Index of Transition Tips & How-To’s

Top 100 Niche Job Sites List:

  1. There are tons of job sites out there, but often during your job search on them you find few within a very particular job field or industry. If you want to get a job in a niche industry, it's even harder. Take a look at the Top 100 Niche Job Sites list so you can spend more time on effective job boards and land the job you want. (You may have to scroll down a little to see the topic in the middle of the page)

Unemployment Benefits Tips:

  1. Where can I find out information and initiate a claim for unemployment benefits?
  2. What is a DoL “White Card” or “Scan Card”?
    >> This is the white plastic ID card with a barcode on it that identifies you when you make use of NJ DoL facilities and services (and which then enables the DoL to measure the value of their offerings).
    [NJ DoL White Scan Card image]

Besides having this card and scanning it in each time you use DoL facilities or services, you must also be registered with the DoL in order to take advantage of their facilities and services.  (You don’t necessarily need to be receiving cash unemployment benefits in order to be eligible to use their job search support facilities and services.)

  1. What is the maximum duration of benefits including all the extensions?
    >> It depends on your particular circumstances, but can go to 1 years if unemployment remains high and government funding lasts.
  2. What kinds of re-training assistance programs are available?
  3. What are the basic requirements of tuition waivers, tuition assistance and grants for in-transition persons?
    >> If you want to go back to school, start the application process as soon as possible. Check with the DoL for information on obtaining waivers, grants and/or assistance. (It can be challenging to get the timing right to qualify and register in time to attend classes.)
  4. What is the new COBRA (heath insurance for laid-off workers) assistance program the Obama administration introduced?
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Researching Company Backgrounds:

  1. Where can I research the background of companies?
    >> Visit the company’s web site
    >> Google News for recent new stories
    >> Use Reference USA and other databases offered by NJ’s public libraries over the Internet
    >> Use LinkedIn to find people currently employed there (or better yet, formerly employed there), and then use your LinkedIn network to request a dialog with that person (or even Google them elsewhere until you find an direct email address or phone number to call).
    >>  and report “insider” comments

Retraining Tips:

  1. What are some of the easiest alternative careers to retrain for?
    >> The Lazy Man’s Way to Better Credentials, by Rachel Zupek, writer
  2. For those interested in transitioning to Not-for-Profit ("NFP") professions, "The Idealist Guide to Nonprofit Careers for Sector Switchers" can be found at:
    It is a free resource, described as for "mid-career transitioner", a "re-careerer", an "encore careerist", a "bridger", or a "sector switcher".

PSGCNJ Web Site Tips:

  1. Located under the Members section:
    >> How Can I Make A Transition or Tech Tip Suggestion (Or Correction), or a Web Site Suggestion (or Correction)?

Assistance Programs:

  1. Somerset County Board of Social Services for Assistance Programs.
    Main Office

    The Somerset County Board of Social Services offers rental assistance to those who are eligible, as resources permit. If an individual is in an extreme situation resulting in homelessness, the Board of Social Services offers Emergency Response services to those who qualify.
    Phone: 908-526-8800 (main office)

    State of New Jersey Housing Division
    75 Veterans Memorial Drive Suite 203
    Somerville, NJ 08876
  2. JCP&L offers heating assistance to low income customers.
    >> Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) / Universal Service Fund (USF)
  3. PSE&G program helps NJ customers pay heating / electric bills.
    >> Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) / Universal Service Fund (USF) / The NJ Temporary Relief for Utility Expenses Grant (TRUE) Program
  4. How can NJ Shares help pay electric &/or gas bills when I'm suddenly in transition?
    • Note: NJ Shares is a budget-constrained program that runs out early every month, but replenished the next month.  Sometimes they don’t accept unemployment benefit check stubs as proof of meeting income requirements, but more often they do.
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Housing/Rental Resources:

  1. Information about affordable housing can be accessed through the Somerset County Coalition on Affordable Housing (SCCOAH)

    SCCOAH provides free individual and group counseling to help low and moderate income households with their housing needs. 600 First Ave. , Suite 3, Raritan, NJ 08869, 908-704-8901

    New Jersey Housing Affordability Service, 609-292-9795.

