After a successful start to her career, Jen made the tough decision to take a step back from work to raise her children and support her aging mother. Nearly 21 years later, Jen was ready to re-enter the workforce but was unsure where to begin.
“I was really intimidated. It threw my confidence for a loop,” Jen said.
She discovered PA Women Work’s 3 Cups of Coffee program and was connected with a volunteer mentor, Midori Vasquez. The two found common ground in their first meeting and built a relationship from there.
“We initially started talking about our personal life. We have children about the same age. She explained to me she was out of the workforce for 18 years. And I’m thinking, okay, there are other people out there like me,” Jen remembered.
Feeling uncertain of what her next step should be, Jen and Midori worked together to revise her resume, discuss opportunities she’d be qualified for, and set achievable goals.
“She helped me understand that she couldn’t do it for me. I had to do it myself. But she gave me the tools and the encouragement,” Jen said.
“She had the confidence in herself, I just helped her find it again,” Midori said.
Shortly after beginning the program, Jen received a job offer from Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory and looks forward to continuing her career growth and achieving her goals.
“Getting that acceptance letter was, do I say I felt whole again? I felt like I did this. I did this for myself. I have had a smile on my face ever since,” Jen said.
To learn more about 3 Cups of Coffee, visit www.3cupsofcoffee.org. Jen was one of our 2023 Client Empowerment Award winners at Circle of Hope. Watch her full story below.