For anyone under- or unemployed, Congregation Or Shalom’s in Vernon Hills offers a monthly Job Search Networking Group to help anyone in need find a job. The group is nonsectarian and offers a variety of speakers who can provide information to help hasten the process and ease the frustration. These speakers range from how to create and maximize a resume to how to sharpen networking skills. In between meetings, via email, it provides a variety of articles and job leads to those who have signed up for the group or attended. In addition, it provides valuable resources available to its members and helps them learn how to more effectively market one’s skills. Meetings are held as a community service monthly at the temple on Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 p.m. No one is ever charged a fee.
“Both my co-chair and myself both have through a series of jobs and have been right-sized, down-sized, reorganized and otherwise let go. We know what this experience is like and how demoralizing it can be,” said Arthur Noparstak. “Our only goal, since we founded it three years ago, is to help others who need to find work. We do this strictly as volunteers. Our pay is the gratification we get when we hear that someone has landed.”
Speakers have included “head hunters” and recruiters from a variety of industries like executive employment, high tech, communications and manufacturing, including Lynn Hazan from Lynn Hazan and Associates, and Jerry Hirschel from PSC, Ltd. Other speakers run job search help centers – like Jan Leahy’s Career Resource Center in Lake Forest, Chris Campbell’s CareerPlace in Barrington, or ministries like Bob Podgorski, who works with groups in the Schaumburg area through his Job Search Ministry. A variety of experts have also spoken. These include book author Bill Barrett; former radio personality, professional speaker and motivational coach Catherine Johns and LinkedIn expert JD Gershbein.
“As the group is dynamic and always changing,” said Noparstak, we often will repeat speakers in a subsequent year. We are always willing to host a new speaker, and are open to suggestions. Since we are volunteers, we do not pay speakers so they volunteer their time as well. It’s all about providing a benefit for the person who is unemployed, to help them turn their situation around.”
Upcoming meetings will be held on March 25, April 22, May 27, June 24, August 19, September 30 and October 21. Speakers will include Katy McGuiness from Harper College; Director of the Barrington CareerPlace Chris Campbell, who will discuss a “Countdown to Success;” and Bob Podgorski from the Job Search Ministry talking about “Uncommon Sources of Job Opportunities. A light snack is provided at every meeting.
“We appreciate the support of Or Shalom as our host site and have been gratified at the successes we have experienced,” added Noparstak. “Everyone has been very helpful! We are all in this together! If it weren’t for the help of others, we may never have found the jobs we’ve had. We are just paying it forward.”
Anyone who wants additional information can request to join the group on LinkedIn, or email Sue or Arthur at email@example.com, or call 847-362-1948.