Richland Library offers job seekers fresh start with new clothes

Job seekers visited Richland Library’s Business and Job Center on Thursday to get a fresh start in the workplace with new clothes. The library held its first-ever “The Open Closet” event to give visitors an opportunity to find outfits for interviews, business meetings and social networking.

Career coaches Iris Abney (left) and Slyvie Golod (right) look over an outfit (photo by Kelly Petty).

Career coaches Iris Abney (left) and Slyvie Golod (right) look over an outfit (photo by Kelly Petty).

“A lot of times, job seekers are discouraged,” said Diane Luccy, manager of the Business and Job Center. “We provide an opportunity for customers to actually be able to have an interview ensemble.”

Career coaches Sylvie Golod and Iris Abney wanted to host an event to bring together the principles of the four-step process they teach to people looking for work. In the “Career…Encore!” support and networking group, the women assist individuals to market their talent and go into the workplace confident based on the ideas of “Discover it, Define it, Present it, Promote it.”

“We don’t go to college to learn to market ourselves,” said Golod. “What is the brand, the image you want to put out. We help our customers with the promoting part.”

Abney reached out to her church, First Nazareth Baptist Church, in December just before the holidays, to ask for donated clothes. Staff and board members from the library also gave away clothes and accessories.

“The staff came through, the community came through. It was a team effort,” Golod said.

Customers who attended Thursday’s event were given tips on how to shop for clothing and pair items together to go from day looks to night looks or move from office to casual wear. Men and women could choose from a selection of dresses, skirts, suits, shoes, ties and jewelry. Career Center staff were on hand to offer personal consultations to ensure each person left with a brand new outfit.

Racks were filled with donated clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women (photo by Kelly Petty).

Racks were filled with donated clothing, shoes and accessories for men and women (photo by Kelly Petty).

“When you look good, you feel good,” Abney said.

Those who attended lauded the efforts of the library’s Business and Job Center to help them acquire the skills to meet with employers and succeed in starting a career.

“They helped me regain my identity,” said Robert Riles.

Riles said he struggled to find jobs for a long time, but said the library’s career coaches helped him design a resume that would attract employers and prepared him for the interview process.

Riles said he is embarking on a new career in management and sales after spending two years working in the technical field drawing blueprints. On Thursday, he picked up a shirt and pants and left feeling pretty confident.

“I encourage people to take advantage of this wholeheartedly,” he said. “There’s no limit to my success.”

Categories: Business, Richland County

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