In Search of a New Job? Positivity Goes a Long Way!

When you’re engaged in a job search, it’s important to focus on yourself physically, mentally and emotionally to help maintain self-confidence and self-esteem. When things don’t always go your way or in the time frame you’ve set for yourself, it is easy to slip into negative thoughts. Here are some tips to help you maintain your positivity during your job search:

  • Don’t Do it Alone
    Seek out local organizations and groups specifically designed for job search networking and support. Even if you can’t find an actual group in your area, identify a “job search partner” with whom you can create an accountability and support system.
  • Volunteer
    Research has shown that doing volunteer work has a positive impact on health, self-esteem and general well being. If you are a volunteer or have been involved in your community, consider finding new areas of interest for volunteering or perhaps take on a bigger role. Interaction with people in different environments can help reinforce the diversity of your skills and increase your self-confidence.
  • Keep Things In Perspective
    Remember that being qualified for a job is only one variable in a job search. There are always other candidates, organizational politics and even timing that factor in and can greatly influence a hiring decision.
  • Practice Self Care
    It has been proven over and over that eating well along with regular exercise help to maintain energy levels, positive self-image, and physical health, while having the added benefit of staving off symptoms of depression and anxiety. Maintaining a positive self-image is critical during a job search. Create the conditions to put your best foot forward every time you meet with a prospective employer or make a networking contact.
  • Practice Gratitude
    Keep a gratitude notebook. Taking five minutes out of each day to write in a journal about the things you are grateful for can go a very long way in shifting attention away from negative thoughts and help you focus on the more positive aspects of your life. This can help you experience a greater sense of wellbeing and joy.
  • Acknowledge Yourself
    Often we define ourselves only by what we do for money. But everyone is more than just an employee – you may be a terrific parent, dedicated volunteer or loyal friend. Spend time with people who remind you that you are valued. Their positive feedback will reflect your value as an individual, not just as an employee who is currently between jobs.
  • Practice Positive Self-Talk
    It’s easy to journey into negative thinking patterns when your job search doesn’t go as planned. Become aware of these patterns so that you can avoid dwelling in a sea of self-pity. Now is a perfect time to shift your pattern and begin practicing “positive self-talk.” Acknowledge your accomplishments, your resiliency, and your commitment to finding the path forward.

Addressing Unmet Needs Through the Gaelen Family Resource Center

The smiling faces of children at the Back 2 School Store never fail to capture our hearts. But what sometimes gets overshadowed in the excitement and bustle of the day is one very special aspect of the Back 2 School Store — the Gaelen Family Resource Center.

Audrey Gaelen
Audrey Gaelen

While children are busy in the Back 2 School Store “shopping” for free to select brand new clothing, sneakers, school supplies, backpacks and personal care items with the help of volunteer personal shoppers, the Gaelen Family Resource Center (GFRC) provides an opportunity for parents, caregivers and families to receive important health screenings, health information and community resources, all at no cost. With the growth of the Back 2 School Store, the GFRC has also grown as NCJW/Essex has increased its partnerships with numerous service providers and community organizations which are on-site on the day of the event.

NCJW/Essex is grateful to Audrey Gaelen and her late husband, Norbert, whose generosity sustains this critical component of the Back 2 School Store. “We spearheaded the GFRC as a way of giving parents and caregivers attending the Back 2 School Store an opportunity to receive services that aren’t always readily available to them,” explains Audrey Gaelen, a long-time member and supporter of NCJW/Essex. “It answers some of the needs that may not otherwise get addressed.” On occasion, the availability of such screenings leads to the detection of health problems that necessitate attention, and in those cases attendees are connected with health care providers for follow up.

“It makes me feel good to know that I am touching the community,” reflects Audrey on the evolution of the GFRC. “When I walk in I want to cry. I can see and feel the difference it is making.”

