Geneva nonprofit helps with career transitions

 
 
Posted7/31/2016 8:00 AM
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  • Cynthia K. Wade and her dog Bella. Wade created a Geneva-based nonprofit organization "supporting people to try again" in 2014.

    Cynthia K. Wade and her dog Bella. Wade created a Geneva-based nonprofit organization "supporting people to try again" in 2014. Courtesy of Cynthia K. Wade

  • Batavia Environmental Commission and Batavia MainStreet are posting signs around town that tell passers-by how long it takes to walk or bike to a certain location. A QR code on the sign provides step-by-step directions, a map and information about the place you are heading to.

    Batavia Environmental Commission and Batavia MainStreet are posting signs around town that tell passers-by how long it takes to walk or bike to a certain location. A QR code on the sign provides step-by-step directions, a map and information about the place you are heading to. Rick West | Staff Photographer

People in transition. Sound familiar? It should by now. It happens to virtually all of us in some manner as our lives unfold, but it became an all-too-true fact of life in the past decade as Americans muddled through a recession and "the new economy" created by advancing technology.

Cynthia K. Wade of Geneva lost her job three years ago and her feeling of uncertainty pushed her in 2014 to create do-over.me, a nonprofit organization "supporting people to try again."

"To say that change is the most important thing to embrace seems very simplistic, but it's really true that change is really the only constant for any living and growing entity," Wade said. "Unless you want to stagnate and get 'smelly,' and ultimately die, we must change."

In operating do-over.me for the past two years, Wade has encouraged others that change is not only an opportunity for new things, but better things.

"Life can be normal again, it's just a new normal," she said.

The organization has worked with all types of people in different situations. As an example, Wade said one client held an IT position for 20 years, completed a major project and was let go the next day. His immediate boss did not even know it was going to happen.

"Wow," Wade said. "How many things are wrong with that picture?"

This person worked with Wade for a few months on his resume, creating a LinkedIn profile, sharpening interview skills and getting an understanding of the job market.

"More importantly, we worked on his confidence, his feelings of worth and self-efficacy," she said.

He took a job that Wade was somewhat concerned might not be a good fit. Sure enough, that job lasted less than a year and he was back to try again.

This time, he took a job that was "never on his radar before," she said. "He has made peace with the situation he has been thrust into and recognizes his worth and dignity is not defined by his job title or the size of his paycheck," Wade added.

Wade and her supporting board of directors recently had a retreat to start do.over-me's third fiscal year. She is grateful that the concept has helped change the lives of more than 50 people ranging in age from 20 to 60 who were looking for answers.

Anyone struggling to find answers in their work lives can learn more at do-over.me or by contacting Wade at (630) 402-0429.

Walking in Batavia:

Some organizations in Batavia have launched a campaign to encourage people to take a walk around downtown Batavia. We've never needed a structured campaign to convince us to walk around town, because my wife and I love doing it in all of the Tri-Cities.

But this idea from the Batavia Environmental Commission and Batavia MainStreet is interesting. Will it get more people walking than Pokemon Go? Probably not, but the premise is to post signs around town that tell passers-by how long it takes to walk or bike to a certain location.

A QR code on the sign provides step-by-step directions, a map and information about the place you are heading to.

Ultimately, anything that helps people get up and moving around is a great idea.

Groceries? Not sure:

After posting the question a couple of weeks ago, plenty of readers weighed in on what Geneva city officials should consider as a new tenant for the now-empty Sports Authority building on Randall Road.

Mariano's and Whole Foods had a significant number of fans, but the general feeling from a few others is that if a grocery chain isn't interested in the empty Dominick's store on the other side of Randall in the same area, then it won't be all that enamored with the Sports Authority site either.

An Apple store almost always gets mentioned in these types of feedback formats, but it seems Apple simply does not think enough consumers with high incomes call Kane County home.

At this point, we have to settle into what has become a fairly common routine since the recession and beyond as far as empty retail space goes -- it's a wait-and-see approach.

Bring Pokemon here:

It hasn't taken long for retailers to realize that this Pokemon Go craze can go a long way to bring people near or into their stores. Sure, many of them may be young kids, but their parents might follow.

As such, Blue Goose Supermarket in St. Charles has become a Pokemon "gym" and even proclaimed it was a Pokemon Go Friendly Zone with a sign on the building. The store was giving free doughnuts to some players at noon each day they where gathered around.

As with any digital craze, this one will fade and morph into another. Retailers like Blue Goose will have more opportunities to see how they fit in.

dheun@sbcglobal.net

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