Mary’s story: Getting Back in The Game
Reentering The Market After Retirement
Mary has been part of the Easterseals program in Illinois since July. She’s working to enhance her skills and learn new skills to get back in the market through the SCSEP classes and classes on GetSetUp through their partnership. She did clerical work for a while and in 2001, got a degree in sociology to align with her passion for volunteer work and working with people. Previously she enjoyed working with an alternative high school and a partner abuse intervention program agency. She enjoyed helping them learn the skills they needed to keep their partners’ safe, their children and themselves safe and establish accountability and coping mechanisms for one’s actions. She semi-retired in 2018 but decided to get back in the market when COVID hit, and that made it more difficult for her.
“Right now, I’m trying to get a job. I took off a bit, and sometimes it is hard to get back into the job market. The GetSetUp online classes help because you can do them at your own pace.”
Mary appreciates that GetSetUp does all the research ahead of time for her, so she doesn’t feel overwhelmed but instead gets lots of good resources and recommendations.
“Some of the jobs I'm trying to find want certain skills, and I can learn them online, but I don’t have much chance to practice them.”
Through repeating classes on GetSetUp and her placements with SCSEP, she’s finding more opportunities to practice the skills she learned so she can feel confident in her abilities.
“I really liked the class on successful interviewing. I will probably do that again to reinforce it.”
Repeating classes is common, or reviewing notes, as that helps to solidify new skills. Often learners pick up new pieces of information the second time around in a class. Mary is looking to continue to hone her skills in Zoom and improve her resume.
Exploring new areas of interest
The variety of classes on GetSetUp help Mary to explore new skills she hadn’t considered. She recently took a podcast class, which gave her a lot of new information. While she doesn’t think she will work with this just yet, she’s enjoyed exploring it.
“Classes give you a lot of information, but they don’t overwhelm you. They have opened my mind to different areas that I didn’t think about before. They turn the light on in your head, and I like that.”
She’s further explored classes around how to start her own business and is looking to try some of the healthy cooking classes and memory classes. She particularly likes that she can explore classes either in the GetSetUp Lounge or if she wants to interact, she can enter the Zoom call.
“Sometimes you don’t want to be called on, so it’s nice to be in the Lounge then. But I also go into Zoom. The instructors are friendly and are really good about getting the participants involved without pressure.”
Mary has enjoyed exploring and learning more about GetSetUp reskilling classes and is now excited to see some upcoming Employer Showcases to see if the right job may be at one of these upcoming company spotlights.