Blogging to Tell Your Story

Blogging to tell your story could be cathartic. Everyone has a story to tell, and it can be good, bad, or ugly. There may be happy or sad endings. LinkedIn is one of many places to share your story.

On LinkedIn, you can share your story by creating a post, an article, a document, or a video. If you share a video blog, it is known as a vlog, and you are a vlogger who creates video content.

In contrast, a blog, which is created by a blogger, is written content. 

Blogs can entertain, empower, educate, engage, or enlighten – the five Es of content marketing.

While most of my writing is to educate, I have a personal story to share about fire. Fifteen years ago, I lost everything in my life to fire, including my pets. I shared this sad but true story on LinkedIn

Fortunately, there was no human life lost, but after I recovered from the experience, I decided to volunteer as a business member for the Berwyn Fire Company and still help with fundraising events. One of my main contributions is supporting the annual Turkey Raffle and silent auction, and I utilize my technology skills. 

At this time of year when we give thanks, please support your local fire company and EMTs financially. Their budgets have been hit with all the COVID-19 PPE costs and more. Have no fear, they are there for you 24/7/365, ready for you on the front line. 

In a previous article on How to and Why LinkedIn Publishing, you will find useful information for writing your blog on LinkedIn. Some of the information is also applicable to other platforms. 

If you have not yet written an article on LinkedIn, it’s a great time to start. When you write this article, you can consider it a blog, and you can publish it on your website (if you have one) or other platforms.  If you don’t have a website, you can create a blog site on several different platforms.

When interviewing two local bloggers, they had a couple of tips to share about blogging:

Brandyn Campbell shared one of her favorite anonymous quotes: “One of my favorite pieces of advice for bloggers is, ‘If you’re your authentic self, you have no competition.’ Don’t worry about whether a topic has been written about before. Adding your spin and experience to post makes it yours, which makes it unique.

Brandyn does anti-racist communications consulting and is passionate about helping her clients, committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, articulate their values into the language of their business. Her experience as a blogger enables her to help organizations shape the next steps in their story. 

If you want to follow her, here are her handles: 

Facebook Twitter Instagram 

Another local blogger, Christine Tarlecki Trimble, is the author of Engchik Eats, a local food, and lifestyle blog. She notes, “I write what I know. Starting a blog is daunting and scary. When I was laid off, I began to think about what I liked and what I wanted to write about – so food was the obvious answer. I seek out local chefs and local restaurants. Especially in this climate, I seek to create relationships with my local community.

This year hasn’t been easy, and like many of you, I was laid off (again!). But I have a strong writing and digital marketing background, so I can use my blog and my skills to earn a freelance paycheck.” 

Christine notes she has been lucky with people reading her blog, and she has promoted it on social media. Readers have voted her blog the best local blog because of the relationships she has built with them. 

She also just started a podcast because she loves interviewing people as much as she loves writing about them! Christine has found subject matter experts to interview for features, and as a skilled blogger, she can tell their stories and create my blog, one story at a time.

If you want to follow her, here are her handles: 

Website Facebook Twitter Instagram Podcast

>>> What’s your first blog going to be about, and when will you start? What emotions will you add-in?

Trilingual Employee Benefits Professional Learns from Speakers, Job Seekers, and Career Success Group Leader

Tell us about yourself and your career.

My name is Daniel (Dan) Singer, and I am a trilingual employee benefits professional committed to providing outstanding client experiences. Although I am currently in the Insurance and Employee Benefits industry, I started in the federal government, followed by international client-facing roles in manufacturing and information services. The last downturn in 2009 made me switch to insurance and employee benefits, starting in sales, then I eventually entered into service roles in different areas of benefits. In 2014, I landed a Benefits Specialist role in managing benefits for 8,000+ employees. However, in late 2016, I found out that the position would be relocated to North Carolina. Fearing unemployment, I grabbed opportunities in the Benefits Compliance and Consulting areas of employee benefits. My most recent role was a new role, supporting two insurance areas within a major insurance brokerage and risk management firm.

Why were you looking for a job?

Despite the great culture and fantastic people at my last job, I realized the job itself wasn’t the best fit. It was a brand new position supporting two different areas of insurance. I accepted the job, assuming my language, problem-solving, and team-collaboration skills would all be used (all three of these skills were constants throughout my career). At specific points, I wondered, Was this why I got into employee benefits? Despite my efforts to make the job work, we mutually parted ways in February of 2020. I felt relief, as well as frustration. 

