Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What was Your First Job?

While I was still in high school I had the opportunity to work part time during the summer. My mother worked in an office and they had a need for someone to help them get caught up on their filing and some odd jobs that the office workers could not complete due to the volume of work they had. One night at supper, my mother asked me if I would be interested in working two days a week for four hours helping out at the office.  I was intrigued by the opportunity. She then proceeded to tell me that I would go to work with her the next day and that I would begin the day with an interview with her boss. She and my father, who was a manger for a supermarket and conducted all of the interviews, shared with me some tips to help me get ready for my interview. 

What I did not know was the interview was just a formality and that I was goi
ng to get the job. Despite being very nervous, I took the interview seriously and began my journey into the world of work at the age of 13.  I learned professionalism, customer service, how to dress, the importance of being on time and what was expected of an employee.  I worked hard and as a result was given employment the following summer which resulted in employment during my four years of college. 

Rarely and probably never are interviews just a formality.  I was lucky to have parents and a willing employer take their time to teach me how to begin the world of work.  As I began working with college students I found myself in the role of coaching them as they prepared for their interviews to become teachers. I soon learned that many people did not have the opportunity I had at 13 to learn from my parents and employers.  Consequently, many people need to learn the basics of searching for jobs, preparing their applications and selling themselves in an interview.  

Today, Doña Ana Community College has the privilege of hosting the Jobs to Career Readiness Bootcamp sponsored by the Mesilla Valley Economic Development Alliance (MVEDA), El Paso Electric and the DACC Career Services Office. Over 126 individuals from the community signed up to learn job readiness skills such as preparing a resume, interviewing, dressing for success, and searching for jobs.  In addition, they will have the opportunity to complete an application to be considered by several employers who have recently located to the Boarder Plex region who have over 1000 jobs available in manufacturing, call centers, and general office work.  I wish each of the participants all the best as they complete the day and their applications are reviewed for consideration.  I know the tips they receive today will help them sell themselves and highlight their skills to the employers from whom they seek employment.

If you know anyone who would wish to participate in a Jobs to Career Readiness Bootcamp, let them know about the next Bootcamp being held at the Doña Ana Community College Gadsden Center. You can click here for more information about future opportunities. 

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