Those who had stepped away from Corporate America find difficulty getting back in. Reasons for taking time away range from starting a family, to pursuing entreprneurial endeavors to traveling the world experiencing new cultures. What Corporate America should know is that these individuals gain significant skills while away. I call them Untapped Talent.
In this episode, we will discuss Untapped Talent and interview Carol Camerino, who has a consulting practice that helps these gifted individuals to get back into the workforce.
We will cover the following points on today's podcast:
Episode 005 - Business 360 Podcast - Carol Camarino
Carol Camerino: [00:00:00] So while I serve everybody from new grads through C-suite execs, I have a specialty in helping returners or onrampers or second actors. It's the people who stepped away from their professional path for a variety of reasons. And now they are looking to return.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:00:24] Welcome to The Business 360 Podcast where we will take a 360-degree view of all things business in under 30 minutes. I'm Rushab Kamdar. The number of companies I've owned is seven. The age of my youngest daughter, Raya, is seven. And can you guess what my lucky number is? Nope. It's not seven. What's going on, Business Heroes?
Welcome to episode five. In this episode, we're going to talk about untapped talent. That's people who have a lot to offer, but corporate America is missing out on them. If you are someone or know someone that stepped away from corporate America, for whatever reason, and are trying to get back, stick around for this discussion. So let's get to it
On today's podcast, we are welcoming Carol Camerino, who is the founder of Camerino Consulting. Carol is a multi-certified career coach and resume writer. Carol's background is in human resources and public relations. That's a powerful combo. She has the inside track on hiring and recruiting practices while also having the expertise on personal branding and messaging. 10 years ago, Carol launched her business to initially support women returning to paid employment, following a significant pause or hiatus.
Eventually, Carol's passion grew to helping job seekers at all levels. From new grads to former entrepreneurs, to C-suite executives. In addition to supporting job seekers, during these challenging times, Carol's getting ready to launch an online academy to expand her reach. Now, I personally have witnessed many smart and talented individuals who have taken a different journey outside of corporate America only to find difficulty when seeking a path back in. This could be former entrepreneurs who are no longer running a business and are now looking for a job. This could be parents who took time off to raise their children. The examples are numerous. I call this untapped talent. Carol will help us understand this phenomenon and steps that can be taken if you are in the same shoes. Carol welcome to The Business 360 Podcast.
Carol Camerino: [00:02:30] Thanks, Rushab. I'm so happy to be on your podcast.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:02:33] Absolutely. So tell us about your consulting practice Camerino Consulting and who you primarily serve.
Carol Camerino: [00:02:41] Okay. Uh, I like to say I'm a full-service career consultancy and my services are very bespoke. Uh, I don't have just a set menu that someone says, "Oh, this is, I want to work with you. This is what it will look like." So my services range all the way from assessments, interest assessments, and strengths assessments for people who are trying to figure out what do I want to do, or what kind of pivot should I make all the way through to C-suite executives who are, um, you know, stepping into a new role, looking for a new role at the height of their careers, maybe even positioning for, board positions and anything in between. So it includes, uh, assessments, which I said, resume writing, career coaching, search strategy development, because so many people think that a job search needs getting behind their computer and looking for jobs online. Online job boards can be part of a search, job search plan, but they can't be the entire plan.
Um, I also do interview coaching that's transformative for people regardless of what stage of career they're in. And, um, so while I serve everybody from new grads through C-suite execs, I have specialty in helping returners or onrampers or second actors, there are all kinds of, uh, terms used for that group. But basically, it's the people who stepped away from their professional path for a variety of reasons and now they are looking to return. They may, it may have always been in their plan that I, you know, I'm going to take this time off and then look forward to restarting or life may have intervened in a way that they need to get back to work on, for financial reasons and security reasons.
