Steve Deon worked as a supervisor for two residential buildings in Minnesota, overseeing the maintenance and cleaning staff. He enjoyed his work, but when he was diagnosed with cancer, he moved to Illinois to be closer to family. “I had five or six surgeries and spent two months in a care facility,” he said. At 67 years old, Steve could have easily retired, but he had no intention of doing that just yet! He wanted to keep working.
Steve had heard about how National Able Network (Able) works with seniors to get them back into the workforce, which is exactly what he needed. “I did all of the training, like computer training and computer classes,” Steve said. “My previous job had a lot of hands-on work and now I had to do office work. The classes helped me transition into that.”
With guidance from Lourdes (Lulu) Holguin, his career coach, Steve worked at Able’s DeKalb office part time, answering phones, completing paperwork, and entering data into Able’s database. “It’s kind of difficult when you’re a 65- or 67-year-old senior to get hired,” he said. “But Able helped a lot.”
In early 2020, because his skills had progressed greatly, he transitioned to a family services agency in Dekalb for more experience. Steve did such a wonderful job that he was hired permanently!
With the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of working in the office as he had previously done, Steve had to adjust and work from home – a challenge Steve quickly overcame. Despite the changes brought on by the pandemic, working “has been nothing but a great experience,” Steve said.
Steve shared this advice for other seniors in his position, “There are a lot of people my age out there who aren’t ready to call it quits. Able will help you get back into the workforce, because retiring and having nothing to do isn’t as cracked up as they say it is!”