Over 55 and Back in the Game

Imagine losing a well-paying job after almost 28 years, being single and over 55. I recently had a client at the Center for Women in this very situation – while on the path to retirement planning, she was suddenly knocked for a loop, leaving her with no income, no Image for over 55health care benefits, no job security and no idea how to secure new employment in the digital age.

There is now an abundance of older workers without adequate retirement income who need to find jobs. The labor market is tight, however, and wages for workers over 55 are actually declining. Those lucky enough to find employment are working more, earning less and even accepting pay cuts.

The Path Forward
We see this scenario at the Center for Women all too often, and the result is a loss of confidence, uncertainty about the path forward and what the future might hold. One woman who recently came for help was out of work for almost a year, feeling scared and alone. Having been told that she was too old, her mental state was at its lowest point and she needed help.

Coming to NCJW/Essex Center for Women turned her life around. She immediately took advantage of all the services provided including self-empowerment workshops, job clubs, computer classes, LinkedIn training and career counseling. She even had a visit to the NCJW/Essex Career Closet where volunteers helped to dress her in well-fitted, figure-flattering business attire to give her the added confidence to re-enter the workforce.

A Winning Experience
Armed with the benefit of these services and one-on-one career coaching, she felt empowered and eagerly applied for jobs in her field.  She immediately received positive responses and interviews, landing not one, but two great jobs in less than six months. With the help of the Center, she honed her negotiating skills and evaluated the pros and cons of both offers to select the job that was most appropriate for her at this point in her life.

The job search process is daunting. Being over 55 and losing a job adds to the challenge, but with the skills, guidance and support from the NCJW/Essex Center for Women it can prove to be a winning experience that ultimately puts you at the top of your game. The programs, workshops and technology training can help boost morale and provide the skills needed in a competitive job market.

We Are Here to Help
The dedicated group of professional staff members and trained volunteers at the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women assists women who wish to return to the workforce with resume writing, job coaching, interview skills training, LinkedIn and computer classes. Our services are confidential and our programs are non-sectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion. Contact us. We can help.

Visit our website: www.centerforwomenNJ.org
Call: (973) 994-4994
Email: centerforwomen@ncjwessex.org

A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store

A truly successful event involves expert planning and coordination. The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section exemplifies this process with the annual Back 2 School Store (B2SS), celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Every summer, NCJW/Essex creates a ‘pop up” one-day store that outfits economically disadvantaged children in Essex County with brand new clothing, school supplies and personal care items to start school on a positive note. A look behind the scenes explains why this event is so successful.

 

Each year the B2SS is chaired by three capable and detail-oriented volunteers who oversee the massive undertaking, enabling hundreds of children to attend the store. This year’s co-chairs, Karen Cherins of West Orange, and Stacey Laken and Andrea Mintz, both of Livingston, have been holding monthly planning meetings since Fall 2017. They oversee 30 active volunteers who work on more than 10 subcommittees year-round including clothing, school supplies, child recruitment and site management. “We already have over 1,000 backpacks in storage for this summer’s event,” said Andrea Mintz, who explained that as of March, 2018, all the clothing, including coats, packages of socks and underwear, school supplies and personal care items, have already been purchased.

Purchasing for the B2SS is accomplished through a combination of grants and generous donations from members, supporters and foundations. Volunteers purchase new, popular brands of sneakers, coats, clothes and backpacks in a variety of styles and colors, either online or at in-store sales. To understand the scale of this effort, Karen Cherins explained, “We will purchase 1,100 sneakers for 800 children so that each child has a choice, whether they enter at 9:00 am or 3:00 pm. Our local storage facility is currently overflowing with new merchandise and supplies as we prepare for this summer’s event.” This year, thanks to a generous donation from a longtime NCJW/Essex member, each child will receive two books, one fiction and one non-fiction, from Scholastic. Spanish language books will also be available for bilingual children.

Throughout the year, a Child Recruitment subcommittee works in partnership with 35 local social service agencies to carefully select children who will participate in the B2SS. Forms are prepared for each child indicating their age and sizing for clothing and sneakers. This year’s goal is to prepare 800 children (K-5) to start the school year with confidence, style and a smile.

