Disclosure: I partnered with TracFone and Dress for Success to promote their Success is Calling program and was compensated to write several posts about it, but as always, all opinions are my own. This is truly a program that I am proud to be associated with and one that I hope empowers you as much as it did to me upon reading this post.
When I was recently asked to attend an event hosted by TracFone and Dress for Success, I was thrilled. The theme of the day would be empowerment, something I think about daily. The two companies recently partnered up on a program called Success is Calling to help women navigate the critical first step to employment — the phone interview – by providing weekly classes to teach skills and confidence. It started in 2015 and as a result of the program’s success, the majority of the women landed a job, so this year they are offering it to twice as many women across the country, providing them with the knowledge and resources to land job interviews by providing them with the skills to ace an interview.
Success is Calling
There are so many reasons I can appreciate what Success is Calling is doing. I don’t even know where to start. For one thing, I am an entrepreneur who at one point was at a critical juncture in my own career. I desperately could have used this kind of help as I was looking for clients and a way to return to the workforce after staying home with my children for a year. In addition, I have worked with Dress for Success on several successful fundraisers, and I fully support their work, having come face to face with its invaluable results in providing resources to women looking to enter the workforce. And lastly, the program is all about empowerment, a mission I set out to achieve in my own life daily, as I look to inspire and encourage my own daughter to be the best person she can be.
TracFone has statistics to back up the need for this kind of program. According to a recent survey they conducted, they found that an interview candidate’s phone etiquette is increasingly critical to advancement in the interview process:
- First impressions stick: 85% of hiring managers and working professionals say that first impressions made via phone interviews follow the applicant through the entire interview process.
- Confidence counts: 82% of hiring managers and working professionals use phone interviews to gauge a candidate’s confidence in their professional capabilities.
- Phone skills are essential: 82% of hiring managers and working professionals say phone skills are key to landing and maintaining a job.**
During the event at Annisa in the West Village where we were served beautiful cuisine, I heard tales from three fierce women who completed the Success is Calling program in 2015. Their real life stories about how the program helped them, and the phone interview tips they received, were so compelling and relatable. Simone Roberts from Atlanta told us how the program gave her a voice back. She had been out of work for a long time and the program helped her regain confidence and faith in the job search progress. She reinvented herself and is now gainfully employed in her field. ShaVaughn Holloway, a single mom from Kansas City, said that TracFone gave her a chance: “It was the best training I have ever gotten in my whole life, providing mind over matter skills you need to get a job. Before the program, I was just somebody’s mom. I have all these people around me, willing to help me. It has changed my life for the better. Now my daughter will see a role model.” Her goal now? To go to law school.
When Fredericka Clarke from Phoenix started the program, she had very low self-esteem but didn’t let it stop her. She told us that the “experience has been a blessing to me” and has been incredibly rewarding and inspiring. The program’s weekly classes not only taught her how to get a job, but to keep a job. She ended up getting a job exactly in the field she aspired to: an administrative position in industry building airplane parts. The program gets results and empowers its participants.
It reminded me so much my own progress I have made over the years as an entrepreneur and the many women in my own life who have taught me the skills I’ve needed to start and run my own business. The two women who invited me to the event, Audrey McClelland and Vera Sweeney, are two of those women. They are leaders in this space and it was an honor to be invited to witness the success of this wonderful program.
During the month of April, TracFone will donate 20% of its handset sales at Walmart, up to $525K, to Dress for Success to help empower women to build successful careers. Not only will the applicant get a phone, they will get one year of service to support them as they prepare to enter the workplace. For more information on Success is Calling, interview tips and graduate testimonials, visit www.TFSuccessisCalling.com.
**This survey was commissioned by TracFone and conducted by Survata, an independent research firm in San Francisco. Survata interviewed 1001 online respondents between March 07, 2016 and March 14, 2016. For further information, visit www.survata.com.