CARROLLWOOD - Getting laid off or, even worse, losing a job, can be a nightmare. No money, no benefits – no job.
It's tough, but Jim Kissane, a lay minister at St. Paul's Catholic Church on Dale Mabry, said it's best to look at whatever positives can come out of it.
Kissane runs the cross-denominational Tweeners support group that meets Thursdays at 8:30 a.m. at the parish. Kissane said the group, which has been around since 2002, has helped more than 4,500 people get back to work. He said it's a matter of not letting the loss of a job be devastating as much as it is a chance to find a new beginning.
And Kissane should know – he has worked with members of the military, financial geniuses, and even a rocket scientist. The key, he said, is to stay positive. The meetings are not dreary get-togethers for people who want to lament their lost career, but rather a chance to make connections and make contacts with people in the same situation. He stresses the positive rather than the negative.
“We can all relate because almost everyone has been in that situation before,” Kissane said. “We are energetic, we are lively, and we are hopeful.”
The meetings are unique, Kissane said, in that, although there are many faith-based support groups, the group at St. Paul's accepts everyone from any religious denomination with no questions asked. It's about support, not a religious revival.
The key to the process of helping find employment, Kissane said, requires a few basic steps. First, establishing a comfortable foundation and meeting people with whom contacts can be made and experiences can be shared. Networking starts soon after, and that includes visits to job fairs. Many job fairs turn up nothing when it comes to actually getting a job, but they are a good place to make even more contacts and practice the interview process.
“There's a life force behind all of this,” Kissane said. “God gave us many gifts and he built a human foundation for us. He might not always say yes when we ask for a job or something else, but he listens. He's a part of this, but anyone is welcome. God knows what job he wants you to have. Whatever He wants, it will happen. Faith opens doors.”
For more information, check www.tweeners.typead.com