LuAnn is a high-energy, talented legal professional in Philadelphia. But in late 2011, corporate cutbacks led to her searching for a new position that would utilize her unique talents and specialized skills.
“It was a low point in the process,” she remembers. “I tend to be an outgoing person and I knew I was qualified, but aside from a few initial interviews that didn’t pan out, I was trying to open my mind to any advice that was thrown my way.”
For LuAnn, that meant taking some part-time work, and the counsel of several friends, who recommended meeting a career counselor. Knowing that there might be more to learn about the job search process, LuAnn confided in a friend at the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, who recommended JEVS Career Strategies.
“I met with Samara (Fritzsche, career counselor at JEVS), and we bonded immediately,” she said. “There was immediate trust and openness and I just wanted to absorb everything.”
During counseling sessions, the two spoke about the format of LuAnn’s resume, about job priorities and resources that existed, and about making online information accessible to potential employers. Samara even found computer classes beyond what JEVS already offered to help keep LuAnn’s software skills sharp and up-to-date.
“Sometimes I would ask about a topic that was totally new to me that I didn’t know how to navigate or something that I would have an instinct about, but recognize that I wasn’t objective enough to make a clear decision,” said LuAnn. “Samara really helped frame the steps that I would need to take to accomplish my goal.”
That goal was accomplished a little over three years ago, as LuAnn secured a highly-coveted job as a chief administrative officer at a suburban Philadelphia firm.
“It was a very creative interview process,” she remarked. “But by then I was in a good place and ready for it!”
LuAnn is careful to note that even with lengthy experience in the field of Human Resources, she knew it would be impossible to know everything about job searching.
“The job market and the Internet make the hunt a game of balance, in timing, networking and interviewing – really everything that leads to job offers, keeps changing,” she said. “You can’t let pride stunt your growth or close you off to new ideas.”
Now, LuAnn notes that the lessons she learned will carry her through her next career transition, and are applicable to anyone who might want or need to make a change.
“I’m working with Samara again, and we talk about future opportunities from time to time. I refer everyone to Career Strategies and I tell them, just get an opinion on your resume, your interview skills or your job search and online presence from someone who has no stake in the game. You’ll leave with more confidence in what you’re doing, and you’ll want to share what you learn with everyone you know!”