A Career Pivot Amidst Covid: Library Supervisor to Tech Recruiter

Meet Marisela. After losing their job in 2020 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Marisela knew they had to make a career pivot. They applied to many different roles highlighting their transferable skills, but seemingly more qualified candidates would always get the job. Marisela had the skills required to enter the workforce, but needed to learn new job search skills that would support them in finding a role in today’s changing climate. 

It all started when Marisela joined a TechSF orientation to get more support with their job search. It was there that they learned about JVS and our Job Search Accelerator (JSA) Program, which runs for two weeks and offers job seekers the most up-to-date job seeking tactics for research, interviewing, marketing, and networking. 

“I started JSA in November 2020, after a month of applying to jobs and getting nowhere,” shared Marisela. “I learned so much about what I was doing wrong in my job search and what I should be doing.”

Through the JSA program Marisela connected to a variety of free skills training programs in San Francisco, and a professional network that would boost their confidence and connect them to new opportunities. Marisela crafted a resume that would work within applicant tracking systems, giving them a greater chance of standing out to recruiters. 

The JSA program is not limited to technical skills, and Marisela was inspired and motivated by others in their JSA cohort.

“Having a supportive cohort gave me the confidence to talk about myself and network with strangers. When two other people in my cohort introduced themselves with they/them pronouns, I felt comfortable to use my pronouns for the first time,” shared Marisela.

Then, Marisela learned about a recruitment sourcer role at Meta through WorkforceLinkSF, an online portal for job seekers organized by the City of San Francisco’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development. They applied, passed the initial phone screening, and continued on to the next round of interviews. Their hard work paid off: Marisela officially started their new Sourcing Specialist role at Meta this past April. 

“I’m super grateful and really excited! All of the Meta employees have been incredibly down-to-earth and helpful,” shared Marisela. “They really care about connecting with other people like I do, so I feel comfortable being myself.”

Peter, Dayspring Technologies

“For many tech companies, hiring [older] workers is not on their diversity radar. JVS, in a very polite, but very persistent way, puts older, well-prepared candidates right in front of these companies so that they can’t be ignored or dismissed.” – Peter, Dayspring Technologies, graduate of JVS’s Salesforce Administrator program

Once a top computer programmer, Peter never expected to find himself and his wife homeless and without work. With the help of JVS’s Salesforce Administrator program, he was able to update his job skills, envision a new career path, and rebuild his life as a consultant at Dayspring Technologies.

Kaiser Permanente, Medical Assistant Training Partner

“Once people started working for us, they often transferred to one of our facilities in an area with lower housing costs. JVS produced a customized program that delivered top candidates who were already committed to working in San Francisco. We are thrilled to hire people from our local community.” -Guy Chicoine, Medical Group Administrator at The Permanente Medical Group in San Francisco

Kaiser Permanente was one of JVS’s first partners to replicate and expand JVS’s refresher training for certified Medical Assistants. The company has gone above and beyond to give JVS candidates the training, experience and connections needed to secure positions at Kaiser Permanente.

Carlos, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

“JVS and my teacher at John O’Connell High School ignited a passion I never knew I had. With this job, and this career, I can make good money, and live in the Bay Area. I’m excited to be a role model for more people, like me, in the water and wastewater trades.” — Carlos, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

JVS helped Carlos pursue a journey from high school into a promising career in the water and wastewater trades. JVS connected him with Los Medanos Community College, a 3-year paid internship at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC), and ensured he would meet the requirements he needed to apply for a position at the SFPUC after graduation. Nothing lights him up like getting paid to apply his education to a job he loves.

Erica, UCSF

“This award means the world to me. I worked really hard for myself, and for my brother and for my sister, to get where I am today. I’m right here, where I want to be – in a career at UCSF.” — Erica, UCSF, 2018 Strictly Business Awards Luncheon

Erica is a natural, talented caregiver. She even took guardianship of her two siblings, so that they wouldn’t endure the same foster care upbringing she had. Particularly with this new responsibility, she needed substantial work. She had always dreamed of working at UCSF, but it wasn’t until she found JVS’s training program for Medical Administrative Assistants at UCSF that she truly found her calling. After the program and paid internship, Erica accepted a position as a Practice Coordinator at UCSF.

Rosalind, SFRAW

For Rosalind school had always been a challenge and she felt like an outsider. As a child of immigrants, English was not her first language and she struggled with reading and writing, which led to low confidence. She dreamed of being able to contribute to her family and having a career but could not imagine who would give her a job.

At John O’Connel High School, she connected to JVS’s School Partner Program and enrolled in our Culinary and Entrepreneurship Program which combined job readiness training, classroom education and work-based learning. JVS placed Rosalind in internships at multiple Bay Area companies, including Zynga’s culinary department, Catheads BBQ Restaurant, SF Raw and the San Francisco SPCA. With the support and guidance of JVS, Rosalind identified her passion for animals and food and figured out a way to combine the two into a career. Today she works at SF Raw making organic food for cats and dogs and is enrolled in the Culinary Arts program at City College.

“Working at SFRAW has been great. I’m more confident now and I’m comfortable talking to customers. I realized what I want to do with my life.” – Rosalind