Jumping Out of Your Comfort Zone: Kelly Anderson’s Job Search Success Story

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Are you ready for a career change, but feeling fearful of embarking into a new industry, or new work style that puts you outside of your comfort zone? Kelly Anderson faced this same challenge in her job search. Kelly decided to leave a job that she had put a ton of energy and focus into, in order to find a new position that was a better fit. Along the way she discovered how to trust her inner voice, frame her biggest accomplishments, and follow her instincts. Read Kelly’s story to hear what led her to a leadership position with a local medical practice.

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

I am the Director of Human Resources for Rebound Orthopedics and Neurosurgery, a medical practice of 35 physicians and 375 employees.

How long did it take you to find this job?

From the time I dipped my toe in the water and started to look, it took about four months.

My hiring process with Rebound lasted three months and involved seven different conversations. I consulted during this time and embraced the slow and steady pace. I had been in my previous position for 15+ years and was focused on finding the right fit over the quick fit; I appreciated that they were in a position to take their time too.

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

Jenny Foss of Job Jenny was a fabulous resource. I had been approached by recruiters over the years, but I hadn’t proactively applied for a job in a long time and my resume reflected it. Her expert eye modernized my resume and helped frame my accomplishments in a way that I may have downplayed. Though I am often the go-to person for writing resumes for others, I found it was more difficult to craft my own.

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I listened to Mac’s Find Your Dream Job podcast and found the stories people shared to be helpful and relatable. The range of ages, fields, and backgrounds of guests means that there will absolutely be a story that resonates with you and there will be something you can takeaway.

I also felt lucky have to have a supportive spouse and great friends who I bounced things off of during my search and this can’t be understated as a resource. My husband Scott was my biggest cheerleader and encouraged me to leap into the unknown. He has always prioritized my career along with his and works hard to ensure our family roles and the emotional labor within it are equitably shared. This helped in my search more than anything else.

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

I had been in my previous job a long time and held leadership responsibility in three distinct areas: human resources, communications, and fundraising. I had to take some time to figure out which leadership area I wanted to pursue and how to focus my resume on the role I wanted next instead of the many areas of responsibility I have held.

The hardest part for me began before my search–it was deciding to leave a job that I had put my heart and soul into and choosing to leave it and take some time off before I knew what was next. I had to step out of my comfort zone and leap, but it was the right call. Our daughter was headed off to college across the country and I knew I’d never regret having time with her before she left. I was also experiencing burnout as I was juggling three roles and wanted to recharge before picking my next opportunity so that I could give my very best.

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

I believe in doing your research and then trusting your instincts. I chose not to accept some positions and waited until I found the right fit. Trust that inner voice, it is your wisdom talking.

Why do you love your job?

There is a strong positive culture at Rebound and I get to build on it to create a great workplace for every employee. I have the opportunity to work on diversity, equity, and inclusion and to enhance how we manage change. I have the good fortune to work with a smart and collaborative leadership team and to lead a team of human resource pros and that I value and respect.