Unemployment is a tough thing to deal with on your own, particularly when you are experiencing it for the first time – hence the founding of Jewish charity Resource, which guides people back into the world of work as smoothly as possible.
Resource offers free specialist advice and support to anyone over the age of 18, including those made redundant, seeking a career change, or returning to work.
“The founders of Resource realised how much help was needed with basic job search skills following the recession,” says chief executive Victoria Sterman ahead of the charity’s 25th anniversary after helping 10,000 clients get back into employment.
Each client receives on average 37 hours of support. This equates to around £2,200 per person and would cost £888,000 to deliver as a commercial organisation per year. Resource provides this totally free.
“Every year, we help around 400 individuals, and more than 60 percent of them find a job within six months,” enthuses Victoria. “It’s a really great achievement,
but of course this is a reflection on the enormous amount of hours and effort our incredible team of volunteers put in.”
Resource’s team of more than 50 professional human resource and business experts provide one-to-one practical and effective advice to help clients find their feet in today’s job market. Lesley Trenner, a qualified career/life coach has been an advisor for Resource for almost four years and is also a columnist in Jewish News’ ‘Ask the Expert’.
“The role of an advisor,” says Lesley, is “not just to give advice but to listen properly as each person’s situation is unique”.
She considers it “a privilege” to work for Resource. “I feel like I’m truly giving back to the community by helping people get on with their lives with a sense of pride, purpose and direction,” she explains.
Resource offers a personalised service with advisors staying in touch with clients for encouragement between appointments and afterwards.
“As an organisation, we really care. If we haven’t heard from someone in a couple of months, then we will follow up with an email to see how they’re doing. When you know you have someone checking in with you it helps drive and commitment.”
Commitment is the number one key to finding work, according to Lesley, who understands “unfortunately this can be a full-time job in itself”.
As well as dedicated one-to one support, which includes mock interview practice and networking skills, Resource provides a wealth of seminars and training on useful topics.
Also offered is IT training and psychometric profiling.
Alex Newman and her husband Michael ended up finding each other while seeking a career through Resource, meeting at a seminar in 1997.
Michael explains: “We were the only recent graduates and with much else in common, quickly gravitated towards each other.”
Michael is now the chief executive of The Association of Jewish Refugees, while Alex is a journalist.
“I found it particularly reassuring to have experts guide me through my job search, especially the application and interview processes,” says Alex.
“The specific help I needed came from the several workshops and networking sessions
I attended,” adds Michael.
In September, Resource is holding a massive event at Facebook headquarters in London. Entitled ‘How to stand out in the jobs market’, it includes a range of workshops and drop-in clinics.
Victoria shares some valuable insight as to why Resource continues to be such an integral service for the community.
“As Jews, we’re good at celebrating simchas and successes. On the other hand, when a spouse is made redundant, we are ashamed for people to know. That stigma has not changed in 25 years, but Resource always understands.”