How Retail and A Giant Pumpkin Paved My Return
People send us their return-to-work stories on a regular basis and we read each and every one. We have always been, and continue to be inspired by the resourcefulness, determination, and thoughtfulness demonstrated by relaunchers in their quest to return to work. We wanted to share a story we found particularly compelling, as the author, businesswoman and comedian Terry Sand, has graciously given us permission to feature her as a guest blogger.
How Retail and a Giant Pumpkin Paved My Way Back to Work: Success via Squash...Who Knew?
Just a few years ago I had to take a break from my speaking career to survive cancer and raise the most beautiful girl in the world. I returned to work by getting my fanny out of the house and into working retail at the women's clothing store Coldwater Creek (not exactly a direct application of my Masters Degree in Theater and Modern Dance from UCLA). It was the day to day connections with people that provided the fuel to power my professional renaissance.
Currently, I am an Executive Lifestyle Director at Moldaw Family Residences. The Moldaw is an senior "non-retirement" community and considered a pioneer in the "aging industry" with a multi-generational approach built into an extended neighborhood campus. Here our Residents volunteer in our onsite preschool, work on political campaigns, attend programs with high school students, are learning to work the cameras for our local talk show that just happens to be hosted by me, and so much more.
Here's how it happened: I left "the Creek" to accept a low level position with the Classic Residence by Hyatt Retirement Community as an Activity Coordinator. Next, I moved into management at the Hyatt by imagining an activity where our community would grow a giant pumpkin in our beautifully landscaped courtyard.
Three-hundred and sixty-two pounds of vegetable later, our competitive pumpkin was entered into the locally famous Half Moon Bay Great Pumpkin Weigh Off contest in Northern California. There I finagled press coverage of our Residents attending the competition at 6:00 am to support their "baby." This created great publicity for our community, and within a few weeks sales soared and I was promoted to management at the Hyatt. Several months later I was recruited to the Moldaw at a much higher salary and executive level as Lifestyle Director.
Yes, I have to say it, I moved my career, health, and life forward because of a squash. With over twenty-five years experience as a comedian/motivational speaker, I have lived volumes of lessons learned, hope gathered, and life explored with great joy and laughter.
You can view a small sample of my motivational experience at www.humortech.com
Thank you Terry for sharing this amazing story with us.