Sales & Account Management Professional Notes Value in Bronze Membership

Sales & Account Management Professional Notes Value in Bronze Membership

Tell us about yourself and your career.

I have been in sales for over 25 years.

Why were you looking for a job?

I left the last job due to a difference of opinion between a new coach and me. That was almost a year ago.

How did you discover PAGCG?

I found PAGCG through a networking event in Great Valley, and Lynne Williams was there. I instantly did everything I could to become Lynne’s groupie and found her to be so helpful. She would ask people where they wanted to work, and often, Lynne knew someone at one or more companies and offered to connect them. I quickly became a Bronze member. Lynne helped me with her LinkedIn workshops, tips for resumes, having a positive attitude, and focusing on a career change.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

I enhanced my job search by first updating my LinkedIn profile according to Lynne Williams’ brilliant instructions, and I redid my resume for each different ad I answered, using Les Segarnick’s perfect method.

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

It took 11 months of looking. I was looking for a place that fit me and I fit them; it wasn’t just about money. From the day I found an opening that seemed perfect, it took two business days to get an offer. I looked on LinkedIn at this company’s employees and found one I “knew”. We were connected and we had met, but I just couldn’t remember where or when. Over the years I attended many network events for HR, most recently SHRM. He interviewed me first and a day later I was interviewed via Facetime by the man who is now my boss. He made me an offer on that call.

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

I went to many of the events, and I’m happy I did. The hosts, speakers, and the other people there who were also looking for work were so supportive, down-to-earth, and helpful. I made many connections.

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

Become a Bronze member of PAGCG and go to the events (they are all virtual for now). Grow your network.

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

Grow your network. These events are a lifeline.

What will you do in your new role?

My new employer is national. My job is to call clients and prospects nationally; I’m the only one doing this; I filled a brand new position. My boss calls me his “secret weapon” and has big plans for me. I love this company and everyone in it. Most of the people have been there for 10 and 20 years.

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

Never give up. Create a system and work it. My system is an Excel tracker for jobs applied, a Word file for each prospective ad and my responses as well as phone calls and emails.

Military Army Veteran Networks Her Way to a Corporate Job Through Career Education and Building Relationships

MILITARY ARMY VETERAN NETWORKS HER WAY TO A CORPORATE JOB THROUGH CAREER EDUCATION AND BUILDING RELATIONSHIPS

Veteran Networking Success Story by Army Veteran Janel Kim Mariani.

Tell us about yourself and your career.

My name is Janel Kim Mariani, and I’m a West Point grad and Army veteran with experience across a wide variety of functions and industries. For most of my career in industry, I was with Fortune 100 companies.

Why were you looking for a job?

I was looking for a job because I had lost my last one and needed to pay some bills.

How did you discover PAGCG?

I discovered the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Great Group through another phenomenal organization, the Greater Philadelphia Veterans Network (GPVN). Alex Archawski of GPNV partnered with Lynne Williams of PAGCG for a 6-week Veterans Career Success Group program to help veterans in career transition with career education.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

Let me count the ways PAGCG provided an organizational and philosophical structure for how to manage the job search. It offered professional development, keynotes in the recruiting and career transition industry, career transition support, and experts in ATS, LinkedIn, and more.

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

I networked my way into my role. I spent several weeks speaking with people and following different leads into the final conversation. The journey took about seven months.

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

Since PAGCG had several virtual sessions a day, I found myself with a like-minded group of people who were interested in learning about the ins and outs of LinkedIn. As people landed, we celebrated their success together.

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

A great lesson I learned is to target the company first, and then network your way in.

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

Continue to modify your objectives and your elevator pitches until they roll off your tongue naturally.

What will you do in your new role?

My role is to find companies that are interested in hiring high performing military veterans.

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

I enjoyed the project management approach to a targeted job search presented by Paul Cecala.

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.

Supportive Group Provided Salesforce Hands-On Volunteering Opportunity to Demonstrate Accomplishments at Interview

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Michael Camilleri and I worked a bit with Salesforce for the past four years at my former job in center city Philadelphia. My company used Salesforce in-house, and I worked with customer relationship management (CRM) software, though it was never my main focus. When I lost my job, I intentionally moved in the direction towards Salesforce and wanted to continue pursuing this path.

