My Experience at Ometz

Lorne Wolofsky
As the old axiom goes, “It’s a full time job finding a full time job.” I never realized how prophetic that saying would turn out to be.

After 14 years with the Montreal Gazette, I felt I had the experience and the know-how to be able to find a challenging, stimulating position in sales and/or customer service.

It simply wasn’t that easy.

I’d been searching for full time work for months with little success. I was told I was overqualified for many positions, and lacked the necessary experience for others. Still, I was hopeful, as I had been offered many jobs which I (unfortunately) was not able to accept.

I decided to give Ometz a call. I knew their reputation preceded them. After all, they had been helping people find work for many years AND their offices were just a block from my home. What did I have to lose?

I called their office on a Monday morning and left a message. They returned my call very quickly, which impressed me. I was told I’d have to fill out some forms which were to be sent to me by e-mail and return them as soon as possible. With an hour the forms had been completed and submitted. I was pleasantly surprised when someone from their office called that same day to set up an appointment for me with one of their employment counselors just a few days from then. So far, so good.

I arrived at the appointed time to meet with Cathy Grundman, the specialist who had been assigned to help me. What I found when I arrived were immaculately adorned offices with a welcoming staff who were prepared to help me. Ms. Grundman turned out to be the consummate professional – warm, friendly, engaging, knowledgeable – she made me feel right at home. Searching for work is a stressful undertaking, and Ms. Grundman made me feel at ease. After some preliminary questions, she explained to me how the process worked, then suggested some changes to my resume along with some marvelous advice: “Have your resume translated into French.” She even provided me with the name of someone who could help in that regard. In hindsight, it was some of the best advice I’d ever received, and helped me immensely. I was also invited to participate in Ometz’s semi-annual “Cocktails and Conversation” event, which was to take place just a few short weeks from my initial meeting. It was a great idea – prospective employers from all over the city gather to hear prospective employees speak about themselves and their qualifications – with the goal of building a rapport leading to the possibility of interviews and eventual work. I accepted.

Over the next few weeks Ms. Grundman was a great sense of help and encouragement. Whenever I had a question she answered all of my e-mails promptly, always encouraging me and offering advice. In addition to that, our group of candidates attended three workshops in order to hone and perfect our speeches, and through it all Ms. Grundman was there to help out, offer advice, and ease any trepidation that anyone might have had regarding the upcoming event. After all, public speaking isn’t for the faint of heart, and there was some apprehension among a few in our group. Ms. Grundman helped alleviate any fears anyone might have had as she explained what we were to do and what was expected of us. Many of the other Ometz staff were also present to listen to and help refine our speeches, including Lois Liverman, the Director at Ometz whose disposition can only be described as nurturing and caring. The look on her face as she offered feedback and encouragement was one of “I want to help every single person here find work right away.” Ms. Liverman’s feedback was invaluable, and helped our group through some tough periods.

The 45th edition of “Cocktails and Conversation” was held on Wednesday February 11. All of the candidates spoke eloquently, and after the event I was immediately surrounded by a few prospective employers, each of them eager to ask me questions. Of the six people with whom I interacted that evening, I interviewed with three of them, and e-mailed back and forth a few times with a fourth. Overall, it was a very pleasant experience, well worth the effort. Through it all, Ms. Grundman was beaming from ear to ear. After all, she had helped us refine our speeches, and each one of us delivered without a hitch. Aside from the great experience it provided me with professionally, I made some wonderful contacts within the group of candidates – friendships that are sure to be long lasting.

At the end of the evening, after all the prospective employers had left, Ms. Grundman gathered us together for one last group talk. She wrapped things up nicely by telling us we did a great job that night, and encouraged us to follow up with those we’d had contact with earlier.

My overall experience with Ometz was a positive one. I had been unable to secure work before asking for help from Ometz, and from the day I entered their offices for my first meeting with Cathy Grundman to the time I accepted a position with the National Bank was exactly 7 weeks and a few days. To say that Ometz helped me out immensely would be an understatement. I hope never to find myself in the same position of having to search for work again, but if I do, I would not hesitate to return to Ometz immediately for help with my job search, and to obtain advice related to looking for work. I would highly recommend Ometz and their fabulous staff to anyone who is in need of help, whether it be related to finding work, or other issues which are described on their website. They are professionals who are ready and willing to help individuals with all types of needs. I would not hesitate to recommend this organization.

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