We asked: “Anyone need a ‘career reboot’?” and the answer was a resounding yes!
The past two weeks have shown that people from diverse backgrounds and experiences share a common need: To feel energized and reinvigorated in their careers.
Thanks to everyone who entered and to all those who tweeted, re-tweeted and helped spread the word about the Career Reboot competition. We were amazed by the amount of support that we received!
Often online competitions receive a large amount of spam or quickly thrown-together entries. I can honestly say that all entries were well thought out and beautifully articulated. Every story was interesting and worthy of finalist selection.
As challenging as it was, the Reboot Committee has culled the list down to five deserving finalists. Here they are (in alphabetical order), along with their personal stories in their own words:
- Susan Borst:
“In a career with dynamic agencies, respected Clients, diverse/challenging brands and great people, I shifted from Account Management to Strategic Planning…perfect for an intellectually curious thinker. When laid off, I really wanted to shift to social media strategy. But to potential social media employers my resume screamed traditional media and that meant being a dinosaur. It was time to refocus 100% on social media to become a truly viable candidate. I’ve shared, learned and engaged via blogs, Twitter, webinars and networking. I have growing influence on the topic of “social media.” (klout.) I have even landed a social media consulting gig and evaluated social media monitoring tools, identified corporate recruiting social media best practices and analyzed global government social media and citizen journalism. Even though I can now support the claim of knowing more than most people about social media…and can legitimately call myself an experienced “social media strategist,” the problem is that I am a stuck. I’m see as “too senior” and “too expensive.” I’m doing many things “right”, but need help getting unstuck. My resume needs enhancement. I need jolts of “fearless motivation.” A DevriesPR Career Reboot could help achieve my 2011 career goal that could very well land me at a PR agency.”
- Elisa Freese :
“It may seem crazy that at 24 I need a career reboot, but I seriously do. I’ve experienced being laid off (twice) and unemployment checks all within a year of graduating college. The only work that’s come my way thus far has been administrative, which has taught me a lot, but it’s not what I want to be doing in the long run. My passion lies in the public relations field and I have no intention of giving that up. However, having no public relations experience beyond my education puts me at a great disadvantage. I’ve heard so many people tell me I need internship experience if I ever want to get a job in the field. How am I supposed to leave my full-time job for an internship? Receiving this career reboot would allow me to leverage the experience I do have and apply it to the public relations field. It’s really disheartening to hear how I’ll get nowhere with my current resume when I’ve worked so hard up to this point. What I need most at this stage in my career is to learn how to be my own best publicist to prove my dedication to the field.”
- Shannon Harms:
“Have a Hotmail account? Or Messenger? When you sign in to your account on Windows Live, I own all of the text you see on the screen. Ever reset your password? I own that too. I actually have a pretty sweet job at Microsoft–I’m a blogger and UI writer in Windows, and until now, “reboot” is what I do after I install an update on my PC. Millions of customers around the world see my writing every day (cool!), but I don’t have the chance to personally interact with them. It’s time to get out from behind my computer and start connecting with customers. I want to tell a story, change people’s minds, and experience that moment when customers light up because I’ve made them believe. It might even make sense to try another industry such as Fashion or Entertainment.”
- Andrew O’Hearn:
“Over 27 years, my PR career has morphed into the “blue screen of death.” Writing for local newspapers at age 15, and the #1 college newspaper by 19, I won an intern scholarship at Penn State and graduated summa cum laude. In the midst of the last major recession (1983), I joined Prentice Hall as a copywriter, then helped a major utility grow through acquisition to eight times its previous size. 1990 marked another economic downturn, but undaunted, I wrote marketing proposals that won major contracts and several awards. When the internet took off in 1995, I helped an old-line insurance company launch the first U.S. commercial insurance website, while completing my master’s in communications at night. With 2001 came the dot-com crash, and I shifted gears, working to help turn around a major engineering company on the verge of bankruptcy, and then to help a major consumer-goods company bring two disparate cultures together. The wheels came off in 2006, as gigs with a mid-market financial services firm, an international shipping giant, and a drug-development services company petered out over penury. I sought refuge in nonprofit, but the same scenario ensued. I’ve been spliced, diced, and liquidated like lice. REBOOT!”
- Tatiana Richards:
“Once upon a time, I wanted to be a journalist. Then, I got a job as a reporter: few holidays, stressed newsroom, a front row seat to other people’s misery. And the pay! The (in)famously meager restitution! So I changed things–my job, my career, my address. I moved from Alabama to Los Angeles and worked as an editorial assistant at a publishing company. It was a great environment, but it wasn’t work that I enjoyed. So when I was laid off in a round of cuts, I was honestly relieved. I spent three blissful months soaking up Southern California sun, traveling and writing fiction. Just as my severance pay was running out, I stumbled into a great opportunity as an associate editor at a city magazine that happened to be owned by a chamber of commerce. I’ve been able to get experience in editorial and advertising; now, I do a blend of both managing social media for the magazine and the chamber, and I love it. But while I’m good at managing my company’s brands, Tatiana Richards, Inc. is a mess! I need help packaging myself as a PR pro–I need a career reboot!”
Now it’s up to you to select the winner. Show support for our final five “rebooters” and vote for the person you feel is most deserving.
Voting will be open on our Facebook Fan page until March 30th (one vote per person please). Click here and vote!