HIRED LEARNING: Mona Mikhail – Cast a Wider Net
By Sonny Palko
Casting a wider net is what worked for financial professional and PSGCNJ member, Mona Mikhail. While initially focused primarily on opportunities in the financial industry, Mona broadened her employment endeavors and, after 14 months in transition, successfully landed a full-time position with an IT management consulting firm. Mona has been working with the Pinnacle Consulting Group since November 2012 and credits much of her landing success to networking, taking career development classes, and to her involvement with the PSGCNJ.
Mona explained that while not her favorite thing to do, she felt that networking and letting others know of her unemployed status was very important. Her landing resulted from a conversation she had with a high school friend that she had not seen in over 30 years. This friend reviewed Mona’s resume and recognized that the her finance and project management experience combined with her recently earned RVCC Project Management Professional (PMP) certification, would be a good match for a position at his company.
When asked how her involvement with PSGCNJ may have played a part in her employment success, Mona said, “When I mentioned during one of my interviews that I volunteered for the PSGCNJ group, I got a great positive reaction (because) I was keeping busy with class training and I gave back through my volunteering efforts.” She also felt that “working” for PSGCNJ while in transition gave her tangible credibility and accountability when answering the interview question, “What have you been doing over the past year?”
Looking back at her own job-search history, Mona admits that, “limiting yourself to a specific industry may actually hinder your search.” Her advice to job-seekers: “Keep an open mind (and) don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.”