Meet Samar Abbas

Samar Abbas at Vermilion's Communicate with Confidence Workshop with Vermilion Coach Luisa Baldini in 2017
VT: Tell me about yourself and where you are today.
SA:  My name is Samar Abbas. After a five year career break, I started my job search in the Fall of 2016 soon after moving here from overseas. In May, 2017, I started my job in New York City with a consulting firm as an Investment Research Associate.

VT: What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
SA: The hardest part for me was getting past the hesitation to reach out to people I knew. I came across Vermilion and started attending their workshops and events. I found it really helpful in building my confidence to move past my hesitation. It was getting feedbaack on my resume, my LinkedIn profile, working on my elevator pitch and connecting with other women who were going through the same thing

VT: Can you share what kept you motivated?
SA: A friend said to me that you never know where your job will come from. So, just try everything and I did. Do the cold calling, do the applications, do the networking. Reach out to, well, everybody you've worked with in the past and let them know that you are looking to re-enter. Knowing that it was just one job that needed to find - the one that would be right fit for me kept me going.

VT: How did Vermilion help you?
SA: So, after I became a member, one of the first things I did was meet for my 1:1 with Anne-Barbara. I was able to discuss my background and explain what I was looking for. I got feedback on how to explain my gap and what experience to highlight. She also gave me tips on my resume, my LinkedIn, and really overall helped me understand how prepared I was. Up until that point, I hadn't had that kind of feedback or support. I found it to be important for me in that part of my process. 

VT: Did practicing your pitch really make a difference in landing your job?
The elevator pitch was something I learned about from Vermilion. I'd heard about it before, but had never thought about how it applied to my job search process. At networking events, you don't have much time to get to the point. It proved valuable in helping me explain who I was and what I was looking for. I used it both subconsciously and consciously as I started networking with people. 

VT: What advice do you have for others going through this process?
SA: The importance of networking and to not be shy about it. I found that most people were helpful and wanted to help. If you think about it, most people will have to go through this at some point. Perhaps, not due to re-entry, but because of a job change or moving to a different city. I think most people understand and appreciate the idea of networking.

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