When you wonder what Employ Up can do for you, Sharon Grego can tell you in four words: connections and paid internships.
Sharon worked for one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies and enjoyed the opportunity to work from her home. So when the company downsized and shed its work-from-home staff she found herself without a job and without a lot of company contacts in the Indianapolis area.
“I really wanted to grow my contacts in the market,” Sharon said. Working in a home-based environment isolated her from many in the industry; she had quite a bit of catching up to do. So, when she learned about Employ Up and the opportunity to network with other job seekers and employers looking for talent, she knew it was the right fit for her.
“I went to the networking events and showed that I was very serious and determined to find a new career,” she said. And her hard work paid off.
Following Employ Up’s Career Prep program, where she honed her interview skills and bonded with fellow classmates who were struggling with similar emotions that came with being unemployed or undermeployed, Sharon earned an 8-week internship with iLAB, an independent software quality assurance and testing company. The internship, which was subsidized by Employ Up, focused on helping her develop new skills and earn a software testing certificate. “I had never heard of this certificate and didn’t even know there was a career opportunity in software testing,” she said.
Through Employ Up “I got paid to learn,” she remarked. And that was particularly rewarding, she added, because prior to joining Employ Up she found and paid for IT training and earned a certificate only to learn that she needed several years’ experience to land a job.
Her internship not only provided the training she needed to succeed, but also gave her ample opportunities to work on a project – offering both Sharon and the employer a chance to gauge whether an employer-employee match could be made. The internship also gave Sharon time to demonstrate her talents. “It was always my goal to get a job at the end of the internship,” she said.
She has been working full time in her new position and is already tackling some challenging projects. And, she’s happy to tell anyone who finds themselves without a job, needing experience and contacts about Employ Up.
“If you are starting to get discouraged, like I did, Employ Up really gives you confidence,” she said. “It definitely takes you out of the slump. It really opens doors.”