I mentioned in an earlier post, that it’s possible to obtain a state-funded training grant if you were laid off (and there are other situations where it applies as well, like a home-maker who needs to become employed).  Such great services offered by the state, and thank you KATHY (you know who you are) for telling ME about it, so I can now in turn share with others.

Here in NJ, the state grants are handled at the county level. There’s a website where you can search for programs.  It’s a bit of a clunky site, but it does work, takes some stamina to get through it and find what you are looking for. I consider myself to be very tech savvy, but I found it hard to search for a specific area of interest.    The website to explore all this state-funded help for training grants is https://njtopps.com

If you’d like to watch a brief video walkthrough of the NJ State website where the training search is, click the image below. For those folks not in NJ, just go to your state’s official website, look for any links or menu items for “employment” “job training” “workforce development” or anything like that. I’m sure they have a somewhat similar system.

WIOA video walkthrough

Also, I found that the folks in the NJ Workforce Development were so nice and helpful, lovely to work with.  I did break the standard model a bit by selecting a program of something OTHER than PMI certification/Project Management which seemed to be super popular.  But since my niche is in digital marketing, I wanted to pump up my certifications in graphics, hence the program I selected was a Graphic Arts/Advertising Design certificate.

Know that there are in-person/classroom-based programs you can choose as well as online programs. I know several folks chose the in-person/classroom option and attended a class 4 or 5 days per week (the program requires 20 hours per week of study).  My program was online, and I honestly put in about 50 hours per week, but as I was in my “zone” of creativity, I really went above and beyond on my projects, even resubmitting them if I came up with some idea to make it better.

So depending on what your desires are, what your style is, there’s probably an option for you.  I find online courses to be a little isolating, but I love the flexibility they allow since I still have relatively young kids in my home (8th grade and 11th grade) whom I need to supervise to keep them on the straight and narrow!   You parents know what I mean – these are the years where it can all go to hell so easily if they fall into the wrong crowd, right?

It is possible to pivot to a new career.  Just takes a little elbow-grease and courage, as well as support