My name is Jennifer, and I was born and raised in Toronto. I live with my husband of 21 years, who for a number of years supported us both. And, of course, I have my cat, Boodle. I started volunteering with TC because, with my depression, I hadn’t worked in a while and needed to get out of my comfort zone.
“I found volunteering so fulfilling. Seeing women grow and learn motivated me.”
Volunteering was so fulfilling. Seeing women grow and learn motivated me. It was an important part of my week, and something I looked forward to. When COVID hit, I managed well and things seemed to be going okay.Then, with the rising cost of living, life became financially tough. What used to cost $50 at the grocery store now costs $100. We were forced to move out of the city because our rent was raised so high that we couldn’t afford living there anymore. Looking at the bigger picture worried me: I need a pension, I need security. I need to find a job!
“I didn’t even think twice, I contacted Times Change.”
My first thoughts were, “Oh my God, when was the last time I did an interview? My skills are so out of date, no one will hire me. How you go about getting a job is now completely different than it was the last time I looked for work.”I’m also over 50, and we all know that the world is not kind to older women. I felt very vulnerable and worried about my financial future. Being neuro-diverse, I have challenges with my focus, so finding work on my own felt impossible. But when you come to Times Change, the immediate response is, “Okay we got you.”
My counsellor Lydia, made a huge difference. She made my interview practice more focused. I had my resume reviewed and I even enrolled in the crown jewel of Times Change, the career planning workshop, which truly helped me discover who I am.
Times Change taught me that you don’t have to compromise. Do something you’re passionate about. Find areas that you’re interested in. Pursue. . . you know, go outside your comfort zone. I think that’s the most important lesson that I’ve learned from Times Change: Go outside your comfort zone and see what good things will happen.
And they did. The position of working in a library for the government came to me through a friend, who literally said, ”This job was made for you.” Part of me thought, “There’s no way this is going to happen.” But my resume looked great, and I thought I might as well take a chance. So, I sent it out, then I got the interview. I was shocked! Lydia helped me prepare, and it was probably the best interview I’ve ever done! Now I work for the legislative library at Queen’s Park.
“I feel so proud of myself. I definitely feel more confident. I am an enthusiastic, intelligent and capable person to begin with, but Times Change made me feel braver and gave me courage.”
As a volunteer at Times Change, I watched women changing their lives. Now I can say that Times Change changed my life.
Every dollar donated to Times Change goes toward changing someone’s future, including mine.Worried about housing? Worried about food? Worried about your kids? Worried about their future? Times Change says “We’ve got you” and they mean it. Life is good for me now.
Help women like Jennifer by supporting Times Change today.