The growth of the B2SS has necessitated the biggest change to occur in 10 years – a move to a new location, the Joseph Kushner Hebrew Academy in Livingston, NJ, which will afford access to the gym, library, multipurpose and computer rooms, cafeteria, and classroom storage. The extra space will present new logistical challenges but the volunteers are up to the task, making sure that every aspect of the event runs smoothly.

As each child enters the B2SS, they will be registered and matched with a volunteer to help them select the items they want. “It’s all about the child making his or her own choices,” explains Cherins. “Part of the success of the B2SS is to empower children. If a little girl wants a purple coat, a pink hat and blue gloves, she can choose them.” While the children shop, parents and caregivers are able to visit the Gaelen Family Resource Center which offers health screenings and other community services.

When the B2SS opens its doors this summer, it will be the culmination of the year-long behind-the-scenes effort of planning, buying and coordinating which is necessary to ensure its success. “This is such a rewarding experience for our volunteers, especially when they see the children’s smiling faces,” said co-chair Stacey Laken. “The Back 2 School Store gives children a great start to the school year and a little boost to their self-esteem in the process.”

This year the NCJW/Essex Back 2 School Store is seeking 500 volunteers to make it a success. Bilingual volunteers are encouraged. All registration is online. To register, please visit www.ncjwessex.org and click on Back 2 School Store.

Make the discussion of gun safety a part of your life. It matters.

 The gun debate is exhausting and divisive. How many of us are sitting across the table from someone with opposing views and making any headway? Each of us has deeply held views on guns and no amount of debate is likely to change another person’s mind.

What if we push the issue forward on a community level by centering it on the burden of responsible gun ownership? Many parents across the country have already realized the importance of adding guns to the usual play date planning discussion that typically addresses allergies, dogs and swimming pools.

Let’s take the conversation beyond the play date. Informing a new babysitter, a cleaning service, a home health aide or house guests of the absence of a firearm or that you have firearms safely secured, has an enormous upside. By offering the information, you are modeling that people have a right to ask and a right to know.

Safe firearm storage has enormous implications. Almost 1.7 million children live in homes with unsecured firearms and more than 80 percent of suicides occur with a family member’s gun. Moreover, research estimates that roughly 200,000-400,000 guns are stolen each year.

Whether the discussion is among family members, friends or acquaintances, the topic of access to guns is often rife with conflict. Encouraging safe storage of firearms may be a smart place to start. It’s not necessarily an easy conversation, but taking it out of the shadows gives us a way to talk about gun owner responsibilities and may, hopefully, inch us forward.

The Center for Women Receives Block Grant from Essex County

The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Receives Block Grant from Essex County

LIVINGSTON, NJ, March 22, 2018 – The Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women received a $9,678 block grant from the Essex County Department of Economic Development, Training and Employment, Division of Housing and Community Development.  The grant will go towards expanding the programs offered by the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which have helped thousands of women with computer skills, job searches and personal guidance.

Pictured (l to r) are George Serio, Director at Essex County Division of Housing and Development, Armando B. Fontoura, Essex County Sheriff, Beverly Trust and Barbara Hauser, both of Livingston, NJ, Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr., Essex County Executive, and Isabel Margolin of Montville. Trust, Hauser and Margolin are volunteer co-chairs of the NCJW/Essex Career Closet, which assists economically disadvantaged women in obtaining career attire appropriate for the workplace.  Sue Wasserman, Director of Community Services for NCJW/Essex commented, “We are very excited about the opportunities that this grant will give to the Center for Women and the various programs that fall under its umbrella.”

For more information about the Center for Women please visit www.centerforwomenNJ.org, or call (973) 994-4994. Programs are nonsectarian and open to all women, regardless of religion.

