I was hired almost twelve years ago as a sales associate for Goodwill Industries of Northern New England’s Augusta retail store. In that time, Goodwill® has provided me with much more than just a paycheck. Thanks to their family strengthening programs, I have been able to move towards my goals.
I quickly moved from sales associate to supervisor to assistant manager, and I am currently the manager of the new Augusta Goodwill store (one of our biggest), which opened in fall 2012. I hope to advance to a district manager position and would love to travel throughout Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont, assisting and coaching new store managers.
I recently completed Goodwill’s Leadership Institute, a year-long leadership training that focuses on leadership practices, self-assessment and a collaborative capstone project. The institute made me leave my comfort zone. It was an amazing experience – very eye-opening. I recognized things in myself, and I learned to take the time to be an active listener for my employees, in addition to learning more about hiring and interviewing, budgeting, finances, profit and loss statements and public speaking.
I am also currently enrolled in Goodwill’s Stepping Stones program (an employee program that helps employees pursue college degrees and continuing education) to complete a business degree.
Goodwill paying for my business degree has been a big help for my whole family. My kids are super smart and are so proud of me when they see me going back to school. My mom and I never had that conversation about going to college, and it’s so different with my kids. How could they not go to college? I have been able to bring what I learn in school to work right away – it is too good an opportunity to pass up.
In addition to these programs, other Goodwill benefits have helped me and my family succeed, including health insurance, paid time off, wellness activities, a flexible schedule and the employee discount at our stores. I cannot tell you what a relief it is to have something reliable so that when I go to the pharmacy it’s not $300. The employee discount has been huge with my three girls. I’m an avid Goodwill shopper!
Goodwill has really worked with the life I have. It makes me proud of the programs we support and all the recycling we do. I feel really good about the work I do. My work pays off every day. Goodwill’s family strengthening programs, combined with my personal dedication and hard work, is helping me achieve my dreams.