Job security is never a guarantee. Kevin Thomas learned this lesson the hard way in 2008. Employed as a Bell South repair clerk for more than three decades when the recession hit, Thomas was laid off with many of his colleagues.
"At first I wasn't worried about it," he says. "But it had been 35 years since I'd applied for a job." Facing a bleak market with no résumé on hand and limited job seeking knowledge, Thomas turned to the Internet in search of solutions.
He came across information on Goodwill of North Georgia's services, including the organization's forklift certification program. "That's what I wanted to do, because I had worked in warehouses before I went to the army and I had some experience with a forklift," he says. Surprising himself with some of his takeaways from the program, he learned much more than the basics of forklift operation.
Some of his most valuable lessons from Goodwill were job readiness and soft skills training. Creating a résumé was only one of the steps Thomas took at the career center to ready himself for the job market. He also learned techniques to help himself overcome his nerves during interviews, how to market himself to prospective employers and how to search competitively for jobs.
Shortly after graduating from the program Thomas heard about a job opening at Lightnin RV Rentals. Employing the lessons he learned at Goodwill, he followed the lead and nailed his interview. The position could not have been a better fit.
"I love to work on stuff and I love a challenge," he says. "It's the perfect job for me."