Father’s Day

Richard PratherHello everyone! I would like to tell you what Father’s Day has meant for me growing up. If my father loved a day more than others, it was Father’s Day; a.k.a., “Advice Day.” On this one day of the year, he had my full and undivided attention; no interruptions were permitted.

My father would say things like, “Son, it’s time for you to get a job,” or “Son, when are you going to pay rent?” but generally ended up with him telling me to clean the house.

But when I turned 18, something changed. His advice was geared more toward me finding a great company and working hard to climb the corporate ladder of success. He explained to me that I needed to get up early and start knocking on company doors asking for a job. But no matter how hard I tried, I always came back with my head down and empty handed. After we would talk about it, he was convinced that I was simply not knocking hard enough.

As many of you can relate, I became very frustrated with my job search. I wanted my father to be proud of me and my efforts; after all, he had never given me advice that didn’t work. But something was not working. I was told that Workforce Solutions helps people find work, so I decided to visit an office nearby where I lived. The Greeter at the front door told me that once I had registered on the Work-in-Texas job search website, I could visit an employment counselor who would give me advice. I did just that, and the staff was very helpful. The Employment Counselor explained that my father, while having great intentions, was using “old school” tactics to find employment and that she would show me how to find “success in the new economy.”

The Employment Counselor explained that having education or training beyond high school has equipped me to be job ready, but I needed to get the message out to employers through networking and other job search tools. Simply put: networking is attending job fairs and other similar functions, as well as utilizing tools I have at my disposal such as social networking or joining industry associations. I learned that even churches host job fairs, such as Between Job Ministries at Northwest Bible Church.

After attending a “Resume and Cover Letter” workshop at Workforce Solutions, I had a great resume and carried several copies with me everywhere I went because I learned that you never know when an opportunity will come knocking! One day, I gave a copy to my barber and as it turned out, he knew somebody that was looking for my expertise. In fact, that person was coming by for his biweekly haircut that day!

I went home and told my father I finally had an interview set up the next week. My dad laughed and said, “you finally learned to knock hard enough!”

Richard Prather is a bi-lingual Regional Facilitator for Workforce Solutions. Richard combines 3 years of experience at Workforce Solutions with his Master’s degree, diverse experiences traveling abroad, and commitment to excellence in customer service to provide training to both customers and staff throughout the 13 counties of the Gulf Coast Region.

1 Response to “Father’s Day”

  1. 1 Grace July 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Richard this is such a heartwarming story and very well told. When I was experiencing my first Layoff, Workforce Solutions was there for me also. I had long-term back to back employment and simply had no idea of how to actually “look” for work. I was thrilled when I discovered an organization that could actually help me do it the right way! Richard, Your father was right I guess I wasn’t knocking hard enough… on all those doors!”0) Great story…

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