Success Navigator (Social Worker/Counselor)

Cambridge, MA


Just A Start’s Adult Career Training team (Workforce Development) is seeking a full-time Success Navigator to assist program participants in navigating complex systemic barriers to further enhance program success and completion. Program participants are a diverse group of adults, mostly ages 19-60, that are seeking a new, stable career with economic mobility for themselves and their families. The Adult Career Training Programs provide free 9-month training programs to help these adults enter the biotechnology or IT fields.

The ideal candidate will possess a breadth of experience across complex systems (i.e., housing, mental health, etc.) and can effectively navigate barriers, while empowering program participants to do the same.

They have a proven ability to work collaboratively and educate others in accordance with the overall mission and values of the program.

They will be committed to advocacy, social justice, and eliminating barriers to success across all domains.

Reporting to the Director of Workforce Development, the Success Navigator in consultation and collaboration with internal and external partners will assist students and alumni in accessing support for wellness-related concerns while reducing barriers to success. This position supports essential programmatic functions and provides 1:1 consultation with students and alumni (program participants). 

While this is not a clinical position, sensitivity, judgment, and respect for confidentiality is required. This position will facilitate support for program participants during both urgent and non-urgent situations. The Success Navigator will ensure appropriate care and follow-up for program participants in need of additional resources, while helping to coordinate a comprehensive plan of care with appropriate colleagues across internal and external support services. 


This is a 37.5-hour per week hybrid remote/in-the-office position.

All employees and long-term consultants are required to be fully vaccinated and follow the organization's established protocols regarding COVID.


  • Ideal Start date: January 2, 2024
  • Location: Hybrid remote/in-the-office. Weekly in-person team meetings are currently scheduled on Mondays. 
  • Work Hours: Typically, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm with an average of 3 days in the office and occasionally more as needed to meet with and support students. Schedule will be determined with your manager. Occasional evening hours may be needed for special events. 

What You’ll Do

The Success Navigator will: 

  • Advocate and inform program policies to focus on strengths while enhancing program participants’ social and emotional wellbeing/wellness.
  • Provide case management and individual support to program participants, while fostering connection to relevant resources and documenting progress and outcomes.
  • Develop educational programming for program participants centering around domains of wellness and the associated correlations to improvements in functioning; Partner with community organizations to deliver workshops on a variety of topics with the purpose of enhancing well-being for program participants; Provide guidance and education for staff on a variety of topics through facilitating or coordinating relevant workshops.
  • Collaborate with instructors and staff, while offering support and assistance to navigate complex challenges our program participants experience.  

Who You Are & Keys to Success

To be successful in this job, you will excel in four areas:

A commitment to and an understanding of our population: You have experience working with and a commitment to the needs of an immigrant population, people of color, and individuals with low to moderate income. You recognize systemic barriers related to race, class, gender, income, age, immigration status, and other identities, while advocating on behalf of individuals and groups. You understand how cultural values can shape experiences in the program, in the workforce, and the socio-political environment. 

Advocacy: You have a commitment to promoting and empowering individuals through social justice and advocating for improved access to resources and opportunities. You have worked with individuals to navigate complex systems and reduce barriers to resources that enhance well-being. You have a professional commitment to social work values and ethics, while developing competence to further advocate across domains.

Relationship-building: You develop rapport with new people easily and people feel comfortable in your presence. You are reliable and follow through with commitments to program participants and team members, while building trust through action. You are skilled in making connections with others, inclusive of various staff and faculty, program participants, and external partners. You have experience fostering these types of relationships to ensure program participants have access to additional services and supports. You use good judgment and maintain confidentiality while relaying necessary information. 

Navigation Skills: You have proficient knowledge and experience with motivational interviewing and assisting individuals to move in the direction of their goals and objectives. You have demonstrated critical thinking skills and the ability to analyze information from collateral contacts. You have working knowledge and the ability to develop and inform strategies to mitigate crises, including safety planning and preventative measures. You provide information and referral services; connecting individuals to appropriate resources, services, and programs to enhance their well-being and accomplish their goals. You have demonstrated knowledge and awareness of trauma informed practices that enhance an individual’s ability to be successful across domains. You have demonstrated knowledge of strategies to improve executive functioning to reduce barriers that interfere with accomplishing goals such as task segmentation, time blocking, as well as organization and planning strategies. You have demonstrated ability to coordinate services and supports across multiple domains of care, including but not limited to MassHealth, SNAP, LIHEAP, WIC, childcare subsidies. 

