Returning to the workforce and landing a job

Tata Sanor is a housekeeper at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital in Jamaica Plain, a job she obtained after completing our four-week Job Readiness Training course.

Prior to her enrollment, Sanor (pictured left with Career Collaborative instructor Maddy Lawson) was a full time stay-at-home mother. Though she was serious about finding employment outside the home, she was initially skeptical about spending four weeks to prepare for her job search.

“I was like, oh my goodness, a month to take a class? Just to get a job? I said, that’s too much,” recalled Sanor.

Nonetheless, she visited Career Collaborative to learn more and came away impressed by the enthusiasm of the people she met. “That gave me courage to come back,” said Sanor, who decided to apply to enroll in the course.

Sanor does not regret her decision. By the third week of the Job Readiness course, she said, “I didn’t want to leave. It was so enjoyable.” Sanor singled out instructor Maddy Lawson for being particularly helpful. “She taught me a lot, to be honest,” said Sanor. “As a teacher, I learned a lot from her.”

Having been on only one job interview, Sanor said the job interview training was invaluable. “Today, I’m very grateful and very happy. Every week they taught me how to talk to people, how to do the interview [and] you know, practice,” she said. “It helped me a lot.”

Indeed, Sanor strikes a note of confidence when discussing her interview at Brigham and Women’s, noting how she impressed the person who is now her boss, along with the hospital’s human resources staff.

“I went there one time [and] I got a job,” she said. “It was not difficult at all.”

Sanor has some advice for others who may have doubts about committing to Career Collaborative’s approach to building a life-changing career: give it a try, because the benefits are worth it.

“I’m working hard. And I get my check every week, so that’s great,” said Sanor, smiling. “And my advice is to never give up. Come, take the class, give [it] a shot, just try your best, and you’re going to get a result.”

Participant's son pays it forward

Timothy Lam of is one of Career Collaborative’s newest volunteers. The staff pharmacist at Arbour HRI Hospital joins a dedicated and integral team of Boston-area professionals who serve as practice interviewers, online job search assistants, or job search, résumé, or interview coaches; facilitate our job search support group; and share their individual expertise with job seekers as a “Lunch and Learn” Presenter.

Lam has a deeply personal reason for volunteering at Career Collaborative: his mother was a participant who secured full time employment after completing our three-phase program.

“Now I’m giving back to the community by volunteering here,” said Lam, who staffs our resource room, assisting participants in the job application process and conducting practice interviews—one of his favorite volunteer duties.

“That really helps them get a sense of what a real interview is like when they get a call for a job interview,” said Lam, adding that he enjoys seeing participants continually improve upon their interviewing skills in the practice sessions over time.

“Most of them are prepared for the interviews by the end of the course and that’s kind of amazing,” said Lam. “And that’s one of the reasons why I love volunteering here, and if anyone would like to volunteer as well that would be great.”

It would indeed be great. Volunteers are key to Career Collaborative’s success. If you’re interested in helping others build careers that change lives and strengthen families, take a look at our volunteer opportunities and get in touch with us.


Congratulations to our latest class of Phase One grads!

Congratulations to participants in our most recent daytime class, who today completed phase one of our intensive three-phase program toward building a career! After 100 hours of classes completed over four weeks, they now have professional résumés and have gone through approximately 20 practice job interviews each with volunteers employed in professional settings in the Greater Boston area! They’ve also taken a financial literacy course that covers budgeting, managing credit and credit scores, and retirement planning.

We celebrated with cake, hugs, and Career Collaborative swag!

The next step for our participants is to find their dream job! They’ll be working one-on-one with our employment counselors to search for jobs online. They’ll be writing targeted cover letters, and preparing for interviews. They’ll also participate in the Career Collaborative Job Club where they meet twice weekly with their peers to share their experiences in looking for a job, track their progress, and motivate each other. We could not be prouder of their hard work, and look forward to seeing what they’ll achieve in the weeks to come!

Our next class begins Monday, October 23. Click here for more information!

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Tooting our horn!

We’re so pleased to share the exciting news that we’ve been selected as one of three finalists to compete for multi-year funding and skilled volunteer support from Social Venture Partners (SVP) Boston!

SVP is the world’s largest network of engaged donors, with more than 2,700 in total. There are 75 in Boston ranging from nonprofit executives to teachers to corporate leaders who pool annual gifts of approximately $6,000 to increase the impact of their philanthropy. Twice a year they take applications from non-profits for three years of funding. The finalists in this round were evaluated for their leadership, sustainability, societal impact and innovation, and stood out from the original pool of close to 20 applicants.

Over the next month, we’ll work with SVP to share more of our program with them and compete for multi-year support, including $100,000 in capacity building funds and access to a pool of highly skilled business professionals that provide hands-on support and counsel in key areas: strategy, business and financial planning, talent development, marketing and communications, board development, and impact measurement.

The other two finalists are Boston CASA and the Massachusetts Adoption Resource Exchange. It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway—we’re honored to be in their company!

Boston Cares to honor us with Community Partner Impact Award!

We're so pleased to announce the Boston Cares will honor Career Collaborative with its Community Partner Impact Award for our programmatic work in the area of career and job readiness at the 14th annual Boston Cares Awards Oct. 24. The event will be held at the Harborview Ballroom at the Seaport World Trade Center from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to accept this award from Boston Cares. They have played a pivotal role in our success helping people who are unemployed or under-employed land good positions with excellent companies in the Greater Boston area from which they can build sustainable careers,” said Susan Yule, Career Collaborative’s president and CEO. “In partnering with Boston Cares, Career Collaborative has engaged top-notch volunteers with the professional experience and expertise to help our participants succeed. We look forward to continuing this partnership long into the future.”

The 14th Annual Boston Cares Awards recognizes outstanding volunteers, volunteer leaders, and community and corporate partners. This year’s event is honoring partner organizations that make a difference in the area of career and job readiness.

“We’re proud of our results. When people come to Career Collaborative, their annual incomes range from $2,000 to $11,000. Two years after completing our program, 70 percent of them are still employed, and their median income is $30,000,” Yule added. “Our two-year employment retention rate of 70 percent is one of the highest among programs of our kind in the country.”