A Writer at Heart: Monica Lucas’ Job Search Success Story

We all have a network; are you using yours to the fullest? Networking isn’t merely attending meet-ups or making connections on LinkedIn. On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Monica Lucas shares how to use collaborations with others to build an authentic network of people who want to help you. Monica also has some great advice on how to use your talents and experience to boost your self-confidence in an interview. Learn more about Monica’s career history below in this installment of our Success Stories series. 



Find Your Dream Job, Bonus Episode 76:

A Writer at Heart: Monica Lucas’ Job Search Success Story

Airdate: May 6, 2024

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life.

I’m your host, Mac Prichard. I’m also the founder of Mac’s List. It’s a job board in the Pacific Northwest that helps you find a fulfilling career.

One of the best ways to get good at job hunting is to talk to people who do it well.

That’s why once a month, I interview a Mac’s List reader who found a job they love.

Our guest today is Monica Lucas. She’s the content strategy manager at Lithia & Driveway.

It’s an automotive group with more than 400 dealerships across the US, Canada, and the UK.

Monica Lucas believes in the power of collaboration.

In a story you can find on the Mac’s List website, she says collaborating with others has made her more creative at work and helped her find jobs.

Why do you love your job, Monica?

Monica Lucas:

I’m one of those silly people that says I’ve never worked a day in my life because I love what I do. I’m a writer at heart, and I get to write every day, and tell brands stories, and do what I love, and collaborate with other people, as you mentioned earlier, and I am just truly blessed to have a career that has brought me such joy and fulfillment.

Mac Prichard:

How did you find your job at Lithia & Driveway?

Monica Lucas:

This is a fun story for me. I was working at Adidas as a contractor during the pandemic, and the work was starting to slow down, and I have a friend who had actually helped me get the job at Adidas, who had been laid off, and she was looking for a job, and she found out about this job at Driveway, which was a new startup, and she called me and asked me if I’d be interested in it because she had already found a job since she got laid off before I did, and then, I remember, I got laid off of my role on November 13th, which was Friday the 13th, and I got the offer for Driveway on Wednesday the 18th. So, it was just one of those miracle moments where I was looking and it just happened to come about.

I interviewed for the role, and it was a perfect fit for what I do. I remember Driveway was a startup, and they had four pages on their website, and when I was being interviewed, I remember saying to them, “You have four pages on your website. People aren’t going to trust you. They’re not going to want to buy a car from you.”

I was like, “Let me come in and build content and make this website something people will trust and want to use.” And that’s exactly what I got to do, and it was such a joy to take Driveway from this tiny little website to a full-functioning website.

When I switched over to the Lithia side, which is the parent company of Driveway, we were selling around a thousand cars a month. So, I feel like I was a part of their success in bringing this online format to life.

Mac Prichard:

So, that’s a quick turnaround, and it’s tough to get laid off, especially on Friday the 13th.

Monica Lucas:


Mac Prichard:

To land a job five days later, how did that happen? Was this something that was in the pipeline for a while, or did Driveway just make quick decisions?

Monica Lucas:

Well, yes, I had been interviewing. I could tell that the work was slowing down with Adidas, that with the pandemic and people getting laid off, I was definitely nervous and was interviewing. I had already gone through two of the three interviews, I think, that I had to do at Driveway. So, I had already started interviewing when I was laid off that Friday, the 13th. It was in the works for sure.

Mac Prichard:

You mentioned hearing about the position at Driveway from your friend. What made the biggest difference in getting the job there? Was it the referral from your friend or other factors?

Monica Lucas:

Well, she referred me to a recruiter; he was not within the Lithia system. He was an outside recruiter, and he was the one looking for people, and he was so supportive and helpful and helped me manage the whole system, and he was just a joy to work with. To have someone supporting me and speaking up for me was fantastic, and it was super helpful.

Mac Prichard:

What is your best advice for how to work with a recruiter, Monica? If somebody hasn’t had that experience before, what tips would you have for them?

Monica Lucas:

That’s a great question.

I think it’s keeping the communication fluid and professional, and even if you’re working with them and you don’t get the job, write them a thank you note. Thank you notes are another one of my big tips. It’s obviously easy for me because I’m a writer, and I can pour my heart into any written communication, but if you think they’re silly and a waste of time, they’re not.

Take the time to thank them, “The job didn’t work out, but thank you for supporting me, thank you for encouraging me, thank you for everything that you did to help me. I’m disappointed not to get this role, but I know that there’s another one out there.” Something like that, and then they’re going to remember you the next time a similar role comes up, and they’ll reach out to you.

I definitely feel like keeping the communication lines open, being polite, and writing a kind thank you note will get you really far in life. It sounds silly and old-fashioned, and not a true letter, but an email. Write an email. Put your heart into it and thank them for supporting you even though it didn’t work out.

Mac Prichard:

Many of us will have careers that will last decades. How do you recommend staying in touch with a recruiter after you get a position and you’re moving on? What have you seen work in your career?

Monica Lucas:

I’m a huge proponent of LinkedIn. Stay in touch with them over LinkedIn, shoot them a note even when you’re not in the job search, “Hey, I saw something and thought of you. I hope that you’re doing well.” And keep in touch with your network all the time, even just little silly notes here or there, or if you saw the team that they love win, shoot them a note, “Hey, good for you! I’m glad your team won.”

