Julie came to America less than five years ago – the age of modern HR practices, digital resumes, and fierce employment competition already in full swing. Add the stress of raising a pre-teen child as a single mom, and who wouldn’t feel the pressure to make a comfortable income? Julie could envision a better life for her and her child, and took matters into her own hands when she reached out to Move Up.
While for many underserved women just getting a job in the first place is a huge accomplishment, equally as trying is the hurdle of knowing you are qualified to work at a higher level, but being unsure of the path to get there. Julie had an impressive skill set in accounting and customer service certified by a Masters degree from India, yet was making less than minimum wage at $11/hour. Our journey with Julie began with changing that number.
We explained to Julie that applying for new jobs, even with the fear of leaving a stable source of income, could provide bargaining power with a current employer. Out of the multiple offers Julie got just by getting her resume in the market and interviewing with different employers, she didn’t take a single one. Rather, we coached her through negotiation techniques and her current employer agreed to raise her salary to $25/hour based on competitive offers.
Our work could have been done here, but through this process Julie saw that there were better opportunities for her to pursue. She stayed in touch with the companies that had extended her offers, demonstrating that a thirst to land her dream job in the minerals and stones industry had been ignited within her. It was then a matter of finding the role that would make her excited to go to work every day.
We discussed how to evaluate job roles, communicate with employers, and manage how she could raise her child as well as take on a larger work scope. Julie had maintained good relationships with all those that she spoke to, an extremely powerful tool that provided her with choices in her job search. Julie signed to be a sales manager for a company in the granite industry – a celebratory moment for her and her Move Up mentors.
Julie cannot wait to get started at her new job. As a sales manager, she will be able to combine being a leader as well as being mentored and coached by the manager above her. A few months back she never would have thought she could find these aspects in a job while feeling secure about her income. We use her story as example for those who may fear that initial risk.
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