Rebecca has gone from the field of medicine to the beautiful forests of Wisconsin to find the job she loves. “I was working as a registered nurse when I decided that I just wasn’t happy with what I had chosen as a career,” says Rebecca. The long hours, a change in her family, and difficulty finding work in a new field convinced her that it was time “to go back to school and start over.” When a friend recommended she join Wisconsin Works while in school, she got the opportunities she needed to succeed!
As a full-time student and single mom, it was hard for Rebecca to find work that fit around her schedule. She found a job detailing boats during her first summer out of nursing and struggled financially, “but I was much happier working outside, and I sure wasn’t going to give up on my new journey.” That’s when she joined W-2 and FSET. She met with her case manager Renee, to create a plan for success. This included volunteering right in the office, where she got to build relationships with support staff, employers, other clients, and skills instructors. “Each person offered something unique to my success. Some of these included sharing hardship or success stories, offering a listening ear for those tough times, offering advice and help finding resources in the area, and the education necessary to be successful in the job search.”
With their support, Rebecca moved from boat detailing to full-time work as a grounds intern, before finding work at the Department of Natural Resources in two short-term positions in 2016 and 2017. She graduated from the Natural Resources program at Fox Valley Technical College in May 2017 and just started work as a Permit/Environmental Specialist at Mid-State Consultants. It’s part-time with benefits, giving her time to complete two more certificates at Fox Valley Tech – which she just earned this May!
“A major contribution for my advancement opportunities, I believe, were from all the help, support, and relationship-building skills I gained while in the W-2 and FSET programs,” she says. Renee “helped motivate me when all I wanted to do was give up with words of encouragement and just being there to listen.” Kerri helped her craft a resume and cover letter, “always let me know when area employers would be in for open interviews, and was the go-to for questions about employers in the area.” Rebecca also took a budgeting workshop that pinpointed where her money was disappearing each month and how to prioritize her payments. “I [still] use the budget worksheet today now that I have a steady income.”
Fantastic! Congratulations, Rebecca!