Just little ways of keeping in touch with people and staying on their radar is very important, and it’s joyful for you. Keeping connections and staying connected brings joy in my life, so I would assume it brings joy in everyone’s life as well.

Mac Prichard:

LinkedIn can be a vast place. Is there a strategy you use, Monica, when you’re reaching out to people during your job search and your career to stay in touch?

Monica Lucas:

For sure. Well, actually, something that I recently realzied – last year, I decided that I was going to post once a week on LinkedIn about myself and my life and my daughter, and kind of tell stories about my career and give advice. You know, a lot of people had been laid off last year, and I wanted to put some joy out on LinkedIn, and as I did that, I was learning who my allies were. The people that would write comments and like my stories.

That made me realize that I do have people in my corner that maybe I haven’t talked to in a while, and it helped me realize who’s in my corner and who I can count on, and writing comments back to their comments and keeping in touch with them and writing them little notes here and there is what LinkedIn is about.

It’s about sharing our stories, and finding jobs together, and supporting our networks, and I think it really did teach me a lot about myself and who’s there supporting me. I definitely recommend that people post about how they’re feeling, and not just in the negative, but in the positive as well. I think that could be helpful.

Mac Prichard:

Any other tips for people who’d like to post regularly on LinkedIn, to support both their career and their job searches, who might not be a professional writer and might worry about what to say and how to say it?

Monica Lucas:

You know, I read somewhere that only 1% of people on LinkedIn post, so people clearly are scared or uncomfortable sharing themselves, but you don’t have to be.

It’s a great way to stay connected, and I hate to say it, but you can go on Chat GPT and get some good thought starters. As a writer, I don’t lean into it much because it doesn’t feel authentic and real to me, but it is a wonderful place to start getting ideas, so you can see how they string together an idea, and then you can take it on your own and flesh it out and post and use pictures.

I’ve noticed that selfies help, so don’t be scared to show people who you are, and show them your face and yourself, and be yourself on the platform because it will help you, like me, it will help you find out who’s in your corner, and it might lead to a job, you just never know.

Mac Prichard:

In your article for us on the Mac’s List website, you talked about the power of collaboration and the difference that it’s made both in your creativity at work and in your career, especially in getting the jobs you’ve found.

Tell us more about that. Why is collaboration so important when you’re looking for work?

Monica Lucas:

Collaboration is so important because when you’ve collaborated with people that you work with, you can build your network, and that will help you with your job search.

I have so many colleagues, as a writer, I have a lot of designer friends that I’ve worked closely with, and we’ve done beautiful work together, and they’re all part of my network. Even when I go to a meeting, and I meet somebody new, I send them a LinkedIn invite. You have to build your network and lean into that network when you’re looking for a role.

It’s just vital to have a network these days. It’s not like it used to be, twenty or thirty years ago, where you could just shoot off a resume into the US Postal Service and hope somebody gets it. Finding a job these days is much more challenging, and the best way that I’ve found is leaning into the network that I’ve built of people who I’ve collaborated with and share great work with.

Mac Prichard:

What was the biggest obstacle you faced in getting your job at Lithia and Driveway, and how did you overcome it?

Monica Lucas:

I think for me, having the confidence to go out and get a new job. I have a hard time speaking up for myself sometimes, and when you’re interviewing, you have to speak up for yourself.

I was so nervous going into that interview, but when I realized that they needed me, it flipped a switch for me. I was like, “You know what? I really have to push for this job because they need me. They need great content, and that’s what’s going to help them succeed.”

Knowing that made me more confident and comfortable, and I think it helped me win the job, too, because in my thank you note, I said to them, “I see so much opportunity here, and I just can’t wait to dive in and help you build out this site and make this a success.”

And I think that’s probably what anybody who’s looking for someone wants to hear. That you’re in it for them, and you can help them build and grow and make money and do great things. So, finding that confidence within myself and belief in myself that I could do great work for them and I could help them build a brand voice, and I think that was really how I overcame it.

I just pushed through and, knowing that I could do it, and I did it, and so, I’m proud of myself, and I’m proud of that work, and it’s a great site, and if you do need a car, you need to go to Driveway.com. Or if you’re selling a car.

Mac Prichard:


Finally, what’s your number one job-hunting tip, Monica?

Monica Lucas:

My number one tip is to lean into your network. Like I said, collaboration is key, it is king.

You need to find out who’s in your corner and look at the job postings at the places that they’re working, and ask for a referral, and just work that network. There’s a great job out there for you, and you need to find it, but you also need help from other people sometimes.

Don’t be scared to ask for help, and you can do it.

Mac Prichard:

Well, thank you for sharing your story, Monica.

To learn more about Monica Lucas’s job search, visit macslist.org/stories

And check out the Mac’s List website for dozens of other success stories.

On the second Friday of every month, we add a new interview with a Mac’s List reader who has found a dream job.  Go to macslist.org/stories.

In the meantime, thank you for listening to today’s bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job.

This show is produced by Mac’s List.

Susan Thornton-Hough schedules our guests and writes our newsletter. Lisa Kislingbury Anderson manages our social media.

Our sound engineer and editor is Matt Fiorillo. Dawn Mole creates our transcripts. And our music is by Freddy Trujillo.

This is Mac Prichard. See you next week.