With the help of a friend who himself happened to have a fantastic professional career, I then determined what I did and did not want in my next job. This friend also helped me jump start my networking strategy (which I’ll describe below). I began to reach out to my LinkedIn contacts, some I hadn’t spoken to in over seven years!  

I set a schedule and kept a journal to keep me motivated and focused. I found an app to keep my language skills sharp (Duolingo). I exercised more, and I read the Old Testament. But I felt something was missing, and, at times, I wanted to separate myself from the process entirely because it was so frustrating. Nonetheless, I was grateful to be home with my family and be safe. 

How did you discover PAGCG?

An ex-colleague of mine from the Information Services’ industry suggested the group. And boy, I’m so glad she did. Not only did I find other individuals to network with, but it was also cathartic for myself and others who were in transition. We had slight differences on how we ended up being in career transition, but we had the chance to vent to each other and support one another. 

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

While PAGCG didn’t give me my new job, it more than provided me with the tools, forum, and opportunities to improve my personal brand and fine-tune my search. For me, it was Paul Cecala’s presentation in July of 2020 on “Project Planning Your Job Search” hosted at the Tuesday Great Careers Meeting out of King of Prussia. Before the presentation, I had separate documents describing my ideal job, target companies, skills, and position (in addition to my resume). Paul’s presentation made me re-examine my job search efforts, and I set out to create my personal Marketing Plan, which genuinely became central to my job search efforts. The plan made me more strategic with whom I wanted to network, which companies to target for employment, and what unique skills I had that would allow me to contribute to a job effectively.

Next, I carefully chose the PAGCG sessions I thought would benefit me most, especially those focused on creating a professional brand. These sessions helped me take an in-depth look into my accomplishments and what differentiates me as a candidate. I immediately set out to refining my 30-second intro and enhanced my presence on LinkedIn, based on what I learned at the sessions. I will say I’ve been on LinkedIn since 2006, but this group taught me how to exploit this invaluable platform to my advantage best. Please note: if you’re attending the sessions and not applying what you learn, why do you attend? 

One of the more memorable sessions was with Jessica Koch (another speaker on personal branding). We ended up networking separately, and she re-introduced me to a free CRM program (zoho.com) I used years ago when I first entered the insurance and benefits field. Gone were my spreadsheets keeping track of networking discussions – it moved to the cloud.

The last and most important contribution was choosing a Career Success Group Meeting. For me, Deep Damle’s Career Success Group meetings, typically on most Thursdays, made me feel very much at home in the group, especially with Deep’s chill style and professionalism. His weekly feedback helped me to continually refine my brand and the delivery of my elevator pitch. In addition to networking, I met some fabulous people I could learn from, and we supported one another on days we questioned our worth. The group made us accountable each week for our actions and encouraged us to follow through on what we said we would do during the meetings. 

How did you find your job? How long did it take? 

Before joining the group, I already had a networking strategy in place. However, it was that strategy, together with the tools that PAGCG provided me, and with fellow PAGCG job-seeking member, Lauren Conley. Lauren, who has also landed a job, introduced me to a recruiter she knew and someone I wanted to network with mentioned by another contact. That recruiter would eventually lead me to my current job, so I credit Lauren in part for helping me land this job!

It took me a little over seven months to find a job. Armed with a personal marketing plan, a desire to network one on one via Zoom or phone, a highly structured schedule Monday through Friday (with the ability to switch/pivot), and the perseverance to keep going, I treated my job search like an actual job. Most importantly, I knew when I needed to back away and take a break. 

The job I have now was one of my target companies listed on my marketing plan. When I interviewed, I demonstrated to my interviewers:

1) I researched the company 

2) I showed my excitement for the company and the role I was interviewing for, and

3) I explained how I would add value if selected for the position

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?

Many things kept me motivated during the job search, including:

1) Daily exercise (including running, walking, and yoga)

2) Highly structured schedule with blocks of time allotted to different activities (something I learned nearly ten years ago)

3) A spiral notebook to document my activities (so if I wouldn’t question myself as to what I accomplished)

4) Staying engaged through networking and friends, and 

5) Self-care (e.g., knowing when to put the job stuff away, reading religious scriptures, etc.) 

