Tell us about yourself and your career.
I started my career in the Music Industry and migrated to sales a few years after graduating college. I have worked in the technology field as a sales leader, sales manager, consultant, and channel business manager for several different software and hardware manufacturers.
Why were you looking for a job?
After twelve years with my last company, I was let go during a second round of layoffs during the COVID pandemic.
How did you discover GCG?
I connected with Lynne Williams when I was still working, finding her through LinkedIn when I was looking for help for some of my sales reps to work on improving their social media profiles. As a coincidental side note, Lynne and I reconnected after several decades, as we had graduated from middle school together in Watchung, NJ, where her mom was also my music teacher. Shortly after I got released from my job, I joined as a BENG member.
How did PAGCG help you in your job search?
Through Lynne’s guidance and numerous resources available in the GCG, I quickly expanded my network while working on my resumé, LinkedIn profile, and interviewing skills to prepare myself better to support my job search.
How did you find your job? How long did it take?
Four months after I got let go, one of my former employers (the CEO of one of my vendors) recommended me for a position at the company that had just released me. My company was expanding its relationship with the vendor, and he felt that I would be an asset to this new launch. I interviewed informally with a few contacts over two to three months, and finally, after the new fiscal year I started (April 2021), the job got posted. After four interviews, I received a written offer (that I initially turned down to negotiate better terms), and that finally came through in June. I started work on July 1st.
What kept you motivated during the job search, especially during the downtimes?
Networking was one of the most critical factors to keeping my search moving forward. I joined GCG and a few other networking groups at this time and expanded my network of contacts. But I also stayed motivated through some other activities that are important to me. One was renewing my relationships with the nonprofit arena, especially in the arts, where I started my career. I also resumed my music activities, starting my trumpet studies again after a thirty-year hiatus, and continued to perform as a guitarist and singer at a couple of local venues. And, of course, my faith life was of tremendous importance to keeping my focus.
What were the lessons that you learned during your job search?
Network. Period. Without networking, I would have stagnated in my search. Even though the new job came through an existing contact with a former employer, the people I met and networked with allowed me the opportunity to hone my interview and social skills and give back to others who reached out to me for assistance in their searches.
Do you have any networking tips or tricks that you can share?
Tracking is critical. I kept a spreadsheet online of all of my application and networking activities from the day I got let go right up to today. I am convinced that it was no coincidence that my written job offer from my current employer was entered on line 500 of my spreadsheet. I am now on Line 569 (keeping my contacts updated for my next search).
What will you do in your new role?
I will be applying the expertise I have acquired over my whole career to achieve my sales goals and help develop new areas of success and specialization for my current management team.
What is one takeaway or nugget of wisdom that you would like to share?
Your network is a lifeline. Use it, give back to it, embrace it, expand it. Treat a new job as the springboard that starts your next job search.