Rebecca Raines, an urban planner by education, had worked in the field for about 10 years until she was laid off. Rebecca had a difficult time getting back into the industry and decided  to explore resources available in order to further her education and improve her career opportunities. Rebecca became a National Able Network client which allowed her the opportunity to attend Occupational Classroom Training at the Illinois Institute of Technology for the Software Development certification program while working full-time at the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

“I joined the program to get training in another field,” Rebecca said. “I am a white-collar worker and wanted a white-collar job.” But as Rebecca was completing her education, two big life events occurred that could have impeded her progress and thrown her off course. First, her mom passed away, which had a large impact on her and her immediate family. Not long after, Rebecca moved to another part of the city in order to be closer to her job. Shortly after the move, the building that Rebecca moved to caught on fire! “Every time I spoke with Rebecca, I knew that the presence of anxiety was looming,” Career Coach Cheryl Travis said. “But she was always optimistic about everything. She is a very strong person.”

As Rebecca completed her education, she used the resources available through National Able Network to update her resume, write a standout cover letter, and build her LinkedIn profile. “The resume building helped me the most. I continued, and still continue, to apply for a lot of jobs. I’ve never stopped looking and it’s helpful to know how to send out a resume a correctly and effectively,” she said. Since finishing her education and improving her professional material, Rebecca received a promotion! She is currently the Manager of Community Engagement at the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

For other people looking to grow or change their careers, Rebecca has some advice. “Pick something that you know you want to do. Go ahead, get the training and attempt to get a job in that field.”