Um, But I, I work with those people and the thing is, Rushab, a lot of the traditional career advice that you find online actually can work against this group. So they need some different strategies. And the exciting thing is what they've been doing outside of that traditional employment model has, they've been building skills. They've been learning about themselves. They've been, um, having achievements and successes. And so the challenge is to translate those in a way that perspective employers can understand, and then they become amazing contributors to a team or an organization.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:05:11] Many of the people that you serve have been out of a job for a long time and are overlooked. As we mentioned, we call these people untapped talent or onrampers. What should we know about them and why are they untapped talent?
Carol Camerino: [00:05:25] I call, I like that term untapped talent because I think it speaks to the value that they represent. And they are often overlooked because so many of the hiring structures, um, really are looking for people with linear career paths or mostly linear career paths.
And of course, if people have stepped away, they have these breaks and, and sometimes, you know, they've worked outside of their area of expertise, part-time or whatever. What they represent for entrepreneurs is, um, especially as they're returning and they're, they're starting back in their professional path, they are open to learning. They don't, you know, maybe they're looking for a project-based, uh, role. And so for entrepreneurs who aren't necessarily ready to take somebody on full-time or make a long-term commitment, it can be a win-win. It's interesting for, I had been working on a book and I interviewed an entrepreneur in writing this book who, who was using a lot of returners. Um, and, and I said, tell me, you know, why, why do you do that? And he said, they are my secret weapon. Uh, in exchange for my being flexible and allowing them to structure their time, I get such unbelievable work product. And so, um, you know, now, don't tell my competitors, but that that's, um, that's why I use use them.
So the, the challenge is being able to understand and make the connection between what somebody did outside of the traditional workforce. And that, when I'm working with clients, I'll say that's our challenge. We have to speak in the language that the business world will understand. So if they say something like I led a playground fund, you know, I, I helped create a new playground in my community.
Okay, let's tease that apart. That could have meant writing grants to bring in $500,000. It could have meant presentations to municipal bodies. It could have meant, uh, vetting, uh, proposals and selecting an architect, marshaling volunteers, scheduling, project management, but that's what we have to tease out and really put in the value proposition for what the person offers.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:07:59] One of the areas that you focus on is resume development. Uh, entrepreneurs tend to leave that part in the past. Rarely, if ever, updating it. What are your thoughts on this and what advice would you give?
Carol Camerino: [00:08:12] Oh. Okay. First off, everybody, everybody, entrepreneurs, currently working, everybody needs to have an updated resume. And for entrepreneurs, I can think of a million reasons. I'll just name a few. Um, first off for proposals. Um, you know, if you want to, if you're pitching yourself to a corporation to do, um, any kind of work, a lot of times they'll want to see a resume and wouldn't it be nice to have one at the ready? You know, if you just build it in every year that you're updating, that you're going to update your resume, you always have it ready. It could be for funding needs. Um, all kinds of reasons. Maybe a client, uh, not even a corporate person or a client wants to see your resume. So that's one reason. Next, try as we might to remember, we think," Oh, I'll always remember this amazing thing that I've done in this part of my work." you're not going to remember. So if you, on an at least an annual basis, write a resume, get it said, you've memorialized your, your highlights for that year. Um, and then you won't forget it. Um, but it really is impossible to try to recreate. When I work with people to work on their resumes, if they have not written a resume in a really long time, um, what I do is I send them a list of questions that I want them to be thinking about. I'm going to prime their subconscious. And it's always interesting how much, you know, I'll, I'll have 15 pages of notes because they'll start through talking about it all of a sudden, they'll start to remember, you know, this detail or that detail that had completely evaded them. So, um, yeah, so those are just a few reasons why.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:10:02] Today, more than ever before, people have to put themselves out there such as on LinkedIn. Uh, there are many people who say to themselves, "I want my privacy and I don't want to post." So what is the correct strategy for job seekers, professionals, and entrepreneurs alike?
Carol Camerino: [00:10:18] This is, this is a really, this is a question for our time, isn't it? Balancing, um, marketing, self-marketing, and privacy. So I think it boils down to strategy and coming up with something that, that you feel really comfortable with and then working the plan. Generally speaking, you know, LinkedIn, for the US in particular, I work with clients from outside the US too but in the US, especially, LinkedIn is really, really important.
