Success Story: James (Operation: GoodJobs)

Not every 18-year-old knows what he or she wants to do after graduating high school. James thought he did.  He pursued training to be a diesel mechanic but found that he didn’t have the passion for that career field.  Soon after a friend recommended that he join the military.

“When I told my mom that I was going to drop out of the technical school, she was pretty upset.   That money she gave me was a big investment in me,” James said.   “She wasn’t any happier when I told her I was going to join the Army, but my granddad told her I was doing the right thing.”

Not long after basic training, James was off to Operation Desert Storm. It was the first time out of the country and a rough time for him.  “As I look back on my decision to join the Army, I realize I did the right thing.  I learned about my strengths and it made me proud of my accomplishments.  Even my mom said it was the smartest thing I had ever done.”

As James approached his retirement from the Army in 2016, now a decorated senior noncommissioned officer with a college degree in leadership, he found himself in a similar situation. He wondered what career field was right for him, and how would he get that first civilian job.

Luckily, he saw a flyer for Goodwill’s Operation: GoodJobs. “I went to the orientation and met my case manager.  She helped him with his resume and interview techniques.  Soon after James was employed in a supervisory role for a major airlines.  His advice to others in his situation, be confident in what you have done in the military, but also be confident in asking for help and inspire others to succeed.

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