Fundamental Principles: Helping People Help Themselves. It’s not just a mantra; it’s what we do at the Employment Support Center.
ESC facilitates employment support group meetings, and trains community leaders to establish and run support groups for the unemployed and under-employed. The ESC method, first established by Ellie Wegener in 1984 and continuously improved since then, is to help people help each other by bringing them together to swap job leads and contacts and to provide mutual support during what is likely to be one of the most stressful periods in a person’s life: looking for a job. Groups are kept small so that each member's opportunities for participation are maximized.
Job swapping increases the efficiency of the job hunting process for everyone in a group. When successful, it not only gives the new job-holder cause for celebration, it provides a real boost in self-esteem for the person providing the successful lead. Numerous employment support group members have reported finding a new job thanks to a lead provided by ESC or by a fellow group member. ESC provides help in learning the skills required to successfully land a new job, such as “elevator speeches,” networking, cover letter and resume writing, interview techniques, and negotiating for a better employment package. We regularly feature guest speakers with current, experience in hiring, firing and managing people in a variety of organizations. We continually research the most current information to provide innovative advice to group participants including use of the web and social media to promote a personal brand. In contrast to commercial employment agencies responsible to employers, the ESC groups and their facilitators are responsible to the group members. Participants are free to "let their hair down" and discuss their plans, hopes, and fears with others in the same boat.
This environment helps job seekers regain and maintain their self-esteem when they experience a great deal of rejection and self-doubt. In today's highly competitive job market many well-qualified, experienced, and hard working people from all walks of life, find themselves out of work through no fault of their own. In particular, new graduates with very little work experience or those over 50, or have been out of work for more than a few weeks, are at a great disadvantage when applying for jobs online. Unless a job applicant fits the exact requirements of the employer in all respects, and is able to express their skills, experience and ability to contribute effectively in terms that elevate their application above the rest, they are unlikely even to get their application read by a human decision maker, let alone be granted an interview.
ESC has benefited throughout its history from the work of many committed volunteers. Volunteers have served as ESC group facilitators, publicity officers, board members, job liaison, speakers, office assistants, researchers, statisticians, bookkeepers and fundraisers.
If you would like to volunteer, please contact us and we will get back to you to discuss how you can help.
Employment Support Center Mission & Fundamental Principles
The Employment Support Center (ESC) works to assist active job seekers in the greater Washington, DC metropolitan area secure employment. ESC facilitates self-help career resource and networking meetings that enhance the dignity of people in need by restoring their professional self-confidence.