NOVA Success Story: Isabel Echeverria
ProMatch, a collaborative of NOVA and the California Employment Development Department, is a member-driven program where job seekers from the professional fields obtain the right connections, resources, and encouragement necessary to engage in a successful job search. Promatch customer Isabel Echeverri describes her success story:
For the first time in my life, I lost my job, on November 7, 2014. I thought it would be easy to find another one. After all, I had been recruited into my last two jobs, and always consistently rated as a top performer. When my friends heard I was unemployed, some of them recommended NOVA. At first, I didn’t go. Surely I would find a job; NOVA was for losers, and I was not a loser. Months went by and it became apparent to me that nobody was going to come knock on my door and offer me a job. I had applied to about 150 jobs and gotten 2 interviews. I was a divorced mother of two children and wanted to keep the family as stable as possible. In March, I joined NOVA at the insistence of my friends. I found the staff very friendly. I took some of the classes and met with a career coach, who suggested I join ProMatch.
When I finally made it to ProMatch in May, I used to hate going to the meetings. There were all these cheerful people. Why were they so cheerful? Didn’t they know that looking for a job sucks? And how come they all knew exactly what they were looking for? I was lost!! Oh, and then there was the “success stories” part. I hated that part. I would sink deeper in my chair and bury myself in my fear.
And then, one day, I gathered the courage to ask for help. I went to talk to Connie. She somehow, magically I felt, understood what I was going through. Bob chimed in from his cube. I felt welcome - not a stranger anymore. I started participating more. Made friends. Joined a success team…. something inside me started to turn.
When the opportunity finally came, I had my confidence back - I knew what I wanted to do and had my story ready. I had done all my numbers and knew my needs and was prepared to negotiate. I felt calm, strong, myself. Guess what - it was easy.
It has been a long and difficult journey. Networking, contributing, asking for help. You will be here one day, too.