain and fear of being a struggling job seeker.
Daily Work is here for everyone.
If you are a struggling job seeker, reach out. Daily Work’s case managers are anxiously awaiting to validate your fears and provide you with guidance, no matter what type of job you have held in the past or what type of job you need to protect your future.
If you know of a struggling job seeker, I urge you to send them to Daily Work.
If you have ever been a struggling job seeker, know a struggling job seeker or someone who has been unemployed in the past, I ask that you support Daily Work by Giving to the Max on Thursday, November 16. The monetary support you give can:
- Increase capacity by another 20% in 2018 to serve a total of 300 at-risk job seekers.
- Increase staff from 1.75 to 3.0 full-time positions to leverage additional volunteers and promote constancy within services.
With increased volunteers and capacity, imagine how many more case managers will learn how to blog, imagine how many more struggling job seekers, just like me, can get the support they need to keep going and move from surviving to thriving.
Thank you, Daily Work, for being there in my darkest hours.
by Becky Billings, Daily Work Volunteer