Are you suffering from job loss anxiety? Do you dread going to work everyday? If you hesitated, it’s time to reinvent yourself – discover your true career passions and land a position in the field you love. The good news is, employers are interested in reinventors, but you have to put in some effort before you hear those magical words, “You’re hired.” I know all about the stress, hard work and, finally, reward that goes into reinventing your career. And I can assure you from firsthand experience that it’s all worth it.
In career terms, I did everything by the book. I graduated from college, quickly secured a position in my field of choice, and climbed the corporate ladder. I even relocated to further my status in the company and advance my career. I was settled in my new life and was on the fast track to success. It was all smooth sailing until a bomb hit, and what I thought was a perfect life came crashing down – my beloved company was shutting its doors and I was about to experience job loss for the first time. Panic set in as I realized that I was in charge of putting the pieces back together.
Turns out, losing my job was the jolt I needed to force me to look in the mirror. I began to wonder, was this industry really my calling? Was I truly in love with my job, or was I more attracted to the success that had come so easily? This transition gave me the “out” I never knew I wanted. I was free to explore new fields and test drive growth organizations of all sizes across industries.
Along with the hope this new realization gave me, I was also forced to deal with the challenges of getting back into the game. How was I going to prove to another organization that I have a transferable background? And where do I even begin my search? I realized quickly that without a strategic career plan, I was headed nowhere in my job search. Before I put pen to paper, I decided it was time to truly get to know myself and do some exploring. Here’s what I found out: I love working with people, particularly in the fields of human resources and sales. As for numbers and technical work, I was at a loss. So I quickly ruled out finance and operations.
I knew I needed to narrow down my interests further, so I went straight to the source – employers. I researched growing industries with my passion for sales, customer service, and training in mind. My findings revealed geriatrics as a growing industry, so I did everything in my power to get my foot in the door, even if it meant starting at the bottom. And that’s exactly what I did. While I was working 50-hour weeks in retail to support myself, I accepted a part-time position on the wait staff at a local assisted living center to learn more about the industry. There, I made a life-changing connection with the woman who had my dream job, Director of Sales and Marketing. Finally, I was able to share my new career goals with someone in a position of influence, someone who had the knowledge and experience to guide me. She became my mentor and career confidant, walking me through the steps I would needed to take to become a Director of Sales and Marketing myself.
With this new guidance, I found a sense of purpose and had a career goal in place. I began researching geriatric facilities in my hometown, taking note of what companies were hiring, what types of company cultures fit my personality, and leaders I saw myself working for someday. I used a resume service to brand myself effectively and showcase my transferable skills, and I customized it to target specific companies I was applying to. I practiced my interviewing skills in front of the mirror and prepared responses for those tough questions. Finally, my hard work ended with a job offer at a corporate firm. But with the dream of someday owning my own business in the back of my mind, I couldn’t accept the offer.
It was during this same time of uncertainty that I met Joan Graci, owner of APA Employment Agency. Joan was searching for an impact player to join her team. Today, I can confidently confirm that it was the best career move for me. I quickly moved up the ranks from HR assistant, recruiter, to executive recruiter. Today, I am a Certified Behavioral Analyst and managing partner of both APA Solutions and Career Reform. I admit, it wasn’t the job I had originally anticipated for myself, but it ended up becoming the position of my dreams. Everyday, I guide job seekers into their best careers. I consider it a gift to help lost individuals find their way in a tumultuous job market, especially because it reminds me of my own career journey.