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Designing a Future: Goodwill Helps College Grad Find ‘Dream Job’

Caroline Coley began her working life after college on top of the world — interning at Disney Studios and then teaching for a year in Nepal. 

But after returning home to Jackson, Tenn., where she got engaged, Caroline’s career momentum sputtered. Despite her bachelor’s degree, she struggled to find work in her chosen field of graphic design — or work of any kind. 

She and her fiance were hoping to build a life in Jackson, but as the employer rejections piled up, her spirits sank. They began to think about moving. One day, Caroline visited Goodwill to shop for clothes. She noticed the Career Solutions Center and decided to see if they could help her. 

Over the next few months, a career coach helped Caroline refine her career goals, retool her resume, identify prospective employers, craft cover letters and submit dozens of applications — all at no cost. The assistance — combined with Caroline’s diligence — paid off, and eventually she received two job offers in the same week. 

The job she accepted was as a graphic designer for VIP Magazine in Jackson. Caroline now creates covers, feature layouts and advertisements for the magazine — work she loves. Her new income also helped pay for her wedding.

Seeing Caroline’s success, her husband also went to Goodwill and got help finding a better job. And Caroline recently received a promotion to Art Director.

She now recommends Goodwill to anyone in need of a job, a better job or a career.

“It made what felt like a big mountain seem like a smaller hill that was easier to climb,” she says. “I’m just so grateful for the Career Solutions Center, because thanks to their help and some hard work, I was able to get my dream job in my field.”

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