If you are familiar with my professional journey, you already know how much work is involved when making a career transition. Robin’s humble reinvent story gives the Career Reform theme, “taking ownership of your business,” a whole new perspective.
Robin is a recent Career Reform graduate. We thank her for sharing the trials and tribulations of her career journey with us.
After being downsized from my last position in 2011, I moved to Western New York with my family to help my husband grow his business. I was shocked by how ill-versed I was on the job search process, let alone how my skills were transferable to new industries and demographics. Where I came from, I was the job coach. As a former Manager of Workforce Development programs, I found my new identify as job seeker terrifying and confusing. I worked hard to earn a Master’s degree, climbed my way up the corporate ladder, and there I was, eager to find a new job in a new field. Despite my HR background, I was having no luck. I composed a resume and even joined several networking groups, but I wasn’t getting any bites. The worst part was, I thought I was being proactive and doing everything by the book, which made my efforts seem even more hopeless.
After approaching a job coach through the Department of Labor, I realized that I could use my background to become a recruiter. However, I had a difficult time finding companies that understood the transition I was trying to make. I didn’t find answers to my career woes until I met executive recruiter and career coach Jean Filipiak, who introduced me to Career Reform and Joan Graci’s latest book, “No More Bad Advice.” Surrounding myself with positive thought leaders and employment experts was the medicine I needed to get my career back on track. After reading Joan’s book, I was shocked by how much the job market had changed and how many people weren’t keeping up with the times – myself included. Learning a fresh approach to the job search process opened new doors for me. I finally understood why I was so unsuccessful and what employer needs I was failing to meet.
After completing the Career Reform course, I left with an entirely new brand and a complete job plan that outlined the steps I needed to take in order to move my career into the recruiting field. One of their suggestions, which I never considered before, was to seek out an unpaid internship that allowed me to gain experience and begin establishing my new career identity. Although I wasn’t making money, I was gaining something of greater value: a “new me.” Finally able to focus on work that I loved was an empowering experience. Everyday I was enhancing my background and adding to my toolbox. But more importantly, employers began taking my career transition seriously. With interviews lined up, I finally felt in control as my professional future continued to move in the right direction. I landed a commission role with APA Solutions, which later led to an interim position as recruiter with another firm.
I realized that in order to get a job in a new field, I first needed to build experience and invest in myself before an employer invests in me. I was not expecting to reinvent myself at that point in my career. However, Career Reform taught me that the job market has changed, and my background is no longer in demand. Although I am not quite where I want to be, I have a career plan that I am confident in, and I now understand how to make strategic decisions.
I am so happy with my new career path, and I have Career Reform and No More Bad Advice to thank for it!
ROBIN’S TIPS TO REINVENT YOUR CAREER:
1. Support System: Make sure you find a strong support system that will help you along your career journey. Whether you turn to a mentor, job coach or thought leader in your industry for guidance, be sure that you take good career advice.
2. Brand Integrity: Brand Integrity is a three-prong marketing strategy (verbal, written and online) that remains consistent across all channels and effectively communicates to an employer how your background relates to their opening.
3. Get Experience. Consider volunteering, applying for an internship, or taking a part-time job to gain experience in the field you hope to join.