Larry Simonelli’s email signature says a lot about him. The signature says, “Your future will be better than your past.” That optimism was put to the test when he found himself not making ends meet.
“When you are not working, there is no purpose in life,” Simonelli said. “It felt absolutely hopeless.”
Simonelli, a Greece, New York native and father of two, tried everything. He had his own struggling business and aggressively sent out resumes to online job listing sites like Indeed.com. Despite a wealth of experience in sales and managing facilities, the phone stopped ringing. The weight of rejection hung on Larry and his family.
“Things became disastrous at home,” Simonelli said. “If your family is counting on you to supply their needs and you’re not doing so, what do you do?”
Like thousands of people every year, Larry was eager for a change. He found himself in a RochesterWorks! career center looking for hope and some options. He was referred to Finger Lakes Hired, a program funded by a federal grant to help the long term unemployed get training and work in Advanced Manufacturing, Information Technology, and Health Care sectors.
“I never heard of Finger Lakes Hired before,” Simonelli said. “So, I had no expectations.”
It didn’t take long for Simonelli to meet Finger Lakes Hired Employment and Educational Specialist Alexandria Vattimo. Larry credits Alex with showing him how to reshape his resume.
“Larry is highly motivated and a quick learner,” Vattimo said. “He’s diligent and was
actively seeking opportunities in his career.”
Alex sees 6 to 10 customers like Larry every week. One of the many hurdles that the long term unemployed face is dealing with the frustration and high stress that comes with any job search, let alone a prolonged one. High stress and frustration can cause simple mistakes that can keep a job seeker out of the workforce. One thing that Alex shared with Larry and other customers is that patience is key.
“Larry was so eager to land a job that it sometimes distracted him,” Vattimo said. “I reminded him that sometimes finding the right job takes time and that’s OK.”
Armed with a new modern resume, a fresh point of view, and the drive that lead him through a 20-plus year career he tried again. Before he knew it, the phone started to ring. He interviewed with companies in his target industry that Alex referred him. He also got responses on Career Builder. He landed a position with TruGreen as Sales Representative. He started on March 13, 2017.
“I was so impressed and blessed by Finger Lakes Hired,” Simonelli said. “I don’t know what I would have done without them.”