After nearly a decade at one company, I had found myself out of work for the first time since 2004. I was shocked and saddened and burdened with guilty feelings. That first year was tough, but I managed especially with the help of my wife and parents. That is until the unemployment checks stopped arriving in late 2014. I found myself looking for another way out. Job prospects were dismal. I had a ton of interviews, but they always went with other candidates. And then, in early 2015, I received a letter from the EDD. I was to report to the South Metro Career Center on University Avenue in Central San Diego.
I found new hope at the career center when I met Joanne M. for the first time. She was my new career counselor and she has helped me in more ways than one. First, she introduced me to the South Metro Career Center itself. An organization built on the premise of helping those unemployed workers find new jobs in an ever-changing career landscape. Second, she encouraged me to go to the numerous workshops that taught attendees how to tailor their resumes to suit every individual job and how to prepare for interviews (both what to say and how to say it). Then, she also helped me apply for the WIOA educational assistance program. After several months of waiting and additional footwork (I needed to visit the schools where I would be taking my courses), I found out I had been chosen to receive the WIOA funds. Next, I embarked on a course in Certification as a Computer Technician at the California Institute of Arts & Technology. Finally, on June 27th of 2016, I received my Certificate of Completion from the Information Technology school.
In addition, I had gotten a job at a manufacturing company halfway through my technical training at CIAT. I owe a large part of that job hunting success to the workshop instructors at the SMCC. Remember those first six words. I learned those words from Samuel G. I also learned how to present my skills and accomplishments in job interviews by Santiago Leon, another workshop instructor with years and years of expert knowledge and experience in teaching and coaching. I was also assisted by Maylynne R., Diana S., and Aaron R.
The things I’ve learned at the South Metro Career Center will stay with me forever. I am grateful to the folks at the SMCC for their time and attentiveness to my needs. The best thing I can do for them in return is to educate those who find themselves out of work and direct them to the nearest career center that has such devoted people as the ones I met in San Diego.