Designing a New Career with Business Model U with Tim Lybarger from 12:30-2:30 PM special event facilitated by Lynne Williams Free for Bronze or BENG members or $5 fee for nonmembers. Download a copy to write on –  Register on Salesforce WORKSHOP DESCRIPTION Encore NEO founder and career strategist, Tim Lybarger, will facilitate a practical and interactive overview of the Personal Business Model Canvas as presented in the book, Business Model You: A…

Reinvention in Challenging Times: Plan for Successful Life & Work Transitions with Christine Stadler from Ohio on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 from 9-11 AM with Entrepreneurial Chapter Leader, Lynne Williams. Free for Bronze or BENG members or $5 nonmember fee. Register Zoom link (verification of paid Bronze/BENG membership or $5 nonmember payment will occur to enter Zoom Room)   PRESENTATION DESCRIPTION The process of reinvention Exploring Various Paths – A new encore career…

Certified Salesforce Administrator Reinvents through Volunteering

Tell us about yourself and your career.

My name is Bill Apostolacus and I had various roles in my former company for 22 years, including data analyst and relationship manager. In 2015, I began door-to-door sales for a solar company but left after a year and a half and eventually found myself in a career transition. I discovered Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group (PAGCG), and through them, a fellow PAGCG member told me about Salesforce. I quickly got excited about it and knew that this was what I wanted to do. The organization gave me the golden opportunity to build their Salesforce system from the ground up, giving me the hands-on experience needed to succeed.

Why were you looking for a job?

I was laid off due to restructuring. It was strange having to go through all those feelings after such a long tenure. I decided to get away from the computer and do some soul searching as I was still dealing with the shock of figuring out what I wanted to do with my career. I had to ask myself, “Now what?”

How did you discover PAGCG?

I found out about the PAGCG on Meetup. Initially, I was using Meetup to find other avenues from my sales job that I was working at the time and stumbled upon this organization.

How did PAGCG help you in your job search?

Lynne Williams’ LinkedIn classes and Job Search Accelerator courses jump-started my LinkedIn profile, which was huge for me. I learned how to get LinkedIn to work for me and maintain my online presence in the job search. I didn’t realize how critical LinkedIn is for networking.

I also received general feedback on my resume and how to network with others. The Monday Malvern meetings led by Kevin Keene helped me realize that I was not alone in the job search. We were able to hold each other accountable and bounce ideas off one another – the sense of community was significant.

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

It took a couple of years to land a full-time job. I didn’t know Salesforce at all and had to teach myself this new skill. In 2018, I had one certification and felt confident going into interviews. A year later, I had four certifications under my belt and eventually landed my job. Naturally, I built a Salesforce system to track my opportunities. I applied to 92 jobs, receiving no response at all to 33, but 59 lead to a first interview. Later, I had 26-second interviews and seven third interviews, which ended in 3 actual job offers, and I started my full-time job in September 2019. I was able to truly grasp the power of LinkedIn by letting recruiters know I was available and making sure I had a LinkedIn connection in the company before applying to the position.

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

Knowing deep down that Salesforce was what I was going to do. Salesforce has a tight-knit group that is so supportive and provided a sense of community. Eventually, I realized there were so many companies using Salesforce systems that I knew I could get hired quickly with the knowledge I’d gained. My experience gave me control over the direction of my career.

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

You need to approach the job search with a sales mentality. In sales, it’s all about opportunities: you must have a pipeline, you must have numbers, and you must have options out there. I always had 20 opportunities available at a time. Eventually, one of those would hit, and “No” just means “next opportunity.” At the end of the day, it’s about the stars aligning in a sense – once a company knows you have the skills, it’s about your personality and a culture fit. Lastly, if someone can refer you, you are a known candidate to that organization because once you make that connection, you already have a warm introduction made.

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

LinkedIn is crucial. You have to be on LinkedIn, and you need to build that network to become more visible online. The more extensive that network can be, the better because recruiters use LinkedIn so often to search for candidates. Also, talk to recruiters on LinkedIn and ask yourself, “How can I help them, and how can they help me?” Offline, I would suggest going to industry-related events to meet others and let them know that you’re looking.

What will you do in your new role?

I am the Salesforce Administrator of a 700-user Salesforce system to navigate the new interface.