Why were you looking for a job?
I was laid off due to budget cuts and restructuring.

How did you discover PAGCG?
I started going to Salesforce user groups and their events in Philadelphia. I met Bill Apostolacus and discovered that he helped the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) with building Salesforce from the ground up. I was interested in assisting PAGCG with Salesforce administration, so I connected with Bill in between meetings to see how I could help out. I ended up working on the volunteer applications for Salesforce shortly after that.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
This organization gave me a lot of hands-on experience. This group helped me a lot when I was interviewing because I could point to the work I was doing for PAGCG. I did learn about how to use Salesforce through their Trailhead online modules and received certifications that looked good on paper, but the real-world experience gave me an edge during my job search.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
During my career transition, I had a contract role helping a marketing client with Salesforce, and I was still volunteering with PAGCG. A few months of going to networking events, volunteering, and improving my LinkedIn profile led to me meeting the right people. A friend from an event before finding PAGCG referred me to an opportunity that became the job I landed.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
The main things that kept me going were improving my skill set and being around a supportive group of people. People, like Bill, were on my side and wanted to help me build my skills in a practical sense. Having a supportive community helped me do better for myself, from building an online presence to getting that next certification.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Don’t rest on what you have. Pivoting to a different career wasn’t my first inclination, but when I saw that my resumes were not getting a lot of traction, I realized that I needed to reinvent myself. I learned that it was essential to keep moving and learn new things that could improve my landing a job.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Just put yourself out there and meet people. Whether it is through PAGCG or any industry-specific events, it’s essential to meet people because people do better with job searches if they have a connection to someone. Being able to push yourself in that capacity is vital, and I still plan on staying involved with user group meetings and volunteer work. It’s also essential to expand your online network because I got this job through LinkedIn, my last job through LinkedIn, and the one before that through LinkedIn as well – three in a row!

What will you do in your new role?
I will be a Salesforce marketing cloud consultant.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
It’s never too late to try something new that I was thinking about throughout the years as I’ve gotten older that it’s key to continue learning to achieve long-term success.

Optimized LinkedIn Profile and Accountability in Career Group Results in a Remote Job Landing

Tell us about yourself and your career.
My name is Brian Rickman and I have 25 years of experience as a Software Engineer working with computer programming. I was working remotely for a company based in Boston before I lost my job.

Why were you looking for a job?
About a quarter of the workforce was laid off included me at the end of March. We were laid off due to the initial outbreak from the Coronavirus.

How did you discover PAGCG?
A friend of mine in the city knew that I was looking for a job. He saw an ad for a Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) meeting about updating your LinkedIn profile on the Philadelphia Free Library’s website Jobs & Job Seeker events and encouraged me to attend. I joined that meeting and liked the people. It felt like the right place to be. I am also a volunteer for the group, even though I am employed. It’s a way of giving back.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
The biggest thing the group gave me was the confidence and motivation to work on my job search. Many things were secondary, such as updating my LinkedIn profile and resume, but the social aspect was most important. In the meetings, we would go around the room and talk about what we had done the previous week related to our job search. It gave me and others a sense of accountability.

How did you find your job? How long did it take?
A recruiter reached out to me through LinkedIn after they saw my newly updated profile. I landed an interview and, eventually, the job itself. Luckily, I was only out of work for a month between losing my job and landing the new one.

What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
The connection I felt with the other job seekers in the group helped me. It also helped to put a plan in place and treat my job search as a job – I would wake up in the morning, update my profile, spruce up my resume, and keep moving. I always made sure that I had something to report to the group at the next meeting.

What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
You really must make an effort to get up and work for it. It’s not going to happen by itself, and the job won’t land on your lap. During better times, I had recruiters reach out to me every week, but that’s not happening right now. You have to get out there and make that effort.

Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Reach out to anyone who could help you, even friends and neighbors. I was so surprised when I reached out to neighbors, and they would say, “Oh yeah, I can connect you to someone here. I can help you!”
On LinkedIn, especially, almost anyone will connect with you if you give them a reason. If you reach out and say you want to connect, they may ignore your request if they don’t already know you; however, if you reach out and say, “Hey, I’m interested in your company,” you are more likely to get a response.

What will you do in your new role?
My new job title is Camera Engineer. This role is a software engineer role with the primary focus on writing programs in C++ that run inside internet-connected security cameras.

What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
I found a quote in an online class that was quite relevant: “Lady Luck favors those who try!” You will have better luck if you go out and make an effort. If you sit around doing nothing, then nothing will happen.

Marketing Director Discovers Career Group to be a Wonderful Community That Is Motivational and Informative

Tell us about yourself and your career background. 

My name is Daria Duda, and I am a career marketer focused on entertainment and technology, specializing in product and content marketing.

Why were you looking for a job?

My company closed its office in King of Prussia, and I was part of the 80 or so folks laid off as a result. It was a huge change because I was consistently employed for 20 years, even surviving mergers, acquisitions, and company layoffs.

How did you discover PAGCG?

I discovered the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG) by happenstance and didn’t even know that an organization such as this existed. I heard about PAGCG from two people: a recruiter and a friend at my gym. When they both raved about how helpful the chapter meetings were, I knew I had to check it out.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

The chapter leaders helped me stay positive; they were motivational, and the sessions were informative, often highlighted by expert guest speakers. At first, I was skeptical because I had never joined a networking organization, and I didn’t know what to expect. What I discovered was a wonderful community filled with smart, hard-working people. We all had the same goal of finding the right next job that would maximize our specific skills. Many folks were employed but looking to transition to a different position or even different career, and it was inspiring to support others on their journey.

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

Well, it did take longer than I thought. I also learned that taking the first option didn’t mean it was the right one for me. While I had plenty of interviews, I quickly recognized it would best to be particular about choosing the right company for me. It wasn’t without effort – lots of networking through PAGCG, lots of meetups, and events at Venture Café, along with adjustments to my LinkedIn profile. Then simultaneously, two good options came forward. One was from a personal connection who introduced me to a business acquaintance. The second was a posting on LinkedIn, and having been taught all the tricks by the PAGCG folks, I contacted the recruiter on LinkedIn before applying. Having a personal connection with the recruiter added an authentic element to my job search and made the right impression of getting the interview and landing my job.

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

Hah – chocolate, and of course, the PAGCG chapter meetings! Seriously though, support from my friends and family. My husband was one of my biggest motivators and would encourage me to attend all the events possible – I was going out nearly every day to events all over the city!

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

There were many things, and PAGCG helped me tremendously. It is not just about networking, optimizing, and maintaining a LinkedIn profile, or doing practice interviewing – but with the building of personal connections. I look at my contacts now on LinkedIn, many of whom I met through the group and now follow their successes, and it’s humbling to be a part of it all, and know that we are all worked together to help each other be successful – in whatever way that meant to each of us. 

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

I would say, strive to have two meaningful conversations during an event. As an introvert, networking was difficult and exhausting for me at first, but I found that meeting even just two people and having meaningful conversations truly matters. It’s best not to overthink what you should talk about with someone and instead relax. Don’t panic and enjoy the conversation, be engaged, and work on your listening skills, make eye contact. You never know who will keep you in mind when an opportunity arises. When you let yourself have a great conversation with someone, you end up finding some common topic to discuss or learn something new – it’s a great way to stay motivated.

What will you do in your new role?

I am the Director of Marketing for a start-up focused on safety for automation and robotics. The subject matter is all new for me, and it’s exciting and exhilarating to be a part of emerging technology.

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

Personal connections are more important than online job applications. Even when my resume keywords matched a job description, it still wasn’t a guarantee that I would get a response at all, and, most of the time, I got no responses. Talk about a downer. Instead, reach out and add that human element to your job search and meet people, exchange ideas, and you’ll find inspiration and even advice in every conversation.