Workshop helps women of all ages with leadership skills, career search preparations 

Published 8:45 am Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Wearing gray T-shirts with bold letters reading, “Empowered Women Empower Women,” members of Farmers National Bank Women’s Leadership Program shared leadership-building skills with their fellow sisters in the community so they could also learn to become more self-confident in school and in their careers.

The free and informal workshops held Saturday afternoon at the U.K. Extension office included the use of laptops with one-on-one help writing resumes, instructions on the do’s and don’ts for job interviews and salary requests as well as social media etiquette.

The workshop wasn’t just for adult women. Several mothers also brought their teenage daughters so they could begin thinking about their own careers and the paths on which to get there.

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Beth Pike, a Farmers Bank Women’s Leadership team member, said the group began meeting about six months ago, and hosted several powerful women, including former Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen who spoke on how to be strong leaders.

“We wanted to better ourselves as leaders,” Pike said. The group also wanted to reach out into the community to help other women.

“Sometimes women do not get as much nurturing in leadership abilities when they’re young,” Pike said. So the team wanted to help boost their confidence by offering ways to improve their interview skills, increase networking opportunities and provide a list a good job websites to visit. 

The workshop also  showed the value of purchasing work-appropriate clothing on a budget from thrift stores.

By receiving extra coaching in these skills, Pike said the women will be better prepared to ask for promotions and raises, as well as be more confident in job interviews.

Other organizations that shared facts and ideas with women looking for ways to improve their self-confidence included a career coach from Goodwill Industries and a talent development specialist from the Kentucky Career Center.

There were also representatives from Boyle County Public Library, Eastern Kentucky University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College, American National University, Nesco temporary employment service and Mary Kay cosmetics.

Ariana Switzer, a junior at Boyle County High School, discusses her resume with Farmers Bank Women’s Leadership Program member, Amy Newell, Saturday afternoon. Switzer said she needed to create a resume with the hopes of landing a good summer job.

Ariana Switzer, a junior at Boyle County High School, said she was hoping to find a good summer job and improving her resume is the first step. 

“I’m trying my hardest to get better in interviewing,” filling out applications and writing her resume, Switzer said.

Once Pike and Beth Newell, who is also in the leadership program, discovered Switzer played violin, they suggested it be included on her resume. Even though Switzer doesn’t have a lot of work history, playing violin proves that she is dedicated, self-motivated, has concentration abilities and has a commitment to learning, the women said.

Kalan Slattery, left and her daughter Cienna, of Frankfort, talk to a representative of Nesco which is a temporary employment service about options and benefits of working with the agency.

Kalan Slattery came to the workshop from Frankfort, where she works for the state and is raising her three daughters alone. She said she would like to retire in about four to five years, and attending the workshop was a step in the right direction. Due to her many plans for retirement — she is also writing a book — she thought the workshop would be a good place to learn how to start getting organized. 

Slattery said she also liked meeting other working women and it gave her the opportunity to connect with them. Who knows where those connections may lead to, she said. 

She brought her 17-year-old daughter, Cienna, with her on Saturday. She thought the event was something they could do together, and it may even open her daughter’s mind up to more career choices, who is currently a high school senior and is planning on attending Berea College after graduation. 

Slattery said she also liked the fact that they were being exposed to “other motivated women.”

After meeting, with two representatives from Nesco who were at the workshop, Cienna said she learned that working with the temp agency was an option she had never considered. 

“I think it’s an awesome idea.”