Developing A Philanthropic Career
To give my life purpose I needed to create structure and guidance. To do this I designed a project titled “Sonia Get A Life”. The objective was to focus on three goals. For me it was all about examining my life to see what was missing, finding out what I loved doing and doing it.
How I got started: I learned years ago when I visited Pittsburgh that the libraries functioned as community hubs. Then after relocating to the city in 2013, I quickly became a member of my local library, and in 2016, when I began getting involved locally, I found volunteer opportunities at the libraries.
Building my philanthropic career: One Saturday morning I attended a nonprofit open house at the library. There were 10 to 12 non-profit organizations in attendance that were recruiting volunteers. I chatted with most of the organizations, took their literature, and gave them my contact details. To date I have volunteered with at least five of the organizations, including some of the organizations listed below:
- Carnegie library – prepared back to school packages, assisted in the informal
“Let’s Speak English” classes, and the spring to early summer walking program.
- Holy Family – provided audit/clerical support
- Literacy Coalition- taught ESL and Adult Basic English
- Agewell – visited seniors living in a retirement community
- Red Cross – participated in special events and coordinated Marathons
I recommend volunteering because it is an excellent way to meet new people, make friends, and can also be a job search resource.
Designing A Successful Career
How I got started: During my job search activities at the library I learned about the Center for Women(CFW), an organization that helps women in transition. I signed up with CFW and used most of their services, including becoming a member of their Woman 2 Woman Toastmasters Club. However, I had one big problem – I was unsure of the type of career I wanted to pursue. I enrolled in CFW internship program and completed three internship positions to see if I had the aptitude for a job in the social services industry.
Building a successful career: While I was actively pursuing a career in the social services, I was simultaneously pursuing an Image Consultant career. I observed that many of the job seekers I met could benefit from some soft skills training that would help them become more successful in their job search and beyond. I researched and found that a career as an image consultant would give me the opportunity to provide soft skills training to help clients overcome their defense mechanism strategies in areas such as (a) appearance (b) confidence (c) non-verbal communication. I pursued and obtained my Certification in Image Consultant and then immediately began volunteering at Dress for Success to gain hands-on experience. In July 2016 I launched my business: Style Management Experience. In addition to working with individual clients, I present transition workshops on topics such as appearance, self-image, and self-confidence.
Creating A Social Life
How I got Started: Moving from state to state meant I had few friends, so invariably when I moved to Pittsburgh in 2013 I did not know anyone, but I was determined to change this situation. I made creating a social life a priority and I was opened to social opportunities.
Building a social life: Through my volunteering, internships, being a member of Toastmasters and my career as an Image Consultant I developed some deep friendships and connected with many people locally, nationally and globally. My life has become the life of my dreams