Akiko spent the majority of her work life in customer service in a variety of industries including retail, transportation and animal services. She found herself out of work when one of Canada’s oldest retailers closed its doors. After struggling to find work, her confidence began to wane.
“My confidence level coming into the LevelUp program was quite low. In many ways, I had been just swept along with the current in my career and had let opportunities pass me by. I felt that I deserved to go to another level in my career but didn’t know how to get there.”
Akiko joined the LevelUp program in Feb 2018 to upskill for today’s competitive market.
“I thought LevelUp could help me get to where I wanted to be. I kept sending out resumes without getting responses. I knew my resume was not as up to date as it should be, I had been using the same resume since high school. The LevelUp program brought my confidence level back up and helped me to put into words my experience and worth.”
With guidance from staff, Akiko learned to target her resumes and cover letters to job postings. In-class presentations and the mock interview preparation and practice helped her to hone her ability to effectively market herself. In particular, Akiko found value in the various self-assessments, such as the StrengthsFinder, utilized in the program.
“To see my strengths and skills actually put down on paper was eye-opening. Even though I knew that I had the skills, I didn’t know what they meant or how to talk about them. Through informational interviewing, I discovered things that I can do in the future and am now starting to put plans in place towards that goal.”
In class, Akiko advanced her hard skills with Project Management and her leadership and soft skills through exercises with the other learners. After the program, she has accepted a customer service position that can lead to supervision and feels hopeful about her future.
“I am no longer stationary and going with the flow. I am now planning my future and taking more chances towards positive improvements in my life.”