Um, and, and not just having a profile. So having a profile and only having 10 connections can be just as bad as not being on it at all. Like having a really good profile and having an engagement strategy and working that strategy. Um, depending on your field, some other platforms matter too. You know, if you're in marketing, there's probably a really good case for being on Instagram or Twitter, uh, depending on, on your, your, uh, vertical and all kinds of things.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:11:27] For these entrepreneurs that may be looking to get back into corporate America or for anybody that's taken a long pause, what is the best avenue for them to find opportunity? Is it the job application process or is it through alternate forms of networking?
Carol Camerino: [00:11:46] Good question. No easy answer, but I will, I will say this relying completely on job boards often can make for an extended and prolonged search. Networking is, you know, is a really powerful tool. Working with a good recruiter or two is also really helpful. Um, the thing with networking is somewhere along the line, networking became synonymous with asking everybody, you know, if they have a job for you. And I don't know about you, that feels really yucky to me either as the asker or the receiver of the question. And so I would, I would say networking, I'm happy to report networking has transformed. It's come a long way. That is not networking in the 21st century. It is about keeping relationships current, checking in, looking for ways to be of service whenever you can, and then keeping people updated on what's happening with you. And so if you've, if you're continuing to keep connected and sharing, um, updates and, and helping people when they ask. When you're at a point of change or, or a transition and you let your network know what's happening, you could be very nicely surprised at how many people say, "Hey, let's hop on a call. What are you looking for? Let me see if I can think of anybody who, um, you should talk to.", that kind of thing.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:13:20] So looking into now, your role as an entrepreneur, you own a consulting practice. What are some of the most common challenges you face when you're running your business?
Carol Camerino: [00:13:33] You've heard me say this, Rushab. For me, um, it's finding, balancing the time between working on my business and working in my business. And when I say working IN my business, it's doing the client work, the writing, um, all of the things that call me to do this, this stuff that I get to do. Working ON my business, which is budgeting, marketing, strategy, uh, scheduling, streamlining processes, all of the entrepreneurial things, um, that's a challenge for me. And it's why I think programs like yours, oh my gosh, that is a game-changer. Um, because you know, you can, you can work and have a nice side business, um, or you can have a successful, fabulous practice using the strategies that you know and teach.
And so I'm, I'm working, I'm trying to catch up. So that's, that's one of the challenges, um, for me in general. Yeah, with the working on and working in at the same time. And I'm so close to hiring a VA. We've talked about that too, and you've given good suggestions. Um, because I think when you're a solopreneur, um, you have to get to the point where you realize I don't have to do it all myself and that I shouldn't do it all myself. Um, you know, invest in, in the business. So that you can move it to the next level.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:15:10] What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
Carol Camerino: [00:15:14] So, one, one thing I would say is don't make the leap. Don't just say I'm opening my own business. That's it. I mean, I, you, I think, um, I was at a conference once and the facilitator, the trainer said something that I always held on to because a lot of times my clients, some of them might be thinking about transitioning into their own business.
And this woman said something like, um, let your job be your backer. Let your employer, that's your business backer, you know. So they're paying you to do your day job and that's giving you the money to do your research, invest, hire consultants, et cetera. Start to build, take on clients slowly. So that's one thing. Don't make the jump, make calculated decisions, research, make sure there's a market for what it is you want to do. You know, if you want to open a consultancy, uh, repairing phone booths, you might want to rethink that right now. Yes. And make sure people want what you're, what you're offering. Um, and, and my overarching comment is, you know, to, to invest in something like what you offer, Rushab, with Think Business.
