*Stock photo used to represent STRIDE client
Tammi was spending hours job searching after an extended employment gap but wasn’t having any luck until she connected with the Archway Skills Training Results in Directed Education / Employment (STRIDE) program.
In 2019, Tammi’s mom started to show signs of Alzheimer’s disease and her dad could no longer help her mom. Since Tammi has a nursing background, she decided to move in with them to take care of her parents full-time for almost three years.
When Tammi was able to return to work in 2022, she was concerned that the extended gap in her resume would become an issue with employers. But she was honest about the gap and was able to find a job at a garage door company and eventually a nursing home. However, these jobs weren’t the best fit and she was laid off just two weeks before Christmas.
When she started looking for work in January, she was discouraged to find she wasn’t getting called back for interviews.
“I would spend up to eight hours a day looking for and applying for jobs on the computer. But I wasn’t hearing anything from employers. That’s when I went to WorkBC for help and they referred me to the STRIDE program where I met Lea,” said Tammi.
“I would spend up to eight hours a day looking for and applying for jobs on the computer. But I wasn’t hearing anything from employers.”
The STRIDE program supports 55+ job seekers in finding sustainable employment through skills training and employment support. STRIDE staff help clients explore occupations best suited to their strengths, interests, and transferable skills so they can make informed career decisions.
Older adults can face various issues when it comes to finding work including a lack of relevant skills or qualifications, difficulty adapting to new technology or being unfamiliar with current hiring practices. Older adults also have to combat age discrimination and employers who may view them as less productive or less willing to learn new skills.
Due to factors like these, older job seekers may experience longer periods of unemployment as was the case with Tammi. Often, the longer the unemployment period, the harder it is to get back into the workforce.
“Some older workers face health problems but can’t afford to retire, so they want to find a job that’s a good fit but have no idea what that looks like,” said Lea Langford, STRIDE program Employment Facilitator.
“We help our clients discover possible careers and then help them showcase their strengths to employers who would benefit from having mature and experienced professionals on their team.”
Tammi says that Lea was very helpful and always available to answer any questions she had.
“Lea and I just clicked immediately, and she helped me not only through the group classes, but one-on-one too.”
Together they started making changes and eliminating resume information that wasn’t necessary.
“I put a lot of my nursing skills on there because I was applying for admin work in medical offices. We ended up taking a lot of the nursing information off the resume, which I was really resistant to do at first because a lot of nursing involves admin work.”
Although Tammi found it difficult to remove the nursing experience from her resume, when she did, she noticed the phone calls started to come in.
Tammi was amazed at how many interview requests she was receiving. After interviewing with a few companies, she accepted a position in administration for a trucking company.
“It’s a great place to work because of their commitment to their employees’ physical health and wellbeing.”
Tammi enjoys a “wonderful and fun break” every day with a friendly competition spring toss game and finds the work fulfilling.
Overall, Tammi was very happy with the STRIDE program.
“It’s an awesome program. It really is. It helps you with everything you need to do to find a job. It’s just a wonderful program and I would recommend it to any older job seekers.”
STRIDE team Gerry, Frank, and Lea
“Some older workers face health problems but can’t afford to retire, so they want to find a job that’s a good fit but have no idea what that looks like.”