At my core, I have, and I think always will be a positive person. I’ve been through downturns before and knew the consequences of allowing negative thoughts and feelings to take one down. I knew that not every day would be rosy or as productive; however, I wanted to end each day, knowing I did everything I could to be productive and manage my time as wisely as possible.   

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?

The biggest lessons I learned included: organization, vision, clarity, perseverance, and the power of your personal brand. 

Organizing my week kept me on track and ensured I didn’t spend too much time on one task. It also ensured I correctly followed up and managed my networking connections so that they wouldn’t be forgotten after the first meeting. 

Realizing I had gone through two jobs in nearly two years simply because I wanted to stay “employed” was a difficult pill to swallow, but it gave me the clarity to realize what I want and don’t want in my next job. As I assessed my skills and accomplishments and conducted searches, those activities drove me closer to the job I started on October 5th. 

With the pandemic, it is probably one of the worst times in US history, and world history for that matter, to be in career transition. A few people told me that “a job doesn’t define you,” and I still believe that. Having been in transition before made me aware of the consequences of overly negative thoughts. With my religion and self-care to lean on, this time in career transition, coupled with the vision I mentioned previously, I had the will to take each day as it came until I got the news of a job offer.

Finally, and most importantly, your personal brand. Thank you, Lynne Williams, for all that you do for this group and the sessions you run, and for making us feel our worth. Coming up with branding that has now carried over into LinkedIn and my 30-second commercial (aka elevator speech), I think I will always stay with me. Working on my personal brand, together with my marketing plan, networking activities, and clarifying what I wanted in my next job, really prepared me.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?

As someone commented in a previous “landing” article, LinkedIn is crucial. But it’s nothing more than another platform to connect with contacts online, nothing more. My networking strategy involved connecting via LinkedIn and following up with those LinkedIn connections to schedule a half-hour phone or zoom call with each.  

With the help of a friend (the same one who asked me to write what I did and didn’t want in my next job), I created what I was going to say when looking for my next opportunity. I also wanted to hear about others’ experiences and, at the same time, expand my professional network. My meetings were always organized. One of the first things I did was be considerate of that contact’s time, to ensure I watched the time and our meeting didn’t spill over the allotted time. The hardest thing for me to do was reach out to contacts I hadn’t kept up within seven years. Fortunately, a few of them were kind enough to make time for me. I’m determined now not to let more time pass to keep those connections alive. 

My networking strategy was enhanced when I created my personal marketing plan and created my personal brand (which included my 30-second commercial and LinkedIn profile). As a result, my contacts knew what I wanted and where I wanted to land–potentially. Before being aware of my personal brand, it made some of these one-on-one meetings challenging. Having both my brand and personal marketing plan gave me the confidence to know exactly what I wanted. It allowed me to network with individuals who reached out to me on LinkedIn (including a brokerage I didn’t even know existed). 

After the one-on-one meeting, I’d ask my contact if he/she knew one anyone else I could talk to, based on what I’m trying to do and who would be a suitable introduction for them.  

Always, always ask for an introduction. And to quote Deep Damle, when you network, it’s not about you, but how you can help others.  

Try not to get discouraged if you reach out, and they don’t reply. I would follow up every couple of weeks or so if you’re requesting an introduction or meeting. At the same time, don’t waste your time if your follow-ups are not being reciprocated. You are worth more than that. 

Keep tabs on how many times you’ve reached out to a client and/or whom he/she had introduced you to. I started doing that on spreadsheets; however, I was reacquainted with the free CRM system Zoho to track and monitor my networking contacts and job opportunities.  

What will you do in your new role?

I will be a Benefits Administrator at an insurance brokerage dedicated to servicing non-profit and social service organizations’ employee benefits needs. At the core of my job, I’ll get to use the language, problem-solving, and collaboration skills that have marked my professional career, even before getting into employee benefits. 

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?

I have two nuggets: Plan (the verb plan and the noun, an actual plan) and keep at it (i.e., treat the job search like a real job).  

Whether on a computer or a legal pad, plan what you want/don’t want in a job. Plan your week. Plan to attend only the webinars/meetings you think will best benefit you. Plan to follow up by phone or zoom when you’ve connected with someone on LinkedIn. Plan to apply to only those jobs that are your target jobs (provided, of course, you have your marketing plan that will confirm what your target job[s] is[are]).

