How Kerriann Bounced Back from a Dead-End Job

When Kerriann came to Bossed Up Bootcamp, she was facing a fairly depressing future: her organization was in the process of being dissolved, and her position (and all the programs she’d been working on) would soon disappear.

Until that fateful day, however, Kerriann had to keep plugging away, demoted to a grants program officer at a flailing think tank that left her feeling hamstrung and helpless.

She and her colleague, Joanne, both joined us at Bootcamp back in February, and I caught up with Kerriann to see how things have been going since then.

Emilie: I’m so excited to catch up with you, Kerriann! How have things been since Bootcamp, boss?

Kerriann: Pretty good, aside from the few months of wallowing in despair at my old job, hah!

E: Oh dear. I’m so sorry to hear about your organization folding. That must have been so demoralizing. How did you bounce back?

K: My colleague and I came to Bossed Up Bootcamp together as a part of our coping strategy and to figure out what was next for us. What I realized then is that I was committed to staying in this field, working on issues relating to youth health and development , preferably with even more of a hands-on role conducting original academic research. Gaining that clarity really helped to direct my next steps.

E: That’s great. What were those next steps?

K: I knew I needed to find a new job, so I polished up my resume, added my stellar new professional headshot from Bootcamp to my updated LinkedIn profile (which got me a whole new flurry of attention), and set off to have as many informational interviews and networking meetings as I could to explore what options were out there.

All summer long as things were winding down at my old job, I made time to have about four informational interviews a week and a least one coffee meeting each week to really get myself out there and see what was happening in the industry. I even travelled to New York for some of these coffee dates and lunches. I figured why not expand my playing field if I have the chance?

E: Wow – that’s awesome, Kerriann! I’m a big believer in the power of one-on-one meetings.

K: They really paid off, too! After I made the time to invest in myself and my future at Bootcamp, I realized I could make the time each week to advocate for myself in that same way. After proclaiming my goals out loud and with such a community of accountability, I was more motivated than ever to follow through.

E: That’s fantastic!

K: I’m thrilled to report that just two weeks ago I received a formal offer for my ideal position, at an organization I know is going to be a great fit and a launching pad for where I want to go next with my career and life. I couldn’t be more excited!

E: Congratulations! That’s amazing, Kerriann!

K: I’m so grateful. I was even able to successfully negotiate a higher starting salary by remembering how to be assertive – while not aggressive – and apply the lessons I learned about negotiation at Bootcamp!

E: Seriously – you rock, Kerriann! I’m so proud of you, boss!

K: Thank you! And thanks to the whole Bossed Up team for creating such a powerful space where it’s safe to be vulnerable and ambitious at the same time. I’ve come back to this community time and again – and it’s truly a place where I feel lifted up.


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