Interview with Student Employee on the Career Development Pathway
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Interview with Student Employee on the Career Development Pathway

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.

by Margot Latici, CLE Denver

Tyler first paycheck 2When asked to do an article for the CLE newsletter to highlight a career student’s employment experience it was a no brainer for me on who to pick. Tyler has been employed with TJ Maxx for just a month now, but has stepped into his new role with the tenacity of a seasoned employee. Tyler agreed to do an interview with me regarding his experience as an employee at TJ Maxx, giving me a better sense of what a new job looks like for an individual on the career development pathway.

What made you initially apply for this job?

Tyler: I needed a job for the summer job and I have financial goals that I have set and want to fulfill. My goal is to save up as much money as possible. Right now it’s saving for a laptop computer, and I anticipate that I will have enough money in two months to purchase it.

It is great to have a goal like that. Has it helped you save? Do you have direct deposit through work?

Tyler: Well, I overspent a little bit this weekend at the Denver Comic Con, but all the money I make will go towards my personal savings. Right now I just take a picture of my paycheck and deposit it electronically with my mobile banking app.

Great skill to have! What was it like when you first got the job at TJ Maxx? Were you excited? Nervous? Proud?

Tyler: When I first got the job I was excited and a little nervous that I would not do well because I previously only worked in the food industry.

What helped you overcome the nervousness?

Tyler: Working hard. It was also nice because I had volunteered at TJ Maxx with the group volunteer as part of my career development program. I was familiar with the store and some of the same job responsibilities that I have now.

Tyler Broncos fan

It must be nice to get paid for them now! What was your training like?

Tyler: Training was easy because of my experience with the volunteer group. My biggest take away is how to spot a shop lifter and how to deal with that issue.

How do you spot a shop lifter?

Tyler: Well, if you think you see one you call on the radio for department 14 to come to your section and they will handle it.

Tyler eating (cooking group)

Do you feel like you were supported in the process of finding a job and making this transition?

Tyler: Yes. CLE has helped with the application and keeping me accountable for my schedule. Reflecting with my career advisor on what is going well and what is not going well is very helpful. I am learning to become more organized in my personal life because I have to manage around my work schedule and communicate my work schedule with others at CLE. My family is also supportive and encouraging. They are excited that I am working in something other than food!

Do you feel like you are learning any new skills? Do you feel that there is employment mobility at TJ Maxx?

Tyler: I am learning to be more organized in the store because each department has a specific protocol to follow and I work in different departments sometimes. I would be interested in trying the cashier position and I feel that I am in a supportive environment to try new things. I feel comfortable with my managers and I do not take constructive criticism personally.

Tyler, I have been in touch with your manager at TJ Maxx and I have heard nothing but positive feedback about you. TJ Maxx is excited to have such a positive and hardworking employee and CLE is so proud to have an exemplary career pathway student. Nice work!

Newsletter Articles – June 2015

Holiday Inn Austin

Work. For most Americans, it is the priority that fills the majority of our waking hours each day. Through our work, we are able to achieve other important milestones in our lives. James H. Douglas, Jr., lawyer and senior-level official in the U.S. government in the mid-20th century, may have put it best when he said: “A good job is more than just a paycheck. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community. A good job is a means to provide for the health and welfare of your family….”

While there are times when we may dream of vacationing the days away and not having the responsibilities of work, the satisfaction of a job well done draws us back to realize how valuable our careers are to our well-being. Benjamin Franklin said, “it is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.” Through our work, we gain self-worth, confidence and the sense of contributing to our community at large.

Shaking hands at interview.

Malcolm Gladwell says that experts like Bill Gates, Roger Federer and Yo-Yo Ma have each put in over 10,000 hours of practice to become the authorities that they are. In learning how to interview and impress an employer, practice is the most constant and important ingredient in the mix of success. But what exactly do I practice and how do I do that?
Start practicing with the job application. Your first contact with an employer is through your job application. It is important that they are neat, clearly filled out and complete. Only apply for jobs that (1) you are qualified for and, (2) you are interested in and willing to do the work. Everyone fills out the same application, so you distinguish yourself through the cover letter process.

Ethan Mendick

Ethan started working at Best Friends Pet Care on October 10th, 2014. His role is a Play Time Associate where he takes care of both cats and dogs at the facility.

“I had another job before Best Friends, but I was working there alone for many hours.” Ethan began looking for a new job with the help of Rockville’s Career Development Coordinator, Jacky Cohen. “Even before I had the job, I practiced for the interview with Jacky. She came with me for the interview and for my first day at the job.”

Volunteering - CLE Austin

A volunteer experience is an essential part of the CLE Career Development framework across all centers. While volunteering is good for the community and can give students a great sense of pride, accomplishment, and connection, why is it essential on the Career Development Pathway?

Traditionally volunteer experiences are viewed like an extracurricular activity; something that is a nice addition to your daily routine, but not a necessity. The modern job market, however, demands more and more experience and having a consistent volunteer routine is an ideal way to stay competitive, relevant and create opportunities.

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