Keep at it. Unfortunately, unless you’re in an industrial union, federal government employee, or a tenured educator, being in career transition is a part of working in the private sector. Sometimes it’s made worse by our age or circumstances. We’re lucky that we have groups like the PAGCG to keep us moving. Accept the bad days and move forward with each day.  

Digital Project Manager in Charge of Launching Websites Lands in the Midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Tell us about yourself and your career.

My name is Ron Vitale, and I am a digital project manager focused on launching websites with experience in agile and waterfall methodologies.

Why were you looking for a job?

After eight years at my former company, my position was eliminated in July 2020. With the pandemic still in full swing, this was the first time in my 25-year career that I was out of work. With companies hesitant to hire due to the pandemic, I needed to learn how to adapt quickly to a new job market.

How did you discover PAGCG?

A few years ago, my wife had mentioned the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group to me, and after I lost my job, I decided to go all-in and learn as much as I could from the group.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

I cannot stress enough how much value and help PAGCG offered to me. I signed up for the Bronze membership, and it was the best $35 I ever spent. I met dozens of people, attended online webinars that helped teach me the latest on resume writing and interviews, and aided me with my elevator pitch.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?

I found my job through an informational interview. After I was laid off, I reached out to my network and asked if anyone had contacts at one of my target companies. From there, I contacted people and asked if they would spend 15-minutes talking with me on the phone. I focused on learning and listening during those informational interviews. I made sure that I honored the 15-minute time commitment and then asked the person if they knew of anyone else within the company they thought I could speak with to learn more. 

During my job search, I had a multi-pronged approach: I worked with a recruiter, applied for positions that I found through my search queries, and I also applied for positions recommended by my network. However, the position that I landed came through one of my informational interview calls.

The whole process took ten weeks for me.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?

I signed up for a PAGCG weekly professional networking 2-hour meeting. The weekly meeting helped me be accountable for my job search goals as I shared those with the others on the call, and I also practiced my elevator pitch each week. When I struggled, I made sure that I focused on self-care activities or called up a PAGCG member to talk through how I felt. Hearing other people’s stories and having an outlet to talk through challenges really helped me get through the tough times.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?

Many people in our area are willing to help you. Since I was open to networking and taking part in PAGCG events, not only did I learn new skills for interviewing and resume writing, but I also met some great people. 

After I was laid off, I put together a daily schedule to know what job-searching tasks I wanted to complete each day, but I also built time into my day for self-care activities. I went into my job search knowing that it would take time due to the pandemic, but I didn’t let that get me down. I kept working each day to take small steps to reach out to others, apply for jobs, schedule informational calls, and talk to as many people as possible about my looking for a job.

I took a diversified approach by trying many different ways of finding a job. And when I hit a wall, I took a break, eased up a bit, but then got back to work.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?

I recommend putting together your job search plan. Join a weekly professional network group through PAGCG, and you’ll learn what others are doing, what’s working for them, what isn’t, and then you can create a plan that works for you. I approached my job search like a job, and I went in knowing that the more people I talked with, the better my chances of landing a new position. 

As an introvert, I’m not shy, but reaching out to people through a Zoom or phone call does take energy and makes me tired at the end of the day. I planned my day to make sure that I didn’t overschedule myself and talked to as many people as possible.

What will you do in your new role?

I will be a Digital Business Lead to help oversee the launch of websites in the pharmaceutical industry.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?

Don’t give up. Take a risk, talk with people, listen to them. See what help you can provide them instead of going to them for a favor. You’ll be surprised by how many people will then help you in return.

What is Commercial Use Limit on LinkedIn?

If you have a free LinkedIn account, you may have received a warning that you were approaching your commercial use limit of 300 searches in a month. Your searching ability may actually come to an abrupt halt if you reached the maximum views by viewing too quickly.

This happens because you have viewed too many profiles on your mobile device or desktop or you looked at the profiles in the “People Also Viewed” section.

You do not get dinged for browsing for jobs on the jobs tab, for looking at your first level connections, or by searching by name in the search box at the top left of your profile. 

What LinkedIn hopes you will do is purchase a premium plan on 1) Sales Navigator,  2) Recruiter, or 3) Premier Business. Any of these upgrades will allow increasing the number of searches you are allowed. 

Upgrading to the Career and Premium Essentials plans have no bearing on increasing your commercial limits, as both of those are subject to the 300 searches also.

