If we had to use one word to describe Donna Coachman, it would be fearless. No amount of personal or professional hurdles could prevent Donna from achieving her goals, and today, her life is proof that being fearless has paved the way to success!
It has been about a year since Donna was enrolled in the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Program, but this wasn’t her first time in the program, this was her “big return”. Donna’s career spanned many decades and industries, but she joined the WIOA program to help her train for a new career in medical billing and coding at Prairie State College. She excelled in her classes, making great strides and building new technology skills that she had not utilized in her previous jobs, all while working part-time at home in a customer service capacity. Suddenly, Donna suffered a stroke.
Instead of keeping her health struggle confidential, Donna wanted to share this part of her career journey because she hopes it will be an inspiration for others who are facing hardships of their own.
Donna worked hard to regain her physical strength, and rejoined the WIOA program and her studies at Prairie State College. Donna also got to work on building her resume and LinkedIn profile, with the help of Able’s JUMPSTART program and Able’s staff. Donna says, “The entire team at National Able Network is not four stars – they’re a 10 star team!”
Donna learned how to adjust the formatting on her resume to make sure she wasn’t getting eliminated by automated applicant tracking systems, and even though she had a LinkedIn profile for many years, Donna never really used it to benefit her job search. “I’ve had a LinkedIn account for years, but I’ve never used to it to look for a job. I wasn’t sure what LinkedIn was although I had one, once I became more aware of how it could help me with that job search I found out what a valuable tool it was,” Donna said.
After completing the medical billing and coding program and updating her resume and LinkedIn profile Donna was able to apply for positions and landed a number of interviews. She applied for a position at the University of Illinois Health Center, took a test and was told she would receive the results of her application in about 10 days. Just TWO days later, Donna was offered the position! Donna said she really enjoys her new job, and as an added bonus she gets to see new mothers and babies each day. In thinking about her experience and others like her, Donna says: “Your story is a story that is worth telling.” Thanks for sharing your story with us, Donna!