We caught up with Cassie to dive a little deeper into her relaunch story and the advice she has for other relaunchers...
How did you update your skills in preparation for your relaunch?
To increase my career options, I sought out an MBA program that was an approved Certificated Financial Planner [CFP(R)] education program
For the next 20 months, I spent 50-60 hours a week on school work while balancing my family responsibilities. This was in the midst of COVID shutdowns when my kids were learning from home, and my husband was tasked with leading the efforts for COVID-positive cadets. It was a stressful time but it set me up for a successful career reentry.
After graduating from the MBA program in January 2022, I earnestly started my job search. I filled out many applications and tossed my resume around like confetti. The last time I was looking for a job, I just walked into an office, filled out an application, sat in on a couple of interviews and was hired. I had no idea about tailoring resumes or customizing cover letters. Consequently, all my efforts resulted in no promising job leads.
It wasn’t until a trusted friend encouraged me to approach my job search differently that my mindset shifted. I took a LinkedIn class and updated my profile to include my career break. I didn’t want to hide the fact that I spent several years parenting my children and in volunteer roles that really enriched my skills and network.
How did you decide where you wanted to work when you relaunched?
- I got intentional with networking and targeted my job search efforts towards a company whose mission and culture were important to me. I had been following John Deere for many years.
- My grandfather was a tobacco farmer turned construction professional that only used John Deere equipment, and he was an avid lifelong fan of the brand.
What resources did you use to help you relaunch?
I learned about a networking event where members of the military community could network with employer representatives of John Deere. I prepared for the event by doing a lot of research about the company and opportunities that were available. The day of the event, we were in “the homeless phase” of a PCS (Permanent Change of Station) where we stayed at a hotel and with family until we got the keys to our next house at MacDill AFB, Florida.
Despite the less than ideal office surroundings, the virtual networking event was a success and I was able to chat with people at John Deere. I let them know that I was so interested in working for the company that I was willing to learn whatever was needed to do a job and that I would take just about any role available in order to get my foot in the door. That willingness was appreciated, and led to an offer to work in a brand-new military outreach role at John Deere. I relaunched my career on July 13, 2022