NOCE Career Services Helps Claudia Amador Find a New Mindset and Career Student Spotlight

December 08, 2021

Career services aren’t just for new high school and college graduates. Such services can also be very useful for mid-career professionals looking to change careers. Claudia Amador learned how valuable the services offered by the Career Center at North Orange Continuing Education (NOCE) can be when she was looking to exit teaching and find a career that better matched her personality and skill set.

Amador had a successful career as a software engineer before deciding to go back to school six years ago to earn her teaching credential. Once credentialed, she quickly found a teaching job and taught high school math and computer science for several years in Los Angeles before realizing that teaching wasn’t the perfect fit she thought it would be. After leaving teaching, Claudia moved to Orange County ready for a change. But after a year of countless interviews, Claudia realized she needed career guidance and NOCE’s Career Center was there to provide it.

Claudia admits she was skeptical about the Career Center at first. After all, most of the people at her first informational meeting were half her age. She describes herself as being unapproachable at that meeting, sitting in the back row, unsmiling, with her arms folded across her chest. However, the message and the services offered at NOCE resonated with her. Over the next several months, she started to frequent the Center, taking advantage of its many opportunities and realizing her age was much less of a factor than she imagined it to be.

During this time, Claudia took advantage of a variety of NOCE Career Center services, including the LinkedIn boot camp and the aptitude tests that help participants define their key personality traits and match them with a career.

“They had a really cool program, Career Launch Academy, which was very helpful. Their big push was in social networking, which I loved,” says Claudia. “The great people at the Career Center helped me get out of a negative mindset. They were very encouraging and supportive and I’ll always have them to thank.”

Today, Amador works for a non-profit organization that helps advise college-bound high school student on the right courses to take to make sure they qualify for admission into a California state college or university. It’s a data-driven job that makes good use of her experience both as a software engineer and as a teacher. She stresses that she wouldn’t have been able to land the job without the skills and the encouragement she gained at NOCE. Amador would recommend the Career Center to anyone looking to change careers in midlife.

“I think what was holding me back was that I was in the wrong field,” says Claudia. “With the help of NOCE, I was able to craft my story and move on to the next thing in my life.”

About NOCE’s Career Center

NOCE’s Career Center and Resource Lab offers a variety of services to help those in the community determine their aptitudes and secure a rewarding job that matches their personality. These services include…

  • Career exploration
  • Resume and cover letter building
  • Help with creating a LinkedIn profile and taking courses through LinkedIn Learning
  • Interview preparation
  • Job search
  • Online job applications
  • Soft skills workshops
  • LinkedIn Boot Camp Series

Workshops are held in-person and virtually. Topics include Using LinkedIn to Network and Find a New Career, 21st Century Skills: Empathy, Accepting and Declining Job Offers, How to Dress for Success, and Social Media and the Job Search.

The center also offers a platform where participants can submit their resume for an online review and get feedback on how their can improve the document.

In addition to the career services, NOCE offers educational programs for community residents from children to senior citizens. Among these are career certificate programs to train individuals for jobs like being a funeral director, a bookkeeper or a pharmacy technician. The center also offers classes to prepare students to take the GED exam, English as a second language classes, citizenship classes for those seeking to become a US citizen, parenting classes, summer camps for kids and tuition-free class for those age 50 and older on subjects like creative writing, computer skills and quilting.

To learn more about the North Orange Continuing Education Career Center and other NOCE programs, visit