If, for example, you set up your account on the 16th of the month, your month would typically end on the 15th of the next month.

However, for the purposes of the reset for commercial use limit, you must wait until the 1st of the following month to reset your new count of 300.

Reinventing or Repurposing Your Career on LinkedIn

What do you do on LinkedIn when you are pursuing or wanting to pursue a new career path? How do you portray yourself in your future forward position? This is a question I am asked a lot. 

Your past experience is your past experience and you can’t change history. However, you CAN change how you market yourself in your future forward position (aka “what you want to be when you grow up!”).

Many people know they want to follow a new career path, but they may not know exactly what they want to do. 

In this case, a career assessment might “be the first step to understanding yourself, which is the first step to pursuing your own happiness and satisfaction”, according to Marc Miller of Career Pivot.

In interviewing Sarah E. Brown Ph.D., she noted that “Good career assessments highlight some combination of interests, strengths, and needs. Different assessments place emphasis on different components. What gets us hired are the interests and strengths. What often gets us fired are the needs not getting met.

So, included in the profile should be a really good combination of what we love doing, our interests, and what we are really good at doing …  our strengths.

We do not need to include our motivational needs in the profile, but we should keep that in mind as we are screening a prospective job opportunity” or the next career move.

In reading his book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the 2nd Half of Life, Marc Miller stated that “the most valuable [assessment] for gaining insight into … [his] own needs was the Birkman … [as it is] like a psychic tell[ing] you things that maybe you didn’t want to know but … already sort of knew them, deep down.” To learn more about the value of the Birkman, there is a great article in Fortune magazine called “Are You  a Good Fit for Your Job?”

Once you have clarity with your future forward, think of LinkedIn like a newspaper. What sells top of the fold? The headline! 

Think of LinkedIn like a website. What sells? The attraction of the page before you start scrolling. Again … the top of the fold.

So, above the fold holds true for LinkedIn also … your headline, About section, banner, and all your new keywords need to target your new career path. They need to describe your future forward position. 

If you want to participate in a any assessments, become a Bronze or BENG member and you will have some discounts available. We offer some excellent choices that will provide you will some comprehensive data and analysis.

If you have further questions about who to contact about career assessments and providers, please email me!

AUTHOR BIO

Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with over 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for vista.today, montco.today, and delco.today.

Contract Project Management Role Lead to a Full-time Job

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is John Whiteley and I was in a director-level position in project management for over ten years. I was later transferred to another company performing a couple of different roles for an additional seven years. After that company lost the contract, around February 2018, I realized it was becoming more difficult to find a job, so I worked various contractor positions in project management before landing my current role.

Why were you looking for a job?
The company lost a contract I was working on with billing systems, and I was laid off. I found other contract positions throughout 2018 and 2019 but sought to find more steady employment in my expertise area.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I hadn’t been laid off before, so I started with CareerLink’s office in Media. I would hear different names and groups while there, and because of this, I discovered Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) and Lynne Williams. I went to a couple of career fairs and got to talk with Lynne and decided that I should attend some of the many meetings that PAGCG was having. To help me improve my job search methods, it would be better for me to join PAGCG as a member, which I did.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
PAGCG helped me find a job in several ways. First, I attended all of Lynne’s LinkedIn classes and gained a great deal of value from all three workshops. Afterward, I attended many chapter meetings where I could talk with others in professional careers in the same boat. For example, to use Les Segarnick’s interview prep group, there was no teacher, no seminar, just accountability questions such as “What are you doing this week?” and “Where have you applied?” With more than 700 events in the area, I found that many of them were a big help, and I recommend them to anyone looking for employment.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
My current company had many people from my former company, which helped me. In the summer of 2019, I reached out to someone I knew in West Chester, a program manager at this company. He got me an interview, but unfortunately, it didn’t work out during that time, and I continued my search. Fast forward to January 2020, and I reached out to my friend again, who mentioned that a position was available. By February, I landed a contractor position, which helped me get my foot in the door with this company because of someone through my network.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
There was a lot of rejection and general “Why me?” feelings, but in the face of that, I took classes in September 2019 with three certifications in mind. I received two out of the three, ITIL 4 Foundation and Scrum Master, and still plan on pursuing my Project Manager Professional (PMP) certification. Giving myself a goal and a routine where I could focus on my family, faith, and health helped build my confidence and give me a sense of self-worth. I would volunteer at my church to give back, and constructive, positive things in my life kept me going.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
You should never assume and always be persistent. There are many variables, so just because someone told you “No,” today doesn’t mean that if you reach out later on, it is still a “No.” Don’t be afraid to reach out to people and try to get your foot in the door. Ultimately, you must believe in yourself and your abilities because a lot of this responsibility is on your shoulders.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
You get out of it what you put into it. If you don’t network and you’re sort of in the corner not attempting to meet new people, you won’t get as much of value out of the event as opposed to initiating conversations with a few people and learning something from them. I would pay it forward for others who needed help because if I can help others out, they can help me. It’s all about bringing each other up. Networking helped me understand the value of reaching out to others every once in a while, to see how they were doing.

