GUEST BLOGGER: Tori Dost, Framingham State University (firstname.lastname@example.org)
“Going Places. Going Strong” – that’s the motto inspiring the work of Dress For Success. This emphasis on forward motion is reflected in all of their programs, which focus on providing disadvantaged women with the resources they need to become upwardly mobile. “We focus on helping each woman prepare for the journey ahead of her, and our concern is where our clients are going, not where they’ve been.”
Dress for Success is an international organization with 130 independently funded and operated affiliates around the world, established in 42 states in the U.S. While Dress for Success is best known for its suit program, in which women seeking employment receive their own free suit to wear to interviews and to keep, the organization also ensures that women do not simply land a job, but also begin a career.
Their career centers offer resources to search for jobs and enhance their job-related skills, including an Internet-accessible computer lab, resume and cover-letter writing assistance, and mock interviews and interview preparation. In addition, the Going Places Network by Walmart gives Dress for Success clients more opportunities to gain hard and soft skills necessary for success in the workplace. Finally, the Professional Women’s Group offers women professional development trainings, with topics including communication skills, financial planning, family management, and more. Some affiliates, in their Professional Women’s Group, offer one-on-one intensive career coaching through A Hand Up Coaching (AHUC). Through a combination of these programs, women in difficult financial situations are given the tools necessary to change the lives of their families and themselves for good.
For so many clients, Dress for Success has not simply provided them with the attire and skills to compete in today’s job market. For many, like Madeline from Cleveland, Dress for Success restored her faith in herself and her abilities. “It helps me see all of the positive qualities I possess, and empowers me to excel not just in the workplace but also in all areas of my life. I want to be the best I can be.” Every day, Dress for Success is reacquainting women with their potential to succeed.