"I was recruited out of business school by an investment bank on Wall Street where I spent ten years, primarily advising real estate companies on raising capital and mergers and acquisitions. After ten years I decided that it was time for a change and quickly found myself moving into industry - joining the senior management team of a real estate company - in southern California.
I left that company within three and a half years feeling that my life had not kept pace with my work transition and that I needed to find balance and form roots. Initially, I explored moving back to New York and even worked in private equity there briefly but it didn't feel like the right move. In 2009, I left that role and returned to California in the midst of the global financial crisis - with no prospects for work. I spent the balance of the year managing family issues, committing to myself to find the right position in 2010.
By this time I had a house, a husband and a dog in southern California and no intention of moving away. Because I was a transplant from the East Coast, I knew that building a network in Southern California was critical. I was able to get some consulting work while I pursued my "relaunch" and got involved with the Southern California chapter of 85 Broads and the Yale Club of Orange County. During this time I attended the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference in Southern California and had some conversations with the employer sponsors there.
I continued to try to network, meet with recruiters, read industry journals and track headlines from regional business journals. Last May, I saw the press release announcing Sun Healthcare Group's plan to separate its real estate from its operations and form a publicly-traded REIT. I listened to the company's conference call with the investor community explaining the transaction, and realized that I knew several of the equity research analysts covering the company. Within two emails I had the scoop on the CEO and the company and I cold-called the CEO. Of course, there was one degree of separation so it wasn't that difficult a call to make but still....today I am the Chief Investment Officer of Sabra Health Care REIT, a publicly traded health care REIT whose primary tenant is Sun Healthcare Group.
The moral of the story is to seize every opportunity and use your network. Eventually you will be, like I was, in the right place at the right time."
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