One of the most difficult parts of being an intern at Daily Work is how difficult and lengthy job searches can be. Sometimes, it takes more than an hour to apply for one job - not including resume tweaking, cover letter editing, making follow-up phone calls, etc. While many jobs are found in online postings, it can be a time consuming and risky endeavor, as you will learn about below. Using the approach below, we successfully place 30 percent of our job seekers, but our goal is to do much better than that. We know, the best positions are are often come by through word of mouth and networking, which is why you, as board members, members of our partner churches, donors, and other supporters are a crucial piece of the job search puzzle. As you read about Fassil's job search process, think about your connections and how they may help a hard worker like Fassil.
Fassil, an immigrant from Ethiopia, has worked as an aircraft cleaner at the airport for more than seven years.
Although he enjoys going to work every day, his dream was to work in the medical field. In March of 2012, Fassil took his first step in achieving that dream by becoming a certified nursing assistant, or CNA. In my capacity as a social work intern, I met and began working with Fassil in October of 2012 to help him search for a CNA job. Week after week we searched job boards, nursing home websites, and even made cold calls to facilities around the metro area.
Unfortunately for Fassil (and other newly licensed CNAs), most employers prefer to hire people with experience. In November, we applied to a posting on Craigslist for an in-home CNA that required no experience, even though Fassil was seeking work in a nursing home work setting. The next week, he shared with me a strange string of emails. Even though he had not worked a day, the employer wanted Fassil’s bank information so that he could deposit a “check” into his account. The problem is that they also wanted Fassil to send a $1,000+ check back to them, which supposedly was to be covered by the money that had already been sent to him. Fassil felt uneasy about this and came to us for guidance. My supervisor and I agreed that there was something “off” with these requests and with more research, we discovered that this was a popular Internet scam.
Although discouraging, we continued to apply for a variety of CNA positions. Within two weeks, Fassil had an interview at a nursing home – just what he had hoped for! By our next meeting, Fassil had been offered the job and was attending orientation the following day. Because he is such a valuable and respected employee at the airport, Fassil’s boss was willing to restructure his schedule so that he can continue working there by day and now, work overnight as a CNA. Due to Fassil’s diligence… combined with the guidance and support from Daily Work that your donations make possible, Fassil is now working in the employment field of his dreams!
by Bryssa Koppie, Daily Work social work intern