In this new blog series, The LGC Diaries, employees will be sharing their LGC experience and how they got started with us. The premier article, penned by Jenene Rutherford who started in March 2021, talks about how the pandemic upended her career, changed her professional journey, and how she found herself with LGC.
How the Pandemic Helped Me Rethink My Career Journey
By Jenene Rutherford
As we close out 2021 and shift into what is next for the coming year, many of us find ourselves reflecting on not only this past year but 2020 as well. The COVID-19 crisis shook us all to our core and we are all in recovery from what has been perhaps, the largest global event we will see in our lives. In the roller coaster that has been the past two years, many have found themselves out of work. I myself lost my job as a regional manager in the education industry in which I had worked for 28 years. For the first time since the age of 14, I was unemployed and unsure where my journey would take me.
After the fog of shock wore off, and I cried a few tears – like many others I asked myself “now what?” Not knowing what I was going to do or how to “not work,” I frantically applied for jobs while simultaneously trying to figure out what my “new normal” should look like. For me, my career was a deeply embedded part of my identity, and losing my job absolutely rocked me.
However, the time had come for me to dig deep and find that fire I knew I still had. Sure, I could go back to what I knew, find a job in the same industry, and stay in my comfort zone, but as I sat on my couch, trying to decide my next steps, I began to realize that this moment was not a crushing blow but an opportunity.
I began to consider my strengths and talents, and quite frankly what of those had been overlooked or taken advantage of over the past (nearly) three decades. I thought about what I was good at, and the overarching theme was “people”. I knew I needed to work in a position that served people. I have always had that “people thing” and I knew that I was ready for a new challenge; so I started thinking outside the box.
What I found was that though we were in a worldwide crisis, there were SO many opportunities. I went on several interviews but walked away discouraged knowing they were not the right fit. I stayed picky but began to worry that my unemployment would run out – and wondered how my curtains would look hung in my car since I would be living there soon. Just as I was about to panic and succumb to the fear, I came across an opportunity with LGC. I interviewed at my local office and left thinking “I can totally do this”. The fear left me and was replaced with a sense of hope and excitement that I had not felt in a long time.
I was excited and completely TERRIFIED to leave an industry I could perform any position at a high level in my sleep to begin an entirely new career. But I jumped. I took the bull by the horns and dove into my new position. Though my head spun for at least the first six weeks – and making a shift has been nothing less than an enormous challenge – I can genuinely say that I have not been happier in a very long time.
From the very beginning LGC was a place of support, professionalism, and above all people. I am finally in a position in which I get up every day excited to go to work, I have the pleasure of working with real people who are professional and utterly amazing, but also in which I feel seen as an individual, challenged, and supported in honing my skills and rewarded for hard work.
In my opinion, LGC is an incredible company led by incredible people and I am excited for what the future holds! The pandemic gave us all a new perspective, it scared the hell out of the collective and led many to new paths; and I for one am SO glad it did! There is a phrase that I live by that suggests, “When nothing is certain, anything is possible.” I am living proof of that, and I would encourage anyone who finds themselves at the edge of the proverbial cliff to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and jump. It could be the best thing you have ever done!
If, like me, you have found yourself in a position to make a change, call me and I myself, or one of my esteemed colleagues can help you find a great position in the hospitality industry! If you are looking for support in finding outstanding employees, we can help with that as well. Will you make the one call that could change your journey for the better?
Jenene Rutherford | LGC Associates
Senior Executive Recruiter