Making the Leap: Dana Bertermann’s Career Change Story

It’s a common feeling: you know in your gut that you’re ready for a career change, but you’re afraid to take the leap. Dana Bertermann was comfortable in her job, but she was ready for a new challenge. She used a strong network to calm her fears, and when she saw a posting for a job she really wanted, she went for it!

Here’s Dana’s job search success story.

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

As Human Resources Business Partner at Shamrock Foods, I provide HR support for a dedicated group of food distribution employees in NE Portland.

How long did it take you to find this job?

I’d been casually searching for a few months, but hadn’t planned to “officially” start my search quite yet.  I saw this intriguing job with a great company before all my job search preparations were complete, but I decided to apply anyway!  I was delighted when it led to an interview, and then a job offer.

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

I spotted my job on LinkedIn.  My favorite resources were the Mac’s List Job Hackers group, as well as JobJenny’s Weekend Resume Makeover and Cover Letter Crash Course.  It was refreshing to receive very down-to-earth, practical advice, and I was thankful for a supportive community that helped me feel less alone in the crazy process of job hunting.

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

I’d been pretty comfortable in the office manager role I’d held for more than ten years, so it was a little unsettling to think of leaving for a brand new experience in Human Resources.  But I made extra efforts to build relationships with folks in the HR field, and hearing about their experiences confirmed that this was the right direction for me.

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When the prospect of a major career change felt overwhelming, I leaned on friends who’d been through similar transitions – they gave me the pep talks and the prep help I needed to calm my nerves and enter the interview process poised and ready.

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

Every step of the recruiting process gives subtle cues about a company’s culture.  If something doesn’t resonate, pause and ask yourself why.  When you arrive at the job offer (and you will reach that step!) and know that you’ve authentic throughout the process, that’s a good indicator that this job is a great fit for you.

Why do you love your job?

I’m honored to work for a company that values Human Resources professionals as strategic partners in the business, and truly treats its employees like family.