Dan celebrates one year on new Career path

a smiling man wearing glasses

Dan decided early in January of 2023 that he was officially burnt out in the fast-food industry after 24 years of service. He decided to stop in to the computer lab at CareerForce in Bemidji to seek some guidance and advice. Dan consistently visited our lab for weeks on end, dedicating time to complete a polished resume, all while simultaneously working at his full-time job. This combination began taking a physical and mental toll on him. Dan stated, “I realized that looking for a new job on top of the time spent at my current job, feels like a second job in itself”. Our WorkForce Impact/CareerForce Team did our best to accommodate Dan’s current work schedule with job search appointments. We encouraged him to maintain consistency in his current role as he didn’t know if he fully wanted to commit to a new industry.

Dan continued to stay persistent and motivated with his job search efforts by stopping into our Career Lab to fine tune at least a dozen job applications and to discuss networking options and interview preparation. He decided to focus on retail jobs and jobs that involved driving, for a change. Dan attended several interviews and a job fair, yet he experienced various setbacks with this process and things were quite frustrating some days.  Consequently, we made every effort at CareerForce to offer him the utmost emotional support and encouragement on his job search journey. One day, we returned to the drawing board and looked at other agencies that may offer further assistance or additional support for Dan.  We therefore referred him to Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS), a division at the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that assists individuals with disabilities successfully find and keep employment.  

Late February of 2023, Dan met with the wonderful VRS team in Bemidji, Matt Liapis and Rachel Marshall,to take advantage of their expertise and guidance. This referral proved invaluable. Dan did not give up, and he maintained a positive outlook as he pressed onward and began working with Matt and Rachel. The VRS team worked hard to find employment that would meet Dan’s request for weekday shifts. Before long, Dan was skill matched with a job at Beltrami County where he successfully interviewed in front of a panel of three and landed the job last May. Dan now works part-time at Beltrami County as a custodian, making $4.27 more per hour in comparison to his previous job. Dan’s scheduled to work early mornings, so he gets to enjoy his afternoons and nights off along with no working on the weekends as well. Dan also has the benefits of paid time off and paid holidays, which he did not have before. He celebrated his one-year work anniversary at Beltrami County this month. His goal is to work into a full-time position at Beltrami County when the opportunity comes along.

“All of the hard work really does pay off, and I cannot tell you how much happier I am at my new job. The job searching efforts were an investment of time, but CareerForce offered great assistance and communication through the entire process. I have let other friends and acquaintances who are looking for work know that the CareerForce services are here to help anyone.”

Dan has thanked all of us at CareerForce along with VRS staff many times, but I think we can all agree that his success story is fulfilling for everyone involved – especially Dan and his dedication to finding the right employment fit for him!  We continue to celebrate with Dan, and his story of dedication, persistence, partnership and achievement.