Um, there's a lot that goes into starting your own business and getting things set up correctly in the beginning will pay dividends, you know, and, and save you time and angst and confusion and missteps down the road.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:16:51] Yeah. You know, I'm so happy that you actually said don't just take the leap. But you said after that make a calculated decision. And I think that's where some of this gets lost in translation because you'll hear experienced entrepreneurs, some who have done well for themselves give advice, which I sometimes may feel that it can border dangerous by just saying, go take the leap. And of course that's part of entrepreneurship. You have to take a leap, but you should not just take a leap without measuring the distance from this edge of the cliff to the other edge of the cliff.
Carol Camerino: [00:17:29] Yeah.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:17:29] So that's where the calculated decision comes. Carol, thank you so much for being here and, and imparting your advice and wisdom for a lot of people who need to hear this, um, especially in a time that we are in right now. I really want to thank you for being a guest on The Business 360 Podcast.
Carol Camerino: [00:17:47] Oh, you're so welcome. Thanks for inviting me.
Rushab Kamdar: [00:17:53] I've never been a fan of the job search market, specifically, the unwritten rules of who is qualified and who isn't. Corporate America likes to see a linear job progression without gaps. This means your resume should show consistent employment year after year, having an upward progression at the companies you worked at with your skill sets, honed, and refined in specific categories.
Also, the brand identity of the companies you worked at and the school you attended favors you among the pool of applicants. This weeding out of applicants usually occurs when applied online where your resume is rarely ever seen by human eyes. Basically, it's an algorithm that's deciding if you're a worthy candidate.
In other words, if you didn't go to an Ivy League or work at a Fortune 50 company, and if you took a year off for whatever reason, or you're an entrepreneur trying to get back into the job market, or you have worn many hats in previous roles and so you don't fit a specific niche, then you're not triggered as the ideal candidate.
Now I face this firsthand, believe it or not. I identify as an entrepreneur and always will, but 11 years ago I went to get my MBA. I just left an entrepreneurial endeavor and decided to try my hands at corporate America. I chose to pursue management consulting because of my diversified experience. I realized real quickly that my entrepreneurial resume was not equally received as a traditional career progression resume. Companies wanted to see brand names on my resume, not a bunch of businesses with LLC next to it. So that was strike one. Then I realized my resume was too generalized. In other words, I can do a lot of things, but I wasn't showing that I specialize in one specific area. So that was strike two. Finally, because I own several companies, the dates I worked in those companies overlapped with each other, which again, isn't well received. And so that was strike three for me.
It became apparent that my way to even land an interview was to network. And because I was able to talk the language of business, I was able to impress during networking. I was able to differentiate myself, and I was able to eventually land interviews. Now in future episodes, I'm going to tackle the art of networking and how to discover your superpowers.
But the point is there are a lot of very qualified people who are not even on the radar of companies because of this disconnect. Think about it, mothers who have had children and took time off, they struggled to find work when they're ready to get back. Professionals who took a chance at being their own boss, but are now returning back into the workforce, they're shunned away. People who took a hiatus and traveled the world for more experiences are now overlooked for someone who doesn't have a gap on their resume. Employers and companies are failing to realize the skill sets that these individuals are gaining, during their time away, is extremely beneficial and important.
I get that there was a time when people used to work for only one or two companies their entire career. These days, the average number of years that someone works at a company is only four years. So if companies feel that this untapped talent somehow are red flags because they need to be retrained or they're prone to leaving that company, then that mentality needs to change. And it's limited because when you're considering the workforce today, it's always changing and professionals are not necessarily spending their entire time with just one or two companies.
There's a huge market of untapped talent that would benefit these companies. It's an opportunity that I've been looking at to leverage. I say, let's try to broaden our qualification requirements so that companies continue to diversify with this unique talent rather than sticking to these old archaic processes, which can only put the company at a disadvantage.
Thank you for joining us on The Business 360 Podcast. To learn more about our guests, go to thinkbusiness360.com. In life, I follow two things that keep me grounded. Number one, if you only listen to someone's successes and not their failures, you've only heard half the story and number two, compete with yourself and help everyone else. You stay classy, Business Heroes.