Written by Michelle Rock
The first full time employee to join Jessica Pierce and the Career Connectors organization was Sheila Coulam. As the VP of Operations, she coordinates the volunteer team, oversees event logistics, directs marketing and communication, creates and maintains the website, plans the keynote calendar and provides overall support for the entire Career Connectors Team. Per Jessica, “Sheila takes my crazy and makes it work. She is the backbone of Career Connectors.” As today’s keynote speaker, Sheila shared how we can all Confront Change with Confidence.
To have a clear understanding of the term “change”, it is important to review the definition of change according to Merriam Webster:
a. to make different in some particular way, ALTER (i.e. never bothered to change the will)
b. to make radically different, TRANSFORM (i.e. can’t change human nature)
c. to give different position or direction to (i.e. changed his residence from Ohio to California)
Change is both PLANNED and UNPLANNED. Personally, Sheila chose to become a stay at home mom for 10 Years. When the economy changed in 2008, she had to go back to work. Sheila was scared to get back out there and volunteered for a year before actually excepting a position with a salary. She was inspired when she heard Dave Sherman say, “People want to help you. But if you don’t know what you want, they don’t know how to help.”
7 Strategies to THRIVE during CHANGE
Strategy #1 Expect CHANGE always.
Always “be open-minded”.
Strategy #2 Embrace the CHANGE cycle.
There are 5 Stages of Change and it is important to NOT resist or skip any steps to ensure you are not looking at the PAST but looking to the FUTURE. However, if you feel you are resisting the move from one stage to another, take time to ensure you have truly processed that step in the cycle.
Stage 1 = SHOCK
Stage 2 = ANGER
Stage 3 = ACCEPTANCE
Stage 4 = PLANNING
Stage 5 = ACTION
Sheila shared her sister’s personal story. After being diagnosed with cancer she was able to quickly move though the Change Cycle and turned her treatment plan into a project plan. She embraced the change and stated, “It is what it is!”. And she successfully dealt with the cancer. 😊
As quoted by John Kabat-Zinn, “You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf”.
Strategy #3 Understand your emotions.
As you work through the process of change, “be deliberate” in who you include in your network. Ensure you have the right support system to help you through this time of growth that might feel awkward and uncomfortable.
Strategy #4 Work towards balance.
Do you have Balance in your life? Some say balance is the key to everything! Using Sheila’s Balance Circle (diagram below) chart the key aspects in your life that you are trying to balance. For each area you identify, evaluate how satisfied you are today with that area and place a dot on the line for that area. Once you’ve done this for all areas, connect your dots. The result is a visual representation of your overall balance. Do the same evaluation for where you’d like to be a year from now. Now you have a goal to strive for!
Strategy #5 Visualize a great future.
Images are the language your brain best understands. If you intentionally visualize what you are striving for, your subconscious will help you get there. Top athletes use visualization because it works!
Strategy #6 Demand a positive outlook.
Be resilient, persevere and always push through; striving for the goal even when you might feel deflated. Remember Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before he was successful in creating the light bulb. JK Rowling was turned down by 12 publishers before finding success with Harry Potter books. And Walt Disney was fired for lack of imagination and no good ideas. Imagine if Walt Disney had given up on his vision! We would never have grown up knowing about classics like Aladdin, The Lion King or Beauty & The Beast. Disney World, Disney Land and the global media and entertainment empire that the Walt Disney Company is today wouldn’t have existed.
Strategy #7 Keep moving forward.
Pick an action and take the next right step. As Dory says in the Finding Nemo movie, “Just Keep Swimming”.
The mission of Goodwill is: “Through the goodwill of others, we create the pathway for all by helping those who desire self-sufficiency”. They want to help people find employment. Goodwill Career Centers provide:
- Career Advisors
- Career Navigators
- Mock Interviews/Resumes
- Employment Support
o Job postings inside and external to Goodwill (i.e. Amazon and Target)
- Digital or Computer Basic Skills Training
o Internet Skills
o Microsoft Word
o Social Media
o Information Literacy
The East Valley center is located at 106 E. McKellips, Mesa Arizona, 85201. Check out the website for more details. Goodwill also has a Virtual Career Center located at www.mycareeradvisor.com.
Dexcom was founded in 1999 and develops, manufactures and distributes continuous glucose monitoring systems for diabetes management. Their focus is to provide better outcomes, deliver solutions and empower our community to take control of diabetes. The Mesa location opened in 2017. Dexcom is proud of their great culture focused on Patients First.
Medical, dental and vision
401 (k) Retirement Plan
5 sick days
3 weeks PTO
2 Floating Holidays
Work-life Balance with Flexible Schedules
QA Inspector 1 & 2
Engineering Technician 2
Director of Facilities
Hardware Engineer 2
Senior Hardware Engineer
Senior QA Engineer
Staff Process Sustaining Engineer
QA Engineer 2
Research Associate 1 & 2
Quality Assurance Analyst 2
TTEC is a global customer experience and technology services company focused on the design, implementation and delivery of exceptional customer experience. Some of their customers are Verizon, Google and Facebook. The company offers:
- Fun, talented and witty teammates
- Knowledgeable, supportive and present leadership
- Family-friendly environment
- Free-spirited, theme-based employee events
- Career-growth and lots of learning opportunities for aspiring minds
- Community-minded organization
- Competitive pay and benefits
They are located at:
o 40 E Rio Salado Parkway, floors 1st and 10th, Tempe, AZ 85281
o 8123 S Hardy Drive, Ste 100, Tempe, AZ 85284
o 16404 N Black Canyon Hwy, Ste 100, Phoenix 85053
Currently recruiting for Sales Representative / Online Marketing Sales Executive. Account Management positions will be available at the beginning of 2020.
Optima Tax Relief helps individuals with a lot of tax debt. The company has grown from 30 employees in 2018 to 96 employees today and is targeting 100 by the end of the year. The office is located at 450 N. 54th St. in West Chandler. The growth over the past year is due to robust business growth, a business-friendly environment and the ability to attract skilled labor. The company is also known for its great culture based upon the goals to have fun, enjoy the work and like the people you work with. The Leadership Team invites you to “make this a career for you”. Check out their job openings at www.optimataxrelief.com.
Jessica Pierce, Founder/CEO of Career Connectors, took the stage to thank everyone for taking the next step in finding a new career. She recognized the many hiring companies, sponsors and partners including Brighton College. Every seeker was encouraged to network with other seekers, build more LinkedIn connections, take a free DISC assessment and have a professional portrait taken by a photography volunteer at the event. Professional resume writers, LinkedIn experts and Career Coaches are also available at the event to perfect your search tools.
Thank you to Central Christian Church for hosting the event and the 90 volunteers that serve Career Connectors around the Valley.