Reentering the Job Market

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Stand out in the job market.

lisa treamer stabilizer

After being out of the job market for over a year, I realized I needed to redefine my value as an employee. The Sweet Spot Effect helped me do exactly that.

STA Profile

Lisa T.

Reentering the Retail Industry,
Stabilizer

I always knew I loved retail. What I didn't know is that I was a Stabilizer, and how to use that fact to reposition my reentry into the job market!

The Problem

  • Lisa T. left work for a year to care for her aging mother after 15 years in retail management.
  • When she was ready to go back to work, employers were telling her she was overqualified.
  • Her job experience had been limited to in-store sales and management positions
  • Lisa felt she needed to rebrand herself, but wasn’t sure how.

How the Sweet Spot Helped

  • Lisa took the Sweet Spot Survey and discovered she was a Stabilizer.
  • As a result, she was able to define her value to an employer beyond her job experience.
  • Lisa gained confidence in articulating her value on paper and in person.
  • Lisa was able to rebrand herself and land a new position that was a career advancement.

Lisa’s Dilemma

After 15 years in retail, Lisa resigned from her job to care for her aging mother. She didn’t know how long she would be away from work, but it ended up being just over a year.

When she decided it was time for her to return to work, she began to update her resume and make calls. But Lisa wasn’t naive about the challenge that lay before her. All of her adult and professional life, she’d worked in retail at the store level. She started off as a sales associate, worked at three locations, and eventually became a store manager.

However, Lisa was returning to work in January, just after one of the slowest holidays for retail on record. In fact, many companies weren't hiring and many others were actually beginning layoffs.

So the only real job experience she had was in an industry that was tightening its wallet at the time. She called friends in the industry, but very few were hiring. She was getting feedback that she was overqualified, and from the interviews she did get, she received no call backs.

Lisa’s Goal

As weeks of job searching turned into months, stress and worry began to set in. Lisa began to consider other industries to look for work, but she didn’t really know where to start. She began applying in other areas, but she felt like she was shooting in the dark with no direction.

She decided she would do whatever it took to land any job that would pay her at least $40,000 per year in the next two months.

The Solution

Lisa always liked retail, and that was all she knew – at least that’s all she thought she knew. But something changed drastically for her after a conversation with a friend. While explaining her situation, Lisa’s friend frankly asked her, “Well what’s your Sweet Spot?”

Lisa thought about it for a moment. “Retail I guess. That’s all I’ve really ever done, and I do like it.”

What her friend said next took Lisa by surprise. “I’m not asking what type of job you like. I mean what type of work gets you in your zone? What type of work actually makes you feel like you’re doing something fulfilling?”

I’m not asking what type of job you like. I mean what type of work gets you in your zone?

Lisa didn’t know how to respond. She’d honestly never even thought about that. She knew she didn’t want a job she hated (although at this point, she’d be willing to accept almost anything), but she’d never thought of a job as something to offer her anything of importance other than the ability to pay her bills.

Her friend pulled out her phone and sent her a link to the Sweet Spot Survey. She explained to Lisa that when she was applying for work, an employer had her take the 10 minute survey and it changed her entire outlook on work and what type of work she should be doing.

Lisa was intrigued. She took the survey later that night, and found out she was a Stabilizer.

Once she read the survey results that explained what that means, it was like a light bulb turned on. The survey was right on point. She was indeed a Stabilizer.  She always enjoyed being the one that kept the ship afloat - managing the data entry for sales and projections for the store, checking every detail in the store’s appearance and cleanliness, and even training new employees - a task that many managers found monotonous and draining. But Lisa loved all of it. In fact, she thrived on it.

The survey allowed Lisa to understand herself better as a worker, and to truly articulate her value as an employee. Before she knew her Sweet Spot, Lisa had sunken to a place of feeling outdated, under-appreciated, and irrelevant in the industry she loved. But once she knew her Sweet Spot - that she was a Stabilizer - she felt energized and confident about the job search that lay ahead of her. She even felt proud of who she was and what she knew she could uniquely contribute to any organization fortunate enough to have her on board. And best of all, she now knew how to communicate it.

So Lisa decided to give the retail industry another go at it before abandoning ship for anyone that would take her. She got some quotes from a few former bosses and co-workers about her abilities on the job, and then framed those into a pitch for herself as someone who thrived on keeping the ship afloat, someone who takes ownership in the day to day running smoothly and efficiently, and who finds variety where others only see boring monotony. She was the one that an employer can count on to take care of the most important details without having to be micromanaged, and who can train others to do the same.

She reworked her resume and job accomplishments to match her newfound brand for herself and made sure it told the story. She then started making calls and sending out resumes, including to a recruiter that worked with a lot of retail stores.

Lisa got a call back from a recruiter within a week of sending her resume. Long story short, the recruiter said it had been a long time since we saw someone so confident in who they were and the value they could bring.

Even though Lisa had no former experience as a trainer, the recruiter felt she was a fit for a newly opened trainer position with a retailer. Within 2 weeks Lisa had interviewed and was offered the position. She was able to stay in the industry she loved, and do work that really mattered to her, while helping others to do the same…. And on top of that, her new position was a career advancement at better pay!

Wow. I can’t believe the difference that 10 minute Sweet Spot survey has made in my life. I honestly don’t know what I’d be doing now if I hadn’t taken it. It made all the difference!

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So What's Next?

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