Single Parent Achieves Balance Between Career and Home with Help from EDD

For Army veteran Jeanine Thomas, reentering the workforce after years of juggling military clerical work and single-parent duties, presented her with a set of challenges that led her to seek post-service employment assistance.

“Having a sustainable income with work-life balance was a challenge as a single mother while raising my daughter,” Thomas said.

Faced with these challenges, Jeanine was determined to overcome her barriers to employment. She visited the America’s Job Center of CaliforniaSM (AJCC) in Concord where she met Christopher Crisostomo, the Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist who collaborated with her and provided the ongoing assistance she needed to find civilian employment.

For Crisostomo, helping veterans is more than just a job. It is his passion.

“I went to the Concord AJCC when I was unemployed and was introduced to the Jobs for Veterans State Grants (JVSG) program,” Crisostomo said. “I now have the honor and pleasure to work with the JVSG team that assisted me to become a state employee.”

Crisostomo worked closely with Jeanine for an entire afternoon, carefully combing through her resume to tailor it to the specific type of work that she was looking for. He performed review sessions with her and made resume revisions that wrapped up Jeanine’s skillsets in a solid package they could send to prospective employers.   

Looking back, Crisostomo remembers Jeanine as someone who was “very motivated and easy to coach.”

Jeanine utilized Concord AJCC’s resources such as virtual job fairs, which offer attendees a number employment opportunities. Working with Christopher, she built upon her professional network, practiced interviewing techniques, and performed targeted job searches using CalJOBS.

Through Crisostomo’s encouragement, and her own self-motivation, Jeanine stayed focused on achieving her goal, eventually landing her current position as an office technician with the California Department of Water Resources in Byron.

She points to career flexibility as a key component in veterans successfully finding quality, post-military employment.

“I believe that a lot of veterans including myself want to pigeonhole ourselves into a certain way of thinking and not be as flexible sometimes depending upon the job requirements, and that limits a lot of veterans into getting their desired position,” Thomas said.