Transitioning to a New Industry Mid-Career: Tami Long’s Job Search Story

When unexpected changes hit you mid-career, it can be scary and overwhelming to consider your next step. While it’s tempting to panic and apply everywhere, that can be a mistake.

Tami Long went through a cycle of over-applying but quickly found focus in her job search, started working with a recruiter, and landed a new director-level job, and entered a different industry, after 20 years with the same company. Here’s her story.

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

I was in the magazine publishing business for 33 years. My last position was with Emmis Communications, and I was there for 20 years. As Newsstand Director, my responsibilities included negotiating store-level display space with the retailers, confirming store distribution with the wholesalers, following up with the printer to ensure the production schedule is on time, reviewing sales data with the national distributor to receive payment — and this was all recapped weekly in a report to each magazine publisher and to corporate. I was a one-person department; If I did not do it, then it did not get done. Emmis Communications decided to sell all the magazines last year. I stayed on until they were sold, and then decided it was time for a change.

I now work for Nash Produce as Director of Marketing and Business Development.

How long did it take you to find this job?

My last day with Emmis Communications was Feb. 26 and I started with Nash Produce on Aug. 14, so around 6 months. Though I looked for opportunities every day, I was also taking care of a sick relative during this time.

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

I used LinkedIn, Ladders, Ivy Exec, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor, Zip Recruiter, and Indeed. Each site generated interviews, and a couple of job offers that didn’t pan out. A recruiter found me on Indeed. He told me that he was about to give up, because the Indeed responses he was receiving did not match the job description. Then my resume popped up, and history was made.

Figuring out LinkedIn was huge! It took me a while, but the feedback I was just starting to receive on posts and messaging were starting to pay off. LinkedIn is the only paid site that I would recommend.

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

In the beginning, I had too broad a search, and the emails were overwhelming! I recommend trying to pinpoint what you are looking for or your inbox will explode!

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

Don’t panic but watch your money! This may mean taking part-time work until you find the right position. Do not take a position if you do not feel comfortable with it! I had one offer that sounded good to begin with, but it progressed to a point that I had to walk away from it.

If you want to work for a specific company, then you have to push for it. Try to set up a meeting with a recruiter or HR. Take them for coffee or lunch. Get in front of them.

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Why do you love your job?

This job is allowing to use my creative side. My first assignment is to rebrand the company! Very excited.

Want to learn more, connect with Tami on LinkedIn