    New Jersey Department of Community Affairs – New Jersey Housing Resource Center (NJHRC) 101 South Broad St., Trenton, NJ 08625, 609-633-6303.

    Somerville Municipal Housing Authority
    25 West End Ave., Somerville, NJ 08876

    Community Connections
    Provides info about HUD programs including: homeless prevention, first time buyer, veterans, low income and accessible affordable housing.

    Websites that provide support with Rental Assistance:
    >> http://lwd.dol.
    >> http://www.hud. gov/local/nj/renting/assistanceprograms.cfm

    If you're willing to move, some apartments are reserved for low-income people.

    Some charities try to help families cover their rent so they don't have to become homeless, but their priority is families with children.  For instance, The Red Cross.

    If there is such emergency, the police in any town are able to help someone find shelter for a night or two.  They cannot do a long term solution but should have a list of resources for longer needs. 
  2. State-run program may stave off mortgage payment problems.
    >> The New Jersey Home Keeper Program (NJHKP)
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Nutritional Resources:

  1. New Jersey Food Stamps (NJ SNAP)

  2. Food Stamp Hotline Information & referral for federal programs
    Work First New Jersey hotline: 1-800-792-9773
    NJ SNAP hotline: 1-800-687-5512

    Food Bank Network of Somerset County
    Provides nutritionally sound food for needy residents
    P.O. Box 149, Bound Brook, NJ 08805, 732-560-1813

    Samaritan Homeless Interim Program (SHIP)
    Food bank, soup kitchen and mobile nutrition vehicle.
    87 East High Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, 908-725-3260

    The Salvation Army
    Provides nutritionally sound food for residents in emergency need.
    108 Hamilton Street, Bound Brook, NJ 08805, 732-748-1146

    Somerset County Women, Infant, and Children (WIC)
    Provides supplemental nutritious foods to eligible pregnant, breastfeeding and postpartum women, infants and children up to the age of five.
    120 Finderne Ave., Bridgewater, NJ 08807, 908-685-8282

Emergency Assistance:

  1. P.S.E.&G., Inc. LIHEAP and USF Energy Assistance Programs, also known as Home and Energy Assistance Program-Heating & Cooling assistance to eligible residents, 800-510-3102

    Catholic Charities, Diocese of Metuchen-Family Financial Stability Program Services-Emergency financial assistance.  (limited funding availability).
    540 Route 22 E., Somerville, NJ 08876

    NORWESCAP Housing and energy assistance.  350 Marshall St. Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
    877-661-HELP or 908-454-4850

NJ Financial Programs:

  1. Low income Home Energy Assistance Program – 1-800-510-3102

    The Universal Service Fund (USF) - Year round help for low income residents of NJ - 1-866-240-1347

    NJ Lifeline Credit Program – Help for seniors and disabled low-income residents of NJ – 1-800-792-9745

    NJ Shares – Help for residents going through SHORT-TERM financial problems – 1-866-657-4273. Location for application – 432 Lewis St, Somerset off Easton Ave.   Call: 732-846-9888.

    Please be advised funds in the reserve are limited and one of the determining factors in the $$$ benefit you may or may not receive in assistance. 

    • Must complete application
    • Present SS Card
    • Energy Bill Must read:  SHUT NOTICE
    • Driver's license
    • 2 consecutive Unemployment payment stubs
    • One Grant per calendar year
    • Must show good faith payment
    • Electric - $700.00 Grant Cap
    • Gas & Electric -  $1,000.00 Grant Cap
    • The amount given in grant payment is based on your balance due at the time of applying for the grant, and therefore determined on the monthly good faith payment you have been making to PSE&G.
    • If you hope to get the yearly grant dollar subsidy in full, be aware of the good faith payment you are making monthly.

