Stephen majored in theater, but has never made a living as an actor, writer or director. He has held a variety of jobs after college, however, from working at cafes to being a video game tester. While he loved getting paid to play video games, eventually he realized he wanted to work at nonprofits, and began working at Maryland New Directions. Even though he loved working at Maryland New Directions, he and his partner decided to move to Nashville for a new start. He is currently working at a nonprofit that helps individuals with disabilities, and is able to coach and interact with clients in a similar way to how he helped clients at Maryland New Directions. Although Stephen and his partner are finding that Nashville may not be the perfect place for them, they are learning from the experience and will not give up on finding the right location for how they want to live. Throughout his journey, Stephen learned to follow his interests, and only work somewhere if he loved doing it. He also credits his career happiness to not being afraid to try new things.
Like Stephen, Amy is not afraid to experience new places and try new things. She graduated from college and was able to travel to different countries, including Morocco, where she found out many people live without access to basic health care, like pap smears. She always liked helping others and really felt that all human beings deserved to have their basic needs and health taken care of, so she began working in nonprofits. Even though she didn't think she had a chance at the job, eventually she applied to work at a major foundation in Baltimore which gives money to causes that help low-income individuals. The foundation hired her, and she has worked her way up since then, building beneficial relationships for the organization. She feels fortunate that she can help many great nonprofits like Maryland New Directions fulfill their mission. From her story, clients can learn that it doesn't hurt to apply to the job you really want, and always remember the importance of relationships, before and after getting the job.
Even though Jordan is in his 40's and is practically an owner at the communications company he works for, he says he still doesn't know what he wants to be when he "grows up." Ideally, he would like to have a lot of wealth so he can give money to nonprofits and help people, but until then, he is working hard at the company so he can provide a good life for himself and his family. He told MND clients that everyone learns differently, and to think about the best environment for you to learn. He learns best by doing, so when he started working at this job, he basically taught himself through trial and error how to sell the company's services. He says persistence pays off, especially in sales and in job-searching when you're selling yourself. Rejection is inevitable, so you need to learn how to move on. He also says you have to be willing to change. Even if you prefer face-to-face communication, you have to be able to text and email, because the world is always changing. Also, it is important to be presentable, which is not only dressing well, but communicating well, and having a healthy mind, body and soul. Communicating well also means being good at asking questions, listening, reading, writing and having good body language. Overall, Jordan says, your attitude and effort is all you can control. Accountability is very important.
Matt owns a consulting business that helps businesses tell stories through maps. He loves what he is doing, since he always had an interest in maps and examining and presenting data. As a student, he loved geography, and when internship or work opportunities came up, he was able to make himself stand out and show people that he was the best person for the opportunity. Though he had a lot of knowledge on the topic, it was not easy for him at first to adjust to jobs that involved instructing and teaching. He is naturally an introvert, but had to learn to be more extroverted in order to give and share more of himself. After some time being a trainer, he was starting to feel empty. He started to pay attention to and remember things other people had told him, that he should take more risks and accept failure. Eventually he left a secure job with the state to start applying his ideas and skills to commercial real estate, and since then has started the business he owns today. He advises job seekers to pay attention to what the universe is telling you, and also to keep the little commitments you make. Also, have a vision for yourself and take steps to get there.
Kanisha is from Baltimore City and did not go to college right after high school. She took some culinary classes, then worked at Hecht's for a while. One day at Hecht's she sold a TV to someone who worked at MECU, and apparently impressed the shopper with her customer service skills so much that the person gave Kanisha her business card. That business card led to a job as a part-time teller at MECU. Soon after that, she became pregnant. Because she was still rather young, she wasn't sure what her future held, but she was watching Rick Warren on TV one day who said that circumstances, connections, chemistry, consciousness, and choices are what shape a person's life. She thought hard about that and began to change some of those things in her life. Now she has had a lot of training and higher education opportunities working at MECU, and at 27 years old is the Senior Employment Specialist working in the HR department. It is rare to work in HR without already having a degree, but Kanisha has proven to those around her that she knows how to train people, loves training people, and is willing to take on projects. Kanisha advised clients to finish what you start. Another main part of her message also was to constantly improve yourself.