It’s been 10 years since Monique Rivers had a job. In that decade, she raised four beautiful children to be strong and independent. But all the while she was losing a little piece of herself.
Her little one is in school now, and she no longer needs to stay home.
“Being a [stay-at-home] mom, you don’t need to do your hair or makeup or clothes or anything,” Monique said. “You pretty much forget that you’re a person—not just a mom—because when you’re a mom you devote so much time to the kids.”
Many moms can relate to that—feeling like they’re no longer a woman who has the time to dress up, put on some heels and lipstick and go out and get a job.
And even if they do step out of stay-at-home-mothering and into the job-seeking market, a lot has changed in the hiring process in the last 10 years. Social media is king. Applications are done online. It’s a different world from when Monique last applied for jobs. So, she sought help at the Christian Women’s Job Corp to get the skills and education she needed to go back to work, but would knowledge be enough to land a job?
Enter Sarah Annerton of Pixel Me Photography.
Earlier this month, Monique got a healthy dose of confidence that can only stem from a day of being properly pampered. Sarah had donated her time and skills to the Christian Women’s Job Corp and had taken professional head shots of the women who were ready to go back to work—portraits they could use in this new, technological era of job searching.
“We provided hair, makeup and professional head shots for CWJC students to use in their job applications and LinkedIn profiles which visually communicate that these women are professionally trained for quality jobs,” Sarah said.
The Christian Women’s Job Corp works primarily with underprivileged women by providing the training and certifications they need to enter the job market and create better lives for themselves and their families. In addition to a variety of training classes, they have a career closet, full of clothes, for the women to wear on their job interviews. With the help of hair and makeup artist Connie Nichols, Sarah was able to take professional photographs of 13 women who were ready to re-enter the workforce.
This kind of service falls in line with what Sarah wants for Pixel Me Photography. She focuses one-third of her business on ministry—using intentional acts of kindness to show God’s love to others.
Elaine Dickson, director of the Christian Women’s Job Corp, said the Pixel Me portraits and the spa day are usually outside the realm of possibilities for these women who come to her looking for job-searching help—single moms, divorced, widowed or women who have otherwise fallen on hard times. Any money they have goes towards survival, not having head shots taken.
Most people believe the only things that matter in a job interview are resumé and qualifications, but that’s just not the case. Recruiters, motivational coaches and resumé writers across the nation repeat the same thing: Looks matter. It’s not whether or not someone is classically attractive but rather how they present themselves.
“When businesses are making hiring selections, they do judge applicants, in part, on appearance,” Sarah said. “Our goal was to create quality portraiture that reflected the professional training these students have received and visually communicate their readiness for work.”
It’s About That Confidence
But more than a fancy suit and new lipstick, these women needed confidence to go into their interviews and impress the hiring manager.
“Most of the students were highly self conscious,” Sarah said. “Most were extremely grateful for the opportunity. They were really excited because they had never done anything like this before. It was a real transformation to watch them go through hair, makeup, the career closet and get their picture taken. I watched their confidence grow from when they first entered to the time that they left the camera room.”
That confidence is what many of these women were lacking when they showed up to have their professional portraits taken. Over the course of the day, they blossomed into the women Sarah and Elaine knew they could be.
Monique remembered she was more than a mother. Another woman learned to work her angles—somewhere out there, Tyra Banks is smiling—to make sure she was presenting the best version of herself.
Job hunting is tough. Job hunting when you don’t have confidence is even harder. The Christian Women’s Job Corp provides the training they need to impress hiring managers with their qualifications and professionalism while Sarah provides the confidence they need to impress them with their poise.
Pixel Me Photography provides high quality imagery and design solutions essential to business success. Sarah understands the importance of using imagery to capture and tell your personal, business or ministry story. She has the skills and equipment necessary to create a variety of high impact images, video and graphic design solutions. For more information on how you can partner with Pixel Me Photography to build, strengthen and increase the impact of your organizational mission, contact Sarah at [email protected]
The Community Journal is proud to share this story of how Sarah Annerton of Pixel Me Photography partners with the Christian Women’s Job Corp to help women get back into and advance in the workforce.