This post features an interview with the inspiring Michelle, a seasoned program manager for some of the Bay Area’s top companies in tech startups and Fortune 500s. After 15 years of being a lead program manager, getting unexpectedly laid off in June 2019, she was confronted with the decision of pursuing what she had experience in versus pursuing what she really loved. Her inspiring and unexpected transition will leave you feeling optimistic for the future, knowing that with support, strategy, and clarity, career transitions are possible! You can watch Michelle’s testimonial below as well as read the rest of this blog post for the Cliff’s Notes version of her story.

How to Make a Career Pivot and Get Hired In a New Industry

Updating Job Search Materials After an Unexpected Layoff

After her unexpected layoff, Michelle initially started searching for another program management position. She knew she had to polish her marketing materials (resume and LinkedIn profile) as well as brush up on her networking and interviewing chops. It had been many years since she found herself out of a job, so she found herself applying but not getting very many interviews in such a saturated market. I see this being the case with many seasoned corporate professionals facing an unexpected job loss. They have years and even decades of experience, meaning the last time they searched for a job, things were completely different. They often feel totally lost as to where to start because of all the changes to the job search landscape, or just don’t know all of the current best practices. This is why investing in support is such a game-changer for those jumping back into the job search ring years and years later.


Investing in Job Search Support to Land a Dream Job and Get Hired Quickly

This hurdle is what led Michelle to seek help from me, as she had been watching my YouTube videos and soaking up all the free job searching tips I share on there weekly. (Click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel!) She knew she needed more support beyond my weekly videos, and joined my Accelerator program. As she dug into the program and worked through the curriculum, she started to build the foundations of her job search. But while diving deeper during our weekly coaching calls, Michelle realized she wasn’t that excited about program management anymore… nor the industries she came from. But whenever she spoke about education, she lit up.

Pro tip: Pay attention to what lights you up!

Leveraging Connections to Land a Job Through Networking

During her job search, she started to research education on the side, paying attention to what got her excited. She ended up serendipitously tutoring a child, which led to her tutoring more and more children… and finding it far more enjoyable than what she’d ever done in program management. As we met in our coaching calls, she kept feeling this itch towards education but was afraid to leave the career she spent so long building. Despite her fear, she kept an open mind and decided to just see what would happen if she pursued the education route.

With this new path in mind, we re-vamped her narrative using the same job search foundation tools, this time aligning her materials and trajectory to teaching positions. She maintained a volunteer position at her daughter’s school, continued to network, and introduced herself to the schools in her area. Despite not having any formal teaching experience or certifications, she was landing interviews!


To her surprise, she received two offers from two different schools! One offer was for a teaching position, and the other offer was even more exciting. The other school said, “Instead of a teacher… we’d love for you to be the head project manager for all our events and marketing initiatives.” She ended up accepting this role and with the help of the program’s negotiation scripts and tools, negotiated her salary to the top end of their range.

Even though Michelle didn’t have all the required experience for the role she accepted, her curiosity and open-minded actions allowed her to land a new position in a field she is genuinely passionate about. This position wasn’t even one that she knew existed… but happens to be a perfect balance of what she knew and what she wanted! Are you interested in learning more about the in-the-trenches with you life coaching + job search consulting Accelerator program? See if it’s a fit for you by learning more here.

how to make a career pivot and get hired in a new industry




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