Friday, November 29, 2013

Dressing for success, my story

"The summer of 2012 was a tough time for me. It marked my three-and-a-half year anniversary since moving to Vancouver, the same amount of time that I had been highly under-employed or not employed at all. Vancouver has been a challenging city in which to find work.

In May of that year, after a vigorous series of interviews, I finally landed a job that I thought would be my long-term resting place with a company I was really keen to join. Sadly, I quickly learned that the job and the company were not for me, and by August, just a few short months later, I was laid off.
It was back to the job-hunting board for me; a nightmare of a full-time job that I was not eager to return to. And then I had a chat with my lovely neighbor Trude, who upon hearing about my situation, asked had I ever heard of Dress For Success? I answered that I didn’t think I had and she excitedly described who they are, what they do and then passed along a referral and I was in!

From the moment I walked in the door, I was made to feel comfortable. Two lovely volunteers raced me around the clothing and accessories to find the perfect ‘interview’ outfit. When I mentioned some of my limitations and preferences on clothing, they were so kind to make me feel at ease and work within those parameters – I swear they had so much fun trying to dress me.
Once I had the outfit, the next step was career guidance for which I was paired with two career HR women in related fields to mine. They were extremely helpful to talk to, providing me with information about various opportunities across sectors and within my field. They also looked over my resume and offered pointers for improvement, as well as ideas on other positions I could apply for.

I left Dress For Success that day with so much more than I thought I would. The supportive and knowledgeable staff was exactly what I needed to help boost my spirit and get me moving in the right direction. And with a new outfit fit for an interview, I was armed with the right tools and resources to get me back on the right track. A few weeks later I managed to find a job that, although below my qualifications and desired salary, turned out to be a wonderful opportunity that has grown into so much more.

I’m so thankful to my Trude for introducing me to Dress For Success, and equally as thankful that programs like this, and with such a fabulous group of people running it, exist. Whenever I talk to women I know that are unemployed or underemployed, I can’t help but pass along the same excited description about Dress For Success that my neighbor had given to me. Thank you"

Jacqueline M.
Dress For Success Vancouver Client

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