Selvan came to Cara with a wealth of experience, but after an unexpected lay-off, he learned to think outside the box to make his next career move.
“I came to the United States to finish my PhD and learn new skills that I could apply to my work back home in India. I was very much involved in grassroots work for underprivileged individuals in rural communities. But my life changed, so I began looking for opportunities here in the United States.
“Earlier in my career, I worked many kinds of jobs – as a professor in college, teacher in high school, chaplain in a hospital, counselor, and company manager. But when I was let go from my most recent position, I had real difficulty finding a new opportunity; I knew that I needed help with my job search.
“A friend of mine recommended Cara, and specifically Cara Connects, Cara’s mission-driven staffing firm. I pictured the organization as a traditional staffing firm and hoped they would have jobs lined up and ready to go. I started submitting application after application and nothing happened at first. I began to wonder if partnering with Cara would make a difference.
“I had to learn how to think outside the box and look at myself and my career from a new perspective. I came in with ideas for my future based on my past lived experience. What I needed was to think creatively and be open to new possibilities.
Selvan (first row second from the right) and members of the Cara community at LinkedIn’s headquarters
“I realized I don’t have to start a job at the management level. I can grow within a company. With this new mindset, I worked with Cara Connects to find employment with C&W Services as their newest Service Center Associate. I am eager to learn and make a difference in my new role.”
“Cara and Cara Connects became my support system that empathized with my struggles, advocated my skills to employers, and guided me toward potential job opportunities I never considered. It was like having myself – more Selvans – out in the world in the form of each Cara staff member who walked with me along my journey to employment.
Your donation this Giving Tuesday helps Cara participants like Selvan think outside the box to pursue a new career. Please join our community and become a Cara Champion, supporting Chicago’s motivated job seekers who are ready to get back to work and transform their futures. Visit our Giving Tuesday website to make a gift. Thank you for being our Champion!