What a Peer Counselor has to say about their experience with Empower Work: While in a role researching tools and apps to improve interpersonal relationships in the workplace, I discovered Empower Work and was immediately drawn to their peer counselor training program. My initial interest in volunteering was to help others through tough experiences at work via active listening and empathy.
Their top learnings that have benefitted me as both a volunteer, and a professional:
Avoid heaping on “advice”
Be empathetic and make it about them, not you!
Compose open-ended, thoughtful questions that empower the texter to build their solution
Use the resources provided, no matter how long you have been a peer counselor
Identify what is really bothering the texter and ensure you identify their ideal outcome
Get to know peer counselors and support staff, they are an inspiring group of people!
In addition to supporting texters, my experience with Empower Work helped me down a path of self-discovery, expanding my self worth beyond my job. This journey also helped me forgive, laugh, and move on from a toxic work relationship—freeing me from the unhealthy impact this can impose.Read More
Chris, one of our incredible volunteers, has generously chosen to share their story about reaching out to Empower Work as a texter. In this post they explore what the outcome was, and how it has changed they way they think about work.
Their issue: “I had just started a new job in a new industry and basically did a really bad job negotiating. I didn’t realize how much it was bothering me until a couple of months in. I feel like I struggle with salary a lot in several directions. Money should not be the way that people are valued. But also, in the world today, salary unfortunately represents the way your work is valued. I was struggling with feeling like my work wasn’t valued or respected.”Read More
Empower Work peer counselors are working professionals who support people through tough work situations and workplace issues. They work across a range of fields and industries and cover a spectrum of geographies.
A number of volunteers say they’ve experienced a difficult work situation at some point in their own career. Many have benefited from mentorship and support during those challenging moments. Others didn’t have someone to turn to, and want to change that reality for other people. Despite their experiences, the motivation is the same: to be there for people when they need support at work.Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Rachel is an Empower Work peer counselor and nonprofit professional in the Bay Area.
From Rachel: I saw an ad for Empower Work at a bus stop in San Francisco and went online to learn more. I was looking for a regular volunteer opportunity and was intrigued by the concept. After talking with Empower Work’s founder, I was truly excited by the opportunity to be a part of a mission-driven startup to see something grow from its early stages.Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Deborah is an Empower Work volunteer and career counselor for college students. When she's not using her counseling skills to help others, she's usually spending time with her family or enjoying one of her creative hobbies.
Her comments include, “We've all had moments of frustration at work and needed someone to talk to. I was excited to find an organization striving to address this through the use of technology. The peer counselor role was a perfect fit—I get to help others with struggles they may face at work while further developing my interpersonal skills.”Read More
Laura, an Empower Work peer counselor, talks about how why she volunteers, and how she discovered Empower Work when she herself was in a difficult workplace situation.
From Laura: “The Empower Work peer counselor helped me realize that perhaps what I needed most was not necessarily leaving my job--but figuring out what I need to enjoy my job. The fact that the conversation was anonymous and via text allowed me to be more open. I was able to answer questions more honestly without fear of judgement or embarrassment. During such a difficult time, it was really helpful for me to use an anonymous platform to get it all out there to be fully supported in the best way possible for me.“Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Sarah is a career counselor with nearly a decade of experience working in higher education. Her focus is on helping women build confidence in the workplace, leadership development, and salary negotiation.
From Sarah: “"We spend so much of our lives at work and unfortunately, it is all too common for people to feel stuck in a difficult situation with limited or nonexistent resources. Having a place to talk to a trained volunteer where you are free from judgment, potential retaliation, or other negative consequences is crucial for people to move forward in their jobs and careers. In my opinion, having accessible, confidential work support is integral in improving employee satisfaction, retaining great talent, and creating a healthier work environment for everyone.”Read More
This post is part of our peer counselor Q&A series which shares the perspectives of our talented volunteers. Tracy is an Empower Work peer counselor and a human resources professional focusing on engagement, development, and leadership.
What Tracy sees as some of the benefits of volunteering with Empower Work: “I’ve had the opportunity to directly apply some of the lessons I've learned through my volunteer experience in my career. For example, I incorporated a bias training across my organization. I've also changed my coaching approach when working with managers and employees––I now work harder to help them develop their own solutions rather than simply providing answers.”Read More
Empower Work volunteers support people as they grapple with some of their biggest challenges at work. Sometimes that might mean navigating a difficult conversation with a boss; other times it might mean weighing the pros and cons of leaving a job. Hear why you might want to volunteer from Jennifer Habig Ph.D., Empower Work Board Member, and a coach, consultant, and trainer in leadership and organizational development.Read More
Hear from Jennifer Habig Ph.D, who has been an executive coach, consultant, and trainer in the areas of leadership and organizational development for over 15 years. She has launched executive coaching programs in multiple countries, worked with clients like T-Mobile and Intel, and supported countless friends and family members through tough work situations, and has joined Empower Work training other peer counselors.
“When I started volunteering with Empower Work — an organization that provides free, anonymous, text or web chat for people facing challenges at work — I was looking for a way to use my skills to support underserved populations, people who may never have access to a coach, mentor or support at work.”Read More