David’s Story

“I had bills to pay and I needed a job. Joblink was there for me,” David Dulin.

When David Dulin lost his teaching job in the spring, it didn’t take him long to realize that finding a new job in the middle of the school year was going to be near impossible.

“I spent a week contacting every school [I could find,]” he says. “But the response was always the same: ‘Your resume looks good, but we aren’t hiring now. Call us back in a few months.’”

David, a 29-year-old father of two, says he couldn’t wait that long.

“I had bills to pay and I needed a job.”

David contacted Job Link, and within a matter of weeks, was in a new position.

According to Job Link Director Daniel Gordon, helping David – and dozens of others – comes down to one thing.

“It’s being able to identify the job seekers’ maximum capabilities, and allowing them to find their strengths so they can get a job they can grow with,” he says.

In David’s case, Mr. Gordon did not know of any teaching positions. But after reviewing David’s resume, Mr. Gordon suggested he focus on the business skills and sales experience he had from previous jobs. He then told David about an entry-level position for a soon-to-open kosher restaurant in the Chicago French Market downtown.

Although the salary wasn’t high enough for David, Mr. Gordon suggested that David go for an interview and see what comes of it. David came back from the interview excited about the position, but felt the salary wouldn’t cover the needs of his growing family. It was then that Mr. Gordon helped him through the complicated maze of negotiations.

“I understood how good a candidate David was,” says Mrs. Gordon, “and believed that the employer would be responsive and bring him in on a higher level.”

Several conversations later, David was hired in an expanded role, to serve as manager and mashgiach of Kosher Kotel, a new “grab and go” in the Ogilvie Train Station, offering kosher deli and grocery products.

Since assuming the position, David not only runs the day-to-day operations, but also arranged for CRC certification, set up a downtown delivery service, and expanded the fresh sandwich line, helping to boost revenue.

“Danny showed me how to approach the owner professionally and how to advocate for myself,” says David. “I talked to Danny every step of the way, and it put me in a better position.”

When asked if he’d recommend Job Link to others, David says, “Absolutely.”

“I’ve already recommended Job Link to many [members of the Jewish community,”] says David. “It taught me how to present myself in the best way that I could, and it was the key to unlocking what was in front of me.”


 

Chava’s Story

“Thanks to Job Link, I can put food on the table and I can pay rent, and my family doesn’t have to rely on charity,” Chava Greenberg*

Last year, Chava Greenberg* found herself unable to support her family. The 30-something mother of three suddenly became the family’s sole breadwinner, and the part-time job she had wasn’t enough to cover the rent and put food on the table.

“I didn’t have the luxury of doing a full-blown job search,” she says. “I needed a new job fast.”

Chava contacted Job Link, and in just a short time, she secured a new position that enabled her to better support her family.

For Chava, it was Mr. Gordon’s “upbeat” attitude that really made the difference. She had been to other job placement agencies, but left them feeling “inadequate” because she didn’t have a college education.

“[Mr. Gordon]” is realistic, but optimistic,” she says. “He has healthy expectations for you and makes you feel that you’ll rise to the occasion.”

Chava says she also appreciated all the time Mr. Gordon invested – from getting a clear idea of who she was at their initial meeting, to providing her with interview techniques, and running through mock interviews at subsequent meetings.

Around the time Chava turned to Job Link for assistance, a local employer had contacted the agency with an administrative position. On Mr. Gordon’s recommendation, Chava applied for the position and, after Mr. Gordon helped her “tactfully navigate” the salary, was hired.

Chava calls the position “just what she needed” because while she’s working more hours, she can still accommodate her children’s needs. Most of all, it’s giving her and her children the stability they need.

“I can put food on the table and I can pay rent, and we don’t have to rely on tzedaka, charity,” she says. “We’re not going on vacation, but I can buy my daughter camp clothes. And if the ice cream man comes by, I can give my kids a couple of dollars.”

Chava adds that at Job Link, “It isn’t just ‘find them a job,’ it’s about chesed, kindness. [Mr. Gordon] is genuinely invested in making a good match. And for someone to put so much heart into my livelihood is tremendous.”

*Name changed to protect privacy