This post is sponsored by TracFone Wireless. All opinions are 100% my own.
I attended an “Afternoon of Empowerment” on behalf of TracFone Wireless and Dress for Success last week. The event, which was held at Annisa Restaurant, was to support the Success is Calling program. I have loved the mission of the Dress for Success organization for many years so I was excited to learn more about their new program.
“The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” – Dress for Success
TracFone, one of America’s leading no-contract cellphone service providers, has partnered with Dress for Success for the second year to create the Success is Calling program. The mission of the program is to help women navigate phone interviews, an often overlooked yet critical barrier to employment. The program teaches participants valuable skills by allowing them to review typical phone interview questions and to practice various interview scenarios. It also allows the women to engage in online interviews to sharpen their skills. In addition to the training aspect of the program, TracFone also donated half a million dollars to Dress for Success last year and gave a new smartphone with 1 year of airtime service to each woman who participated in the Success is Calling program. The results were amazing and the majority of the women who participated in the program gained employment. At the event, we (several of my favorite blogging colleagues) were able to hear from three of the women who participated in the first year of the program last year – Simone Roberts, ShaVaughn Holloway and Fredericka Clarke.
I love hearing people’s backstories, so this was an inspiring time. Each woman had a different story – one was single with no kids and underemployed while the other two were unemployed moms. One mother was a single mom who was figuring out a life for her and her young child while the other mom was left by her husband who couldn’t handle having a kid with special needs. All three stories were different, yet there were similarities. All of the women wanted to be successful. While we all have different definitions of success, we all want that confidence regarding the way that we are living our lives. As each woman shared her story, another common thread was that the Success is Calling program helped to instill confidence in every one of them. I especially loved when ShaVaughn Holloway shared,
“Dress for Success has had a greater impact on me than college. I didn’t know that I was that great until they told me.”
These women were so motivating and had such great character. You could hear it in an obvious way as they shared their stories. On a smaller note, I was impressed that the women came over to me after the Q & A session to see if they could answer my question. (They had noticed that we had run out of time for questions in the Program Q&A section before I had a chance to get mine answered.) They needed to leave in order to catch their travel arrangements home, but they took that extra bit of time to make sure that my question was answered. That’s character!
In reality, I never thought of the importance of phone interviews in the employment process before, but knowing what to say and how to say it really is essential. Phone interviews are part of the employee screening processes and the first opportunity for potential employers to decide whether or not they will consider hiring someone. Being prepared to have a successful phone interview (or a live video interview with today’s technology) gives job seekers a better chance to actually gain employment. Developing poise and confidence really is key.
For more information on Success is Calling™, interview tips and graduate testimonials, visit http://bit.ly/1q6fRP1.