 

NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue to Feature Jennifer Weiss-Wolf

“Periods Gone Public: Taking a Stand for Menstrual Equity”
NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue to Feature

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf – Author, Activist, Social Justice Advocate

The National Council of Jewish Women, Essex County Section (NCJW/Essex) will present a special evening event, Dessert and Dialogue, featuring author Jennifer Weiss-Wolf, on the evening of April 25, 2018. The program will be held at Temple Sharey Tefilo-Israel, 432 Scotland Road, South Orange, NJ, at 7:00 pm.

Jennifer Weiss-Wolf is a leader in the movement to make feminine hygiene products affordable, and accessible.  Her work to end the “tampon tax” and advocate for legislation that addresses the lack of menstrual equity in our communities has put her on the map as one of the nation’s “badass menstrual activists” by the publication Bustle. Menstrual equity is, in Weiss-Wolf’s opinion, a “gateway issue for feminism” and one that is intensely relatable by all women.

NCJW/Essex operates a community service project called “The Period.Project” which collects and distributes feminine hygiene supplies to local agencies and clients of its Center for Women. “Our community service work has shown us that more needs to be done to address the often overlooked issue of menstrual equity,” says Shari Harrison, President of NCJW/Essex. “We are thrilled to welcome Jennifer Weiss-Wolf to educate us and inspire us to continue engaging on this important issue.”

PHOTO CAPTION: Jennifer Weiss-Wolf. Writer, activist, social justice advocate, will be the speaker at an upcoming NCJW/Essex Dessert and Dialogue

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings NCJW/Essex Center for Women

Local Dentist Offers Services and New Beginnings for
Clients of the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women

 

Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, knows that a smile goes a long way. He and his associate, Samantha Shapiro, DMD, have generously donated their services to help clients from the Linda & Rudy Slucker NCJW/Essex Center for Women gain their confidence by obtaining dental work that they would otherwise be unable to afford.

“I wholeheartedly believe in kindness and giving back to the community and what better way to show that than by getting involved with NCJW/Essex,” said Dr. Scheier. Last spring he was introduced to Patty Kremen, Career Services Manager at the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, which helps women in transition who may be looking for a new job, starting a business or recovering from a loss. “I learned about the life-changing work that is happening at the Center for Women and it is very much aligned with causes I believe in,” explained Dr. Scheier. “These are women who, for one reason or another, have come upon difficult times and I am thrilled to be able to help them make such a major, positive difference in their lives.”

Dr. Scheier and Dr. Shapiro have provided a variety of dental work for clients including routine dental exams, cleanings, x-rays, root canals, fillings and veneers, valued at over $20,000. “It’s a good feeling to know that what we can offer can make such a difference in someone’s life,” reflects Dr. Scheier. “Everyone on our staff feels good about making such a positive impact on the lives of these women.” As Dr. Scheier looks ahead, he anticipates expanding his pro bono work to continue to help clients of the NCJW/Essex Center for Women.

“Our clients cannot always afford costly but necessary dental work and will often put other expenses first, such as electric bills and food for their families,” explains Ms. Kremen. “Our clients who have benefitted from Dr. Scheier’s generosity have brighter smiles and greater confidence, which impacts their ability to obtain jobs. We know when we send our clients to the Scheier Dental Group they will be treated with the utmost respect and their dental care will be of the highest quality. It is an extraordinary partnership.”

The NCJW/Essex Center for Women offers many types of support programs for women in transition including career services, a Career Closet, computer training and self-empowerment programs. The experienced and knowledgeable staff helps create a personalized program that fits each woman’s individual needs, providing a safe place to go for help and support as their lives continue to change and improve.

For more information about the NCJW/Essex Center for Women, all (973) 994-4994 or visit our website, www.centerforwomennj.org.

PHOTO CAPTION: Samantha Shapiro, DMD (left) and Greg Scheier, DDS, of Scheier Dental Group in Millburn, NJ, got involved with NCJW/Essex because they believe in giving back to the community.