What will you do in your new role?
I will be a Project Manager who focuses on training employees. I organize classes and update the training database with information on who has been trained and even teach some training classes myself.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It can be a very frustrating and sometimes lonely journey being unemployed, especially when you’re older. It would help if you reach out to as many people as possible, remain positive, and communicate your value succinctly. Keep a positive attitude so you can focus on constructive activities. There is a lot of rejection, but you will land something sooner or later, and I do firmly believe that. It may take a while, but you can’t ever give up.

Career Education Group Welcoming to Multicultural Community

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Julia Fell and I grew up in Russia. There, I majored in journalism and worked for newspapers covering the automotive industry. It was a time of significant transformation when international manufacturers were entering the Russian market, and my mastery of German and English was a competitive advantage. Eventually, one of my German newsmakers offered me a job in public relations. “You know too much about us, we have to hire you,” he joked. Later I had a child, took a break, and relocated to the US to join my family. Here, I had to start from scratch, with a new language, new culture, and no connections. Again, the German background helped me. I found a German technology company that needed an all-around marketer who could write content, organize trade shows, set up email campaigns, and do anything else marketing related. From there, my career took a new start.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off because of budget cuts.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I was exploring networking opportunities because the statistics say that 70% of jobs are found through networking. That’s why I went to a LinkedIn Philadelphia event. There, Lynne Williams, who is Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group’s (PAGCG’s) Executive Director, gave a presentation about LinkedIn profile optimization and best practices. Since then, PAGCG has been on my radar.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
When I got laid off, I went to every workshop that PAGCG had to offer. That was almost every day and sometimes twice a day. Even though it wasn’t my first round of job search, I learned something new at every workshop, whether about resume optimization, personal branding, or negotiation. Also, talking to people in the group about myself helped me understand what I am looking for and what I bring to the table. From Les Segarnick, who brands himself as “The Interview Doctor,” I learned how to tell a story to highlight my experience instead of just saying that I could do this, and I’ve done that. Eventually, it was LinkedIn optimization that got me my job.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
It took me 2.5 months. It was faster this time because I knew the tips and tricks and devoted all my time to the job search. There were times where I had good traction on my search and periods of downtime. Near the end, I had four different opportunities: one from a job fair, another from a job board, a third through networking, and with the fourth, the recruiter found me on LinkedIn because I had the relevant keywords.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
I felt a strong sense of urgency because I am the breadwinner, and I have a child. There was no option for failure. I knew that I had to take one step at a time, keep moving, and stay resourceful.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Every step of the way you learn. Even if it feels like a lot of rejection or time spent spinning your wheels, it makes you better next time. Also, there isn’t just one recipe for success. The stats are that only 7% of people find jobs through job boards and so the recommendation is that you should ignore them or spend just 7% of your time there. But I met someone who developed a method to work with job boards that got her a job faster than her previous networking efforts. So next time, job boards will be in my job search tool kit.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Talk about your experiences with others and crystallize your story by talking about it to different people. These conversations will help you find a natural and straightforward way to explain what you do and what you bring to the table. Finally, learn to talk about your failures since these are opportunities from which you have learned.

What will you do in your new role?
I am a marketing manager for a radio-frequency identification (RFID) company. For example, they use technology to track every piece of clothing or shoes from the factory to the store. That allows for minimizing losses, theft, and mistakes. It makes the experience better for the customer, for example, allowing them to find an item in the store through an online search. It’s a growing market, and the company has a strong position, so I’m thrilled how it worked out.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to give us?
There is no one recipe for success. Keep moving, keep learning, and stay resourceful.