Online Training Resources

Name Website About Cost A veteran in the online education space, offers a subscription-based video tutorial library. Think of it as an education-based Netflix. A great option for people who are visual learners, and at a reasonable cost of $25 per month, a membership provides unlimited access to more than 80,000 videos on a broad range of different subjects. Free to LinkedIn Premium members; otherwise, $25 per month; 10-day free trial available
Coursera Coursera has partnered with leading universities in the U.S. and around the world to provide online courses covering dozens of different subjects. Recently, they've introduced "specializations"-10 different course pathways that will lead to an official certification from an associated university.

Coursera has a wide diversity of subjects available to choose from; everything from data science to musical theory. As Coursera prides itself on being accessible to everyone, many of the courses are either free or very cheap to to take, with only the official certification at the end having a higher cost involved.
Many of the courses are either free or very cheap, with only the official certification at the end having a higher cost involved.
Udemy With an average of 800 new courses added to their repertoire every month, Udemy is a bit more expensive than its competitors. Costs vary broadly, ranging from $10 to $500 for different courses; the most popular Udemy courses in business and technology tend to be upwards of $100. However, you can read the reviews of former students before signing up to any of the courses, so you can make a more informed decision.

Udemy has plenty to offer for the learner on a budget, from completely free courses taught by experts, professors, entrepreneurs, and professionals, to frequent discounts and class specials. In addition to classes in tech, business, and marketing, you can also explore options in productivity, health, hobbies, and lifestyle.
Costs vary broadly, ranging from free or $10 to $500
Udacity Udacity is a platform with a strong focus on technology, with a small but well-crafted selection of courses. If you're looking to break into data science (called the "sexiest job of the 21st century"), Udacity's data science program has an impressive roster of teachers from companies like Salesforce and Facebook.

Udacity's pricing structure allows you to pay monthly for your courses; if you decide to drop a program before completing it, you pay for the course up to that point, rather than the whole thing.
All programs are billed on a monthly subscription basis. One week free trial available.
Khan Academy Khan Academy is a non-profit online platform providing a completely free library of educational "micro-lectures." Focusing on more traditional academic subjects, Khan Academy provides a mix of video and text-based materials in math, science, economics, humanities, and a bit of computer programming. Since Khan Academy is free for anyone to use, it's a great to way to get a taste for a subject before moving onto a more advanced course elsewhere. Free
Codecademy Previously backed by the White House, Codecademy is dedicated to teaching people how to code-and it's available for free. While other online coding courses are a "learn at your own pace" environment, Codecademy motivates learners to keep a fast pace using supportive groups and a gamified points system.

The school offers courses on a number of languages-including PHP, Phython and Ruby-and students are often already building and deploying projects by the time they finish their course.
edX Just like Coursera, edX offers anyone, anywhere the chance to take university classes in various departments-and get certified. Some of their big partners include Harvard, Berkeley, Dartmouth, Georgetown, and the University of Chicago (and that's not all!). Free to audit class; if pursuing certification, there is a fee, with financial aid available, per course
Skillshare Skillshare is a community marketplace for new skills. With a broad range of different subjects to choose from, Skillshare offers an online catalog of video-based courses, as well as in-person workshops in cities like San Francisco and New York.

Skillshare provides "bite-sized" classes to learners who only have 15 minutes a day. It has over 500 free classes and several thousand premium classes to choose from in topics such as film, writing, tech, lifestyle, and more.

Many classes are available to take without a membership at a cost of around $20-$30 each, but top classes-taught by industry leaders-are only available with a Skillshare membership. Membership costs $9.95 per month and, while it doesn't get you any free content, it does provide 20 percent off of all classes. Like other platforms, Skillshare provides student reviews for your reference.
Some classes ~$20-$30 ea; Top classes available only with membership @ $9.95/mo., 20% off all classes
General Assembly Focusing on education in design, business and technology, New York City-based General Assembly has campuses in nearly a dozen different cities around the world. Although the majority of General Assembly classes are in-person, they also offer a compact selection of online-only or mixed courses.