If you were here right now, you would be:

Finding or developing training for staff regarding supporting students who are experiencing domestic abuse. 

  • Having a conversation with a non-native English speaking immigrant student who may be reluctant to access mental health services or support.
  • Contacting NAMI to form collateral connections and learn relevant mental health services that may be of benefit to students.
  • Supporting and advising alumni on accessing short term disability benefits through their employer.
  • Participating in a team meeting to gather information regarding a student that has been struggling to turn in homework and may be having some challenges at home.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. However, we encourage interested candidates to apply by November 27th.


  • Step 1: Please upload your resume and in lieu of a cover letter*, please complete the following application requirement. A maximum of 30-45 minutes is anticipated to complete this requirement. 
    • Application Requirement Directions: In a half page paragraph include how you would respond to this program participant and what questions would you need to ask to address their specific needs. Please respond to both prompts. 
      • (1) A teacher tells you that a student told her that she's been feeling very sad, struggling to get out of bed to come to class and is feeling lonely. This student doesn't have any family in the country. The teacher commented that she has been noticing unusual behavior in the student that also had her concerned such as the student seeming down, a significant decrease in class participation and not handing in assignments. What would your process be for supporting this student? What question would you need to ask and/or what information would you need in order to support the student?
      • (2) You hear from several teachers that a student frequently misses meetings, misunderstands homework assignments, doesn't follow instructions well, and can't seem to keep themselves organized. Explain what your process would be to support both the teachers and the student directly. What questions would you need to ask to better understand this situation so that you can support the teachers and the student?
  • Step 2: 45 min Zoom interview with the hiring manager
    • We’ll ask you questions about your interest in the role and the organization and questions based on the four areas of the role.
  • Step 3: 60-minute in-person interview with Adult Career Training staff ** 
    • We’ll ask you questions about our company values and experience related to the role and provide time for you to ask questions as well
  • Step 4: Reference check
  • Step 5: Background check via Chekr

*If you do submit a cover letter, please know that we won’t be using it as a primary source to make decisions. We recognize that some candidates like to still include a cover letter, but it is not required.

**We may reach out to candidates after the interviews if there are any clarifying questions before proceeding with the reference check.


LCSW, LMHC or Master’s in Social Work, Counseling or School Counseling, or Community Health Counseling

Just a Start will provide access to clinical supervision, number of available hours TBD. 


1. Student Centered- We center and inform our work with a holistic approach to our students.

  • Trusting students as the experts in their own lives and supporting students in their version of success.
  • Each program participant is creative, resourceful and whole.
  • Using a wraparound model of support 
  • Meeting students where they are at in their lives and academically

2. Quality-focused- We develop and continuously adapt our programming, policies and practices using stakeholder input to align with industry needs and standards.

  • Using economic mobility metrics to set ambitious program outcomes
  • Industry-aligned curricula
  • Creating and using internal and external feedback loops
  • Using data from program participants, industry and community partners to guide program design

3. Relationship-builders- We are committed to fostering meaningful impactful and reciprocal relationships with students, partners, and each other.

  • Collaborating towards a shared vision of success
  • Cultivating industry and community relationships that align with our values
  • Recognizing and elevating the unique contributions of everyone
  • Using generous assumptions to cultivate trust and connection

4. Learning Community- We view continuous improvement as an essential component of our program model and success.

  • Embracing discomfort and giving/receiving feedback to identify areas of growth in advancing our goals
  • Cultivating a growth mindset to learn new skills and think about things from a different perspective for our program participants and ourselves
  • Advancing team knowledge and skills through trainings, resources and conversations to sustain best practices


The starting salary range is $68,000-$70,000.  In addition to a competitive salary, Just A Start offers a comprehensive benefits package, including medical insurance, dental insurance, short term disability insurance, long term disability insurance, life insurance, transportation benefits, 20 PTO days in the first year, 13 paid holidays, volunteer time off, employee assistance program and a 401k savings plan with a 3% employer contribution. 


Just A Start is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  Our staff represents a wide range of ages, races, interests, and backgrounds coming together in pursuit of common goals. Together, we strive to provide an environment that values diversity and promotes an inclusive culture.  Applications from women and minority candidates are strongly encouraged. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions or any other characteristic protected by law.