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

Think positive and feel sure about what you want to do in your career. Ageism is out there, but there is nothing you can do about it, so don’t worry about it. Find a way around it by keeping a positive attitude and networking.

Rebranding to Pivot Your Career

Are you making a career pivot? Do you need to rebrand yourself? Do you know what to do to market yourself for your future forward position?

As noted in the previous article, you completed all these steps so far:

  • You decided to make a change.
  • You have done a SWOT analysis of yourself.
  • You know your passions and where you want to go… OR
  • You have hired a coach to help bring clarity, so you know your next move.
  • You have taken stock of your skillset and gaps of knowledge and have taken assessments.
  • You have made some goals for learning or moving your pivot forward. 
  • You are ready to update your career documents – resume, LinkedIn, elevator pitch, networking plan, cover letter, accomplishment stories, positioning statement, department statement, value proposition, etc. 

Now what? It’s time to research keywords that combine your unique individual skillset and the keywords of your next position, whether as a W-2 employee or as an entrepreneur. 

Where do these keywords come from?

First of all, they come from you, doing a brain dump of all the things you are good at. It’s mainly going to be a list of hard skills, but there may be some soft skills

If you are looking for a W-2 job, you can analyze the keywords in the job description. You would highlight text as you carefully read and use a free tool like WordArt or another text analyzer. 

You can also use tools like Google Trends

For keywords in LinkedIn, you need to use the job titles and keywords in LinkedIn’s database and see how words compare, by looking them up in the jobs tab. For example, compare “budget” to “budgets” to “budgeting” to find out the best version of this word to use in LinkedIn. The final choice may be different than the synonym you use when applying to a job description.

To learn more about keywords for matching job descriptions, attend the ATS workshops on June 1 or 11 by registering on links on the events listings page. 

To learn more about keywords for LinkedIn, join the virtual workshops on LinkedIn Parts 1, 2, and 3 on June 6, 13, and 20, respectively, by registering on

Developing a keyword analysis is both an art and a science. You are much better off making informed decisions from data drive sets of keywords than just guessing words off the cuff. Do your research, but make sure you are hyper-focused on your future forward position so you are clearly branding yourself! 


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

Pivoting Your Career for Reinventing Yourself

Is it time for a career change? Are you considering transforming yourself to a new job?

What do you do when you can’t, or don’t want to, do what you used to do? Pivot, of course, to make an intentional shift in a new direction. How, you ask?

First, determine why you need to make a change. Need a raise? Promotion? Disengaged? Furloughed? Downsized? Re-org’d? Fired? Dread your job? Hate your boss? Lack of energy or enthusiasm to do the work? Need to care for family members?

Next, determine where you are at. Do a SWOT analysis of yourself. What are your strengths? Weaknesses? Opportunities? Threats? Conduct a professional and personal audit on yourself and analyze your transferable skills and what you like and hate to do. 

What are your passions? What sets your hair on fire every morning that gets you out of bed, excited to start the day?

What if you really genuinely don’t know what your next plan is? Maybe you need to do an assessment? Perhaps you need a career coach. Perhaps you need a life coach. 

Maybe you know what you want to do but have some gaps of knowledge or some missing skills. You can explore what is necessary to pursue another career at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Maybe you want to explore entrepreneurship.

If you need coursework or certification, explore how you can get that completed through an online course, or at a local university, or other workshops or seminars. 

If you have time to decide about your career pivot, consider all the criteria that affect various parts of your life. Write them down. 

If you have found yourself in a place of change because of unprecedented times, you still need to write things down and make some S.M.A.R.T. goals for yourself.

Engaging in career management of your career documents is much better when you are proactive rather than reactive. Do you need to update your resume? LinkedIn profile? Elevator pitch? Job and networking tracking sheet? Cover letter? Accomplishment stories? Positioning statement? Departure statement? Value proposition, and so on? If not, start getting your ducks in a row. 

It’s time to start building your brand and marketing yourself in your future forward position. 


Lynne Williams is the Executive Director of the Philadelphia Area Great Careers Group, a 501(c)3 nonprofit with almost 6300 members and alumni providing career education and networking. Lynne also writes for,, and Connect with Lynne on LinkedIn at