The Economic Response Initiative, sponsored by Jewish Family Service of Central New Jersey, runs networking groups to help job-seekers. One group meets in Elizabeth on Monday mornings, another gathers in Scotch Plains on Wednesdays.
The two-hour meetings, led by counselors Sheri Brown or Carol Einhorn, help participants with both the basics and the fine points of job hunting. Topics have included cover letters and resumes, interview preparation, and follow-up communications. Other sessions have served as tutorials for LinkedIn and such computer applications as Excel and PowerPoint.
Group member Libby Bruch, a journalist in search of a new full-time writing gig, has been interviewing fellow members for the NJJN’s “Make Me an Offer” profile series.
For more information, contact Brown or Einhorn at 908-352-8375.
As Jane Lemberg hunts for a job, she emphasizes how her client relationship skills are as important as her sales experience and product knowledge.
She has an extensive background in selling bank-card processing services that enable merchants to receive payments for customers’ credit and debit purchases. Her resume includes working for both banks and independent processors in New Jersey and New York City, servicing clients with at least $250,000 in bank-card activity per year.
Lemberg’s philosophy has always been to offer clients what is best for their needs rather than pushing the most expensive option. “It’s a matter of integrity,” she said. And in an industry characterized by “people who love you and leave you,” as Lemberg described them, she also always tried to maintain contact with customers after the initial sale, making sure everything ran smoothly and offering upgrades if they were needed.
These skills came to the fore when she worked at a bank in New York City. A customer of long standing, tempted by a lower-priced offer, decided to switch to a competitor. Lemberg couldn’t match the lower price because it would have meant the bank would lose money on the account.
“About a week into [the customer’s] relationship with the new provider, he called me because the terminal he’d received wasn’t working,” Lemberg recalled. “He couldn’t get through to the new processor’s customer service department, and he couldn’t process any transactions. He was desperate.”
Lemberg stepped in and got her colleagues in the back office to reestablish the former client’s account for a small fee, assuming it would be a temporary fix to process his transactions until the problem with the new company was resolved. “I didn’t have to do this,” she explained. “But I wanted to help because he’d been a good customer.”
Her willingness to help paid off. The grateful client decided to bring his business back to Lemberg’s bank, making everybody — except the competitor — happy.
Lemberg said she wants to bring this professionalism to a new employer, with banks just one option. Although bank-card processing is her comfort zone, she said, she could easily fit into other industries requiring customer relations skills, particularly in financial services. She’s exploring payroll-processing companies, which provide a service similar to bank-card processing, or working at a bank branch in a customer service role.
“Something that’s related to financial services would be ideal,” she said. “It doesn’t have to be card processing or traditional banking.”
Geographically Lemberg would prefer to stay in the central NJ area, as close to Union County as possible, but she’s willing to broaden her range to other parts of the state. She’s flexible and eager to return to the workforce.