Empowering People to Succeed
Dave Cook, Career Counselor, NEMOJT
Empowerment is a word which is casually tossed around in every day conversations – politics, sports, on the job, church, etc… political figures empower the states, the Cleveland Browns empowered Johnny Manzel, the job empowers you to do your job, and churches empower followers with free will, so on and so forth. So, what does empowerment actually mean? Webster’s defines it as “to give power to (someone).”
Here at NEMOJT, empowerment means that and so much more. When our participants come through the door for the first time they are often not prepared and not supported to enter the workforce and maintain a job. We see our job as to provide support and guidance. We will suggest opportunity and solutions, but it is the participant who needs to take the steps to be successful. And while we will help, we cannot walk for them.
I taught a job readiness course at Duluth Business University and that is one of the basic beliefs there as well. My students learned how to make resumes, the basics of cover letters, and why interviewers ask the questions they do. In class we talked about building interview answers based on stories rather than on specific words. In essence, my students were provided a road map that can lead to success; however, in order to achieve that success they needed to take the first step. I did not build resumes or cover letters for them, nor did I go to interviews with them. I empowered them to do so, on their own.
At NEMOJT, empowering our participants is presented in a similar way. We meet with participants regularly, helping them with job search. They are directed to resources including healthcare, SSI, childcare, etc. Often we cut red tape to clear obstacles, but we do not overcome those obstacles for our participants. Call it a partnership, not care taking.
You see, at some point the changes required to be successful need to be more important to the participant than they are to the staff at NEMOJT. WE EMPOWER OUR PEOPLE TO SUCCEED, we cannot succeed for them.
Impact one person every day.