Dead Ends to Dream Job: Becca McCulloch’s Story

Everyone hits dead ends in a job search. Becca knew her skill set, and had a strong sense of what kind of role she was looking for. She even turned down a job offer after realizing it wasn’t the right fit.

Despite her self knowledge, she also hit dead ends and faced disappointment. In the end, she never would have guessed she’d land in the role she has now, and be loving it! But she was diligent, and open-minded, and this approach led her to success. Here’s Becca’s story. 

What do you do for a career? Who do you work for?

I am the Membership Coordinator at the Portland Business Alliance; the regional Chamber of Commerce, as well as being the assistant to the Chief Operating Officer. I wear many hats, including events assistant; in my role, I head a few of the committees within the Alliance, draw and negotiate trades with area businesses, and even get to utilize  my OLCC license to pour wine at our evening networking events. 🙂

How long did it take you to find this job?

Upon finding this particular job on Mac’s List, the process was very quick.  But the entire job searching process was a months-long, hair-pulling, should-I/shouldn’t-I, sleepless-nights endeavour.

How did you find your job? What resources did you use? What tool or tactic helped the most?

Knowing that things like Craigslist tend to lead to dead ends, I tried to mostly go with referrals from friends, which included applying for, interviewing for, being offered, accepting, and then backing out of a job in Minnesota when I realized I could not stand the thought of NOT living in Portland.

I had checked out Mac’s List in past job search efforts but had never gone forward with applying for positions. This time, I couldn’t wait to check my inbox each Tuesday, knowing that that special gem might just be a click away.

When the position at the Portland Business Alliance came through, my experience and skill set matched well enough that I applied. Within a few hours I had an interview set for the next Monday. I met my current boss, and was given the offer the next day.  A completely rewarding 4-day process!

What was the most difficult part of your job search? How did you overcome this challenge?

The most difficult part of any job search, I think, is hitting dead ends. Not receiving a response from an application you have submitted can feel defeating; worse is interviewing somewhere you feel like you’d be perfect, only to not be offered the position.

There is a lot of picking yourself back up, and being confident in the process – and hopefully learning from it along the way.

What is the single best piece of advice you would offer other job-seekers?

Definitely go with your gut, but also be open minded. If someone had told me I would not only be working full time as the “membership coordinator” for the Chamber of Commerce, but loving my job as well, I would not have believed them. Sometimes you have to take chances, and I am proof that can land you in an awesome position.

Why do you love your job?

I get to travel all over the city for our various networking events (150+ per year) , I go to venues and businesses which I would never otherwise have cause to go to – from attorney and architecture firms, to theaters and golf courses, and everything in between. I love meeting all of our great members, and learning more about this wonderful city we live in.  Plus, my coworkers are fabulous, and they make me laugh every single day.