General Assembly even livestreams popular lectures, providing real-time interaction with the lecturer and other students. Their online courses range in price, from one-off lectures to multi-part workshops.
Prices vary
Alison ALISON has a large range of free, comprehensive classes on financial literacy, personal and soft skills, digital skills, entrepreneurship and then some. It targets all kinds of learners, from professionals and managers to teachers and freelancers. Free
LearnSmart LearnSmart's orientated toward career development, which is why it's a great place to learn about IT and security, project management, Office, HR, and business.

Over 10,170 IT & Security, Project Management and Business lessons. One monthly price for everything.
First 14 days free, then $19.99 billed monthly
FutureLearn FutureLearn's completely free, with classes taught by universities and special organizations. Its big topics are business and management, creative arts, law, health, politics, science, digital skills, sports and leisure, and teaching. Free
The American Management Association The American Management Association offers over 1400 courses and webinars, all of which may be taken in a self-paced individual format, or in a live training session that utilizes small group projects, instructor feedback, and so on. Upcoming webcasts (free), and webinars (paid) are a cost-effective way to get up-to-date management skills from some of the world's leading management experts. Seminars, books, podcasts, and white papers are also available on a wide array of subjects. Check out their impressive lineup of online educational content here. Free webcasts; Paid webinars
The New York Code + Design Academy Offers full-time and part-time classes in web and mobile app development for both beginners and experienced developers. Empower your future by learning from dedicated developers, designers, and technology enthusiasts. Fees vary
Learnquest Offers over 1400 IT and Business training courses in instructor-led or self-paced delivery methods. For teams, they also offer customizable learning experiences, hosted virtual labs (so you don't have to set up learning environments on a large number of computers), and in-house training. If you think you or your team might be interested in a course (or an entire learning path) in anything from .Net, to big data, to project management, check out their site here for a regularly updated roster of upcoming live courses. Fees vary
GCF LearnFree Not sure how to use Photoshop or InDesign? Don't worry, Adobe TV will walk you through all its programs with tutorials, manuals, and more. Free
Adobe TV From Microsoft Office and email to reading, math, and more, offers 125 tutorials, including more than 1,100 lessons, videos, and interactives, completely free. Free
O'Reilly Media High quality courses from over 20 of the largest technology publishers, and they offer a number of their own courses which include one-on-one mentoring and certification in a number of technical topics. If you're looking for reference or self instruction, over 8000 tech books and training videos from top publishers are also available on the site. O'Reilly also host face-to-face technology conferences around the world on a regular basis. Single user $39/month or $399 per year
Bloc Focused on web development, Bloc is a more intensive option for those who want to learn quickly. Instead of short courses or lectures, this highly structured program runs for 25 hours per week over several months. With tuition starting at $4,250, doesn't come cheap-but it does offer a great option for those who are ready to commit to a career change. Tuition starts at $4,250
Microsoft Virtual Academy Free Microsoft training delivered by experts. Find new courses every week. With hundreds of IT training courses to choose from, Microsoft Virtual Academy makes it easy to find what you need. Free
RedVector RedVector offers online continuing education and professional development courses for engineers, architects, land surveyors, interior designers, landscape architects, geologists, and similar professions, with Certificates for Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and Professional Development Hours (PDH). With nearly 100 state and national accreditations, RedVector training courses comply with federal, state, and other regulatory requirements. Duration of courses/packages ranges from 1 to 40 hours. Live webinars are also available. Variable depending on course or package. SmartSaver Banks priced at $435/15 hr for fundamentals courses, $660/15 hr for intermediate /advanced courses. Military discount (25%)
MOOC - Top 10 Sites for Free Education With Elite Universities MOOC stands for Massive Open Online Courses. Please click link to left.

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