Navigating Employment Search: A Guiding, Helping Hand Assists in Attaining A Job Goal

Anissa Goss never realized how much she enjoyed interacting with people until given the opportunity to shine as a retail manager. Her contagious, bubbly personality and warm smile enable Goss to easily connect with customers.

“Her energy is awesome. Anissa is very friendly and does not meet any strangers,” says Monarch Employment Support Professional (ESP) Precious Haynes who has worked with Goss since April, assisting her in finding employment.

Monarch Individual Placement Services (IPS) staff works in collaboration with the behavioral health professionals as a team approach to assist in achieving an individual’s personal and professional goals.

Most of Goss’ life was spent caring for others working in the healthcare field as a certified nursing assistant. When her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer, who better to care for her than her daughter. “My mom was my last patient,” Goss confides, her hands folded in her lap. “She was not only my mom but my best friend.”

Following her mother’s death, Goss, 40, wanted to pursue a field other than healthcare because she was dealing with the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. At the urging of her Monarch Behavioral Therapist Carin Parker, she sought vocational guidance through Raleigh’s Wake County office and was paired with Haynes.

Together, Haynes and Goss determined the most effective resources available to help in her job search and reviewed what roles would best fit her experience. “Through the process, I found out things I didn’t know about myself,” Goss admits.

After working at a few jobs that turned out to not be a good fit, Goss accepted a part-time sales associate position at IT’SUGAR candy store in Cary’s Parkside Town Commons. In a few short months, she was promoted from associate to assistant manager, and now serves as store manager.

“The best part of my job is that I can set up the entire store how I like it. The store is my masterpiece,” Goss says proudly. “I really enjoy interacting with the customers.”

Goss strongly suggests working with Monarch’s IPS team to others struggling with mental health issues and who would like a helping hand in pursuing and securing employment. “I would tell them to sit down with the IPS team. They bring out what you are best at. Before you know it, you have your resume completed,” she explains.

Goss also attributes her success to Monarch’s Employment Peer Mentor William Fletcher, recalling his assistance when she was having car issues and he came to the rescue. “Finding a job is overwhelming. To have the support of the team, takes some of those burdens off your plate,” she notes.

Haynes enjoys seeing the positive outcomes of job searches like Goss’: “Finding a job is a process . . . a stepping stone. Getting a job promotes self-esteem and the person is able to provide for their family.”

Working with Haynes has allowed Goss to realize other potential career options, stating that she is considering a return to school next January to possibly pursue x-ray technology. “I was kind of lost when I got here. Intake day was a great day for me,” Goss describes of her first meeting with the IPS team.

Haynes agrees: “We have definitely seen a change in Anissa. It goes to show the process is working.”

Photo caption: Anissa Goss takes a break from her job as store manager at IT’SUGAR in Cary.