Today’s Q & A is with Lisa Beck, the national strategy officer for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. The organization is dedicated to helping women in transition.
1. What is Fresh Start and how did it begin?
Sisters Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart wanted to help women who, like their grandmother, suddenly became the sole support of their families. So in 1992, they started a non-profit organization in Phoenix called Fresh Start Women’s Foundation. Aiming to empower women to transform their lives through engagement and education, they created the first comprehensive self-help center for women in the country. And it has been quite a success. Fresh Start has helped more than 200,000 women through career changes, divorce, new financial plans and other life transitions.
In March 2011, Fresh Start launched a new national website to offer women around the country these same resources. Through www.wehelpwomen.com, women can now take interactive e-learning courses on career, finance and personal development.
2. It’s heartbreaking to have to start over in a job or relationship when you’re in your 40s. What’s the first step after chocolate and wine?
The first step would be to reach out for support. There are people and organizations such as ours that can help get you back on your feet financially, professionally and personally.
3. What’s the most important thing a woman in her 40s should know about looking for a new job?
There is a new world of work out there. The concept of “go to college, find a good job and stay there until retirement” really no longer applies. One of our career e-courses titled Career Invention shows women how to take advantage of the new opportunities the modern-day work environment offers.
4. How can you act confident when it seems like every answer is always “no”?
One of the most important rules in this new work environment is “Work Has Many Unexpected Forms.” There are many new opportunities to make money. So if you don’t land the job in the corporate world right away, consider turning a hobby into an online business. With modern-day tools, you can get a business up and running quickly and with little to no overhead. (Our Career Invention e-course can show you how.)
5. Can you tell us a success story about a Fresh Start member?
Ann DeWolf was a 51-year-old divorcee stuck in the humdrum of administrative work for more than six years. Wishing to go back to her love of sales, the fear of failure kept her from pursuing her dream.
Seeking guidance in her career change, Ann came to Fresh Start, and what she learned truly changed her life.
Not only did Fresh Start give her the necessary tools and knowledge but a new-found perspective on how to find the right career for her. The career courses helped her create a vision and the strategies to achieve her goals. She learned interview techniques, how to highlight her skills and gained the confidence to apply for positions she may never have considered before.
A residential resale representative for the no. 1 security company in America, Ann now has an exciting career that challenges her every day.