Matt had completed all of his field opportunities in his human services program in health care settings.

Matt had completed all of his field opportunities in his human services program in health care settings. He had worked in an open door clinic for indigent patients, in a public health department doing community education, and in a hospital on the patient relations team. As he completed his internship, he felt most comfortable working in health care but there were no job openings in his community in that field. Due to his family situation, he did not have the flexibility to move to other locations where positions might be available. He also needed to begin working very shortly after graduation in order to meet his expenses as well as to begin paying off his college loans. Matt felt panicky as he realized that all of his experiences seemed to have led him to a dead end—at least until a job became available somewhere— and he didn’t have time to wait. A staff member in the career center at his college encouraged him to think about his experiences in a different way. She helped Matt focus not on the settings of his previous work but on the skills he had developed there. He realized that his goal of working in health care had been based on his assumptions about where he would be most employable. As he thought about his skills more broadly, he became excited about the range of settings in which his skills might fit. He focused on identifying the specific skills he could take into a workplace and wrote a resume that conveyed those skills effectively. Rather than searching for a specific job setting, Matt shifted to focusing on using his skills in management, grant writing, administration, public relations, and presentation. Keeping these skills in mind, he began to read postings for jobs with news eyes as he could see himself fitting into a wide range of human service settings.

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