If you are in the process of switching jobs—whether by choice or by necessity—it can feel like a very solitary process. But the truth is you are part of a community of people who walked this road before you and can guide your navigation of the path.
The experts in our Adult Career and Special Student Services are among those who are here to help, as John Vander Meer can attest.
“In a job search, I am the type of person who needs to do everything possible to secure a worthwhile position,” says Vander Meer. “When I heard about the community services available through UW-Madison’s Division of Continuing Studies, it made perfect sense to see how those services could assist me.”
Vander Meer used the whole suite of assistance from Adult Career and Special Student Services: the free weekly Job Search Support Group, the two-day Tools for Purposeful Career Change workshop, and one-on-one appointments with UW-Madison career counselors. He found value in each of them—and ultimately found a new career.
“With my background in communications, public policy, and government affairs, I was privileged to secure a position with the Wisconsin Health Care Association and the Wisconsin Center for Assisted Living as their communications director, where I have worked for the last four years,” Vander Meer says.
A welcoming place
When you’re looking for the right job, it’s critical to keep your skills in networking, interviewing, and other areas as sharp as possible. It also helps to hear from others who are in the same situation; they can provide support, understanding, and advice.
“Our Job Search Support Group provides a welcoming place for job seekers to learn about and practice essential job-seeking skills,” says senior career and educational counselor Sybil Pressprich. “At the same time, they can connect with others in a similar situation for support.”
Though it’s been several years since he worked with UW-Madison advisors, Vander Meer has not forgotten the challenges of his search.
“I know how difficult the process of a job search can be. While I wasn’t without a job for as long as many other folks out there during the recession, I was lucky to have the support of my fiancée at the time, who’s now my wife, as well as my friends and family,” he says. “I also felt very fortunate to have the ability to work with capable career counselors who care passionately about helping people find rewarding employment.”
UW-Madison’s Adult Career and Special Student Services staff are available to anyone in the community searching for a more meaningful and satisfying career. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 608-263-6960 to learn more.
“We help a wide range of people facing career transitions,” says Pressprich, “from people who want to advance their career through additional training to people who have no idea what their career path should be to those who are actively job-seeking.”