Success Story: Sue Ann

Learn how working with an NSCN Volunteer Career Coach and utilizing NSCN job search resources and tools helped member Sue Ann to land a new position.

Sue Ann learned about the New Start Career Network during a Project Management Professionals in NJ (PMINJ) Chapter job fair and became a member.
The NSCN provided her with valuable job search assistance. Sue Ann stated, “The webinars, newsletter, and the research tools – such as Vault– were very helpful. The most impactful was the preparation provided before the June Job Fair. It allowed me to focus my efforts and have a very successful day creating connections and potential interviews.”

With regard to her NSCN Volunteer Career Coach, she shared, “I really enjoyed working with Sasi, my coach. She was easy going yet helped me think through my activities and create a more focused, accountable plan each week in preparation for our sessions. I was already doing a lot of things to move my search forward when we first connected, so I really needed more of a cheerleader and sounding board to help make sure I was doing the most impactful activities as well as taking care of myself during this very stressful time. She helped me think about different ways to plan out my search goals and actions.”

Sue Ann was unemployed for 8 months. She shares that the most challenging part of her job search was, “understanding all that had changed in the corporate and work world since I left 5 years ago to start my own business. Hiring practices are significantly different today. The tools and amount of effort to get yourself ‘out there’ and be found is monumental, overwhelming, and very dehumanizing with all the technology screening and ghosting by recruiters. It took a lot to stay positive and focused during my search.”
Sue Ann recently landed a job as a Social Media Project Manager at a full service digital marketing agency.  Prior to this new role, Sue Ann was a project manager/ consultant and small business owner for the past 5 years, after leaving her last 20-year career in corporate where she held a variety of functional roles.

Sue Ann’s new job is in a different industry from her previous positions. However, she shares, “I already had experience as a social media manager, through volunteer efforts on a Board where I serve, as well as being a consultant and small business owner. I was focusing on moving into the learning and development arena, but leveraged my background in project management and social marketing to make connections and demonstrate my skills.”

When asked about the strategies and tools that helped her get this job, she stated, “Networking and building new contacts as well as keeping my current skills marketable were the two most important. I attended two job fairs, and did pro bono volunteer work in social marketing for the Board of an organization in a new field I was trying to break into to demonstrate my capabilities firsthand. I joined working committees in marketing and training in a networking organization to keep my technical, project management, and people leadership skills fresh and relevant. I initially received a lot of push back from recruiters about my time as a small business owner, so I felt it was important to reestablish relevant work in corporate environments.

As Sue Ann returns to work, she offers this advice to other NSCN job seekers: “Networking is key. You have to expand your connections and stay in touch. You have to keep assessing what you want, what you are willing to do, and what is really important as you create opportunities for yourself. You also have to stay open to trying new things, and shake up your activities and course-correct if they are not gaining you the results you need.”

Sue Ann shared details about her path to her new company:

“As it turned out, the job I landed came from a posting I happened to see online. I submitted a highly focused T-Bar cover letter* and resume package, and followed up several times via phone. They were very polite but kept putting me off regarding interviewing, yet they knew I was interested in them due to my follow up. Then out of the blue I was contacted for an interview. The job was a different position from the one for which I submitted my resume, which I didn’t know was the case until I was actually in the interview. However, I really liked the company and the work they do, plus it checked a lot of the boxes for culture, location, competitive wages, and benefits. So when they made me an offer during the interview for the open position, I jumped at the chance, even though the job was going to be different. I’m excited to have this position, expand my current skills, and learn a lot more about the field and this company as they grow and expand.”
*For an article with more information about T-Bar cover letters click here.