UPDATED ON 12/26/2021
When the push from job search comes to shove, we literally have to say the hell with it and take our careers into our own hands.
I’m going to veer off course from all my previous articles with this one.
We live in unprecedented times, and unprecedented time calls for extraordinary actions, and extraordinary actions require bravery.
I hope my efforts thus far has helped you advance your job search journey. I expect you will win your dream role soon enough.
Nevertheless, for the entrepreneur brewing inside of us, I hope this article will inspire you to make the move.
This is my story.
February 28th, 2019.
That was my last day as a grocery stocker at a national supermarket chain.
What was supposed to be a part-time, winter-season gig while I searched for a technical project management role had turned into an 18-month full-time stint.
Granted, I did learn a lot. Customer experience. Store operations. Inventory control. Data integrity. Knowledge that would benefit me — and companies— back in the office environment. I was grateful for that.
At some point, I realized since a global IT giant owned the market, I decided to re-climb the corporate ladder from the very bottom. I mean, why not? I was extremely fed up that my mind prevented three career coaches from helping me ace the tens of job interviews I had scored.
During the last six months, I started my shifts at 3 AM in my ski jacket, retrieved inventory from a zero degree freezer, stocked the floor shelves, tracked more than 150 lines of products, and sent orders before the 7 AM deadline. Everyday. I would then spend another two hours in the freezer to organize it so that staff can actually walk in it.
At the store, I didn’t even have access to Microsoft Excel, so I had to implement a manual inventory control system that involved rewriting readable barcodes on the boxes, placing items on correspondingly labelled shelves, and monitoring stock flow with pen and paper.
My efforts decreased spoilage by a third, freed up freezer stockroom space by half, and increased sales by 34%.
And yet, despite exerting triple the amount of energy of a typical grocery clerk, these results did not impress corporate leaders.
Apparently because my accomplishments did not reflect my ability to achieve the same thing with more sophisticated technology. What I did was too primitive.
That infuriated me.
The Moment I Quit
I knew what I could do with pen and paper, I could do with today’s computerized inventory system.
But another matter peeved me more.
As it turned out, company policy prevented appropriate promotions when upper management has no openings, even as floor staff achieved things that were above their pay grade and seniority level.
I had grown restless, especially when I knew my know-how combined with my MBA education had surpassed those of my managers. My plan to re-climb the corporate ladder had backfired.
The next day, I strolled into work with my two-weeks notice.
For the third time in six years, I returned to full-time job search mode.
At first, I was excited to be in the job market again, armed with retail operations knowledge and my foundational expertise in data.
I attended networking events three times nearly every week. I applied online. I sought out government resources.
My resume scored me interviews with an international dairy company, a major seafood distributor, even a global Fortune 100, among others.
Everyone told me I was doing everything I was supposed to do. My depression worsen as desperation and resentment set in.
And still nothing.
To say exhaustion soon took over was an understatement.
Finally, I woke up pissed off one morning and exclaimed, “If no one is going to give me a job, I have to give myself a job.”
That was the moment I quit trying to convince others to hire me.
In a flash, it felt like a higher power descended on me. Total freedom.
I was now on a mission: to make it on my own.
That’s how Sunbreak Resumes started.
We cannot stop a company from rescinding a position. We cannot prevent a department from conducting courtesy interviews. We cannot force the hiring managers to hire us.
All we have control over is what we do. Put our best foot forward on resumes and in interviews.
But perhaps the answer lies within us. So give ourselves a chance.
Many of you might be thinking, “But I need benefits. I need stability. I need money.”
Two furloughed Maryland sisters started baking and selling cheesecakes to pay their bills during the 2019 government shut down. The Furlough Cheesecake is now a nationally celebrated, million-dollar business.
A group of Californian university students fixed a food supply chain issue crippled by COVID-19. Farmlink has now delivered nearly 50 million pounds of food.
And remember the hundreds of kid entrepreneurs winning on Shark Tank.
Insurance is the farthest thing from their minds.
Thus, you never know.
As for me, friends have asked me if I can sustain this long-term since I do come from a technical background. Honestly, I don’t know. All I know are these: 1) I write awesome resumes, and 2) my business is keeping me sane.
Since inception in October 2019, I have served 50-plus clients nationwide, including a CFO returning to his passion in theater management, a furloughed VP who immediately got back on top, and a technical manager who got hired by Amazon, all during the pandemic.
Through Sunbreak Resumes, I have regained confidence, self-worth, and purpose. It’s a great feeling.
Ready to stop trying to convince someone else to hire you and make it big on your own? Let’s start developing your brand.