I learned from subject matter experts and engaged in networking weekly to land my job!
Tell us about yourself and your career
My name is Bernie Mulhern and I am a career Sales Manager/Account Executive with extensive experience in the Consumer Products (CPG) industry. I spent the majority of my career at American Greetings Corporation, where I worked for almost four decades. As a result of a corporate re-structure and staffing reductions, I left American Greetings in July of 2019.
How did you discover PAGCG?
In July of 2019, when I left my position, I was introduced to Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group and the dedicated volunteers that run that group.
Why were you looking for a job?
From August to October 2019, I participated weekly in the networking groups. I was also educated by the steady stream of guest speakers and subject matter experts that PAGCG brought in to help job seekers in all areas of networking, resume construction, interviewing techniques, etc. The end result was that PAGCG prepared me to land a position in November of 2019 with a company called ArtSkills.
Unfortunately, due to staffing reductions, I was let go in November of 2020. I then re-joined PACGC in November of 2020 and re-connected with the organization. In returning, I was surprised and very impressed to note that the same dedicated volunteers with whom I had previously worked were still helping others to deal with the job search journey.
How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
My job search lasted four months. During that time, I took advantage of the plethora of resources that PACGC provides. The resources that I found most useful were the online workshops for important tools such as LinkedIn profiles, networking, resume creation, and interviewing preparation and practice. These workshops were conducted by experts such as Lynne Williams, Les Segarnick, and an ongoing list of guest speakers that offered so many great insights into the packaging and preparing to sell myself to land that next position.
How did you find your job? How long did it take?
I found my position through a job posting on LinkedIn. I then leveraged a contact I knew at Lasko to learn more about the position and to help me to get my resume in the right hands. After a series of five interviews (one phone and four Zooms), I was offered the position and happily accepted. The application and interview process took approximately six weeks.
What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
I remained motivated through this process in two ways; First, I was determined that my career was not over and that I still had a lot to offer. Secondly, I can thank PAGCG for their support and the support of my fellow job seekers in this group. I networked with 15-20 people who became friends. I felt obligated to them to have an update that I could share concerning the steps I had taken to land a position. In that way, I became accountable to others as well as myself to keep going and keep pushing. Also, I refused to be a “woe is me” guy and didn’t dwell on the negative, but worked diligently to change my situation.
What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
The lessons I learned in this search were to listen to what people who are experts are telling me, then execute a strategy to put those learnings into practice. I learned to get past any trepidation concerning reaching out to people through LinkedIn to network and have one on one conversations with people to try to help each other. Also, I learned that there are so many people that are willing to help you if you reach out for assistance.
Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Here is my advice to job seekers…stay confident. Network with people. Talk to them and seek ways to help each other. Also, use the resources that PAGCG provides. These people are experts that know what they are doing. Learn from them, do what they tell you to do, to the best of your ability. You will be successful. Most importantly, trust and believe in yourself. Be prepared to work hard and to do the hard work. Best of luck to you.
What will you do in your new role?
In my new role, I will be collaborating with a team of Account Managers to provide all necessary follow up on the details involved in the sales processing cycle, from placing orders to ensuring deliveries are made as promised. While this is a reduced role from previous positions, it is a role that I am familiar with and confident that I will excel at performing.
What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
I want to provide the strongest endorsement I can to the PAGCG organization led by Lynne Williams. The quality of the resources provided coupled with the supportive, caring environment in which it is shared is truly best in class. A special mention to Mr. Les Segarnick must also be added Les is a true gentleman that provides such valuable input on resumes and interviewing tips. Thank you PAGCG and God Bless You all for your dedication and commitment.