My New Job Has Changed My Life – and the Lives of My Children

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on September 21, 2017

Sonya Buckingham was a single mom raising three kids.

For eight years, she and her family resided in Georgia, where she worked as a cab driver.

Deciding it was time for a change, they relocated to Washington State.

Finding a job proved to be difficult.

“Walking in to companies and trying to find a job on my own was hard. And my experience on paper made it challenging to find a job outside of driving,” Sonya shared.

“Cabbing was unpredictable. Though I was open to jobs, I was really looking for some stability. It was really important for me to be able to have time for my family.”

The ideal job would allow her to clock in, clock out and go home.

While doing an online search for jobs near Vancouver, WA, Sonya came across a job opening through TERRA’s NE Portland office.

She spoke with Recruiter, Melissa Braaten.

Melissa said, “It was easy to see that Sonya was driven. Her children are her motivation, so I knew that she was going to be successful, anywhere she was placed. She wasn’t afraid of getting dirty and took pride in hard work.”

She diligently tried to find Sonya job opportunities that would align with her needs. Some jobs weren’t a fit, but they communicated honestly and openly with each other.

“Melissa always let me know that she was looking for something better for me,” Sonya said.

Then one day, Melissa told Sonya about a job opportunity with a local company that manufactures custom cabinets.

“I knew Sonya lived in Vancouver and sometimes had car trouble. I wanted to find her a job that was bus accessible just in case. Turns out, with this job, she could simply walk to work! She’s strong, so I knew physicality wasn’t an issue. She also likes to stay moving,and this client is a fast-paced production facility. When we first met, she expressed that she would love to learn a skilled trade, and this company is in custom woodworking. To me, it was a perfect fit for her!”

And though it seemed like a great opportunity, Sonya was nervous.

“This job was entirely new to me. I was scared to death,” she confessed.

“I had no experience with woodworking. But Melissa reassured me. ‘They will train you and you will catch on,’ she said. So I went in and worked hard. I really busted my butt – and I found that I really liked it! I learned a lot and continue to learn new things. I think I have done tasks for all departments at this point,” she said with pride.

“My manager told me, ‘You are the first temp who we’ve seen that works hard 100% of the time.’ To which I said, ‘I will give you my all, all of the time.’”

Sonya made an incredible impression on the client. So much so that when they hired her on as a full-time, regular employee, she received a more than 50% bump in pay!

“It felt so amazing,” Sonya shared.

“When I got the job and pay bump, I called Melissa crying… what Melissa did for me changed my life – and the life I could provide for my children. I now have a steady income and don’t have to work 12-16 hour shifts. I have opportunities available to me now that I have never had before, and I have been working since I was 18! For the first time in my life, I even have insurance.

Plus, this new job is 10 minutes from home and even on a bus line, in case something happens where I can’t drive to work. And the schedule is exactly what I wanted. Now, I am home when my kids are home!”

The secret to her success?

“I am the type of person who wants to excel at everything. I stay busy and make sure I am productive and I do my best to learn as much as I can,” Sonya said.

“Here’s my advice to job seekers: Go into things with an open mind. Always do your best and put your best foot forward. If you get a job in a field you don’t know, try. If you don’t try, you’re never gonna know if the job was a good fit. There are opportunities out there that you may be really good at. You just have to be willing to try – and, of course, be willing to work hard.”

And it’s that willingness to work hard and desire to learn that the client loves.

Melissa said, “They told me that she has great work ethic, is punctual, learns quickly and is an asset to the team! They often request more Sonya’s! I knew it was the right job for her!”

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If you are looking for job opportunities, and struggling to do it on your own, Sonya recommends working with TERRA.

“When I was looking for a job, I was working with three temp agencies. And TERRA was a lot different. TERRA was more interested in getting to know me and wanted to know what my needs were. They don’t place people in jobs they won’t like. They want to find you the right fit – and they have faith in you.

I tell everyone about TERRA. Working with them was really a life-changing experience for me. And Melissa Braaten is top-notch. I am so thankful she was my recruiter. She really took the time to get to know me, who I am, what I wanted, and wanted to find me something that worked for me. She was always available, even outside of business hours. Other agencies are not like that.”

Sonya, we are so happy for you and wish you continued success in your role!

Need help with your job search?

TERRA Staffing is a leading temp agency that works with companies large and small, across a variety of industries and we can help open the door for new career opportunities – so you can do the rest.

Getting started with us is easy. Just check out our current job openings.

We have offices in the Seattle-Puget SoundPortland-Metro, and Phoenix-Metro areas and our expert recruiters are waiting to speak with you!

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