It was Fall 2008, and I needed a change. I was living in Cincinnati, Ohio, working as a marketing manager for a financial services company. I had been there five years, and I was feeling restless.
As a member of my local chapter of the International Association of Business Communicators, I frequently checked the IABC job board for career opportunities. This section of the site is a great resource because you can post your resume for employers to view, as well as search current openings, filtering by location, key words and job type.
A bonus for IABC members is that new jobs posted fewer than seven days are available exclusively to members. After that period, these jobs become available to everyone. You can also sign up to receive e-mail alerts when new jobs are posted. I’ve even utilized the site to post open positions when I was in hiring mode at several past employers.
If you have never checked out the IABC job board, or if you haven’t visited it in awhile, you should.
I am a graduate of Bowling Green State University in Northwest Ohio (Go Falcons!), with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism/Public Relations. In 2008, my areas of expertise included insurance, annuities and higher education-related receivables. Any mid-level position in corporate communications, marketing or event planning was on my target list.
But where? In Cincinnati, definitely! But I was also leaning toward cities in which I had friends and family. Places like other Ohio cities – check. Chicago – check. Florida – check. New York – double check!
You see, I was in the midst of a burgeoning long-distance relationship with a man I had met several months earlier. He lived in Flushing, New York, and was visiting Cincinnati for the weekend with a group of friends to take in the Mets play the Reds. (That’s a story for another time.)
By this date, he had already visited me several times in Cincinnati. The relationship was new, but I wanted to see where it might lead us.
While I checked out the IABC job board, I noticed a job posting for a marketing communications manager for an insurance company in Lower Manhattan. I thought, why not? I have years of marketing and communications experience in the insurance world.
So I sent my resume off, not really anticipating a response as I lived out of state, and the position did not offer relocation expenses, as mentioned in the job posting on IABC’s site.
It turned out fate was playing her hand. I received a phone call from the insurance company’s human resources recruiter. He left me a message.
Guess what? I did not return his call.
I was not certain I wanted to pursue the job opportunity. After all, this was crazy! Me? A Midwest girl moving from Ohio to New York? Could I do it? Where would I live? Could I make new friends and contacts easily? How about a support system?
Fortunately, while I battled my inner critic, the recruiter persevered. He phoned again, and this time I returned his call. After a pre-screening telephone call and his conferring with the hiring manager, we arranged an in-person interview.
As it turns out, I also was in the process of arranging my first visit to New York to spend a weekend with my new boyfriend.
That same day that I interviewed with the insurance company, I nabbed an interview with another firm in Midtown. I don’t recall if that posting had been listed on the IABC job board. (If so, this would be an even better story!)
Therefore, in addition to wining and dining me on my first trip to visit him, my boyfriend would be helping me to navigate my way around Midtown and the Financial District for two job interviews.
Thankfully, the interviews went well, my visit with my “friend” was great, and I returned to Cincinnati, feeling slightly melancholy to have left it all behind.
Shortly thereafter, a phone interview took place between the insurance company’s hiring manager’s supervisor and myself. I passed.
A week later, I received a call from the company’s recruiter, requesting a third interview – he wanted me to meet with the internal client with whom I would be working should I land the job. Another great meeting!
This time, the interview took place during a single day trip, so I had no time to visit with my boyfriend. In from Cinci and out from LGA, all in the same day. That was a little sad for me, however shortly after I returned home, I was treated to an official job offer. The insurance company wanted me!
The next month was a whirlwind of activity. I notified my current employer of my resignation. I told my landlord. That may not seem like a big deal, but I was living in a second floor apartment above a flower shop. My landlord owned the flower shop (totally cool), but I was concerned she might present a problem. She was part mother figure, part landlord, part friend and part nosey neighbor. “Isn’t this a little impetuous?” she asked.
Maybe, but it felt right! I packed up my life and stored my belongings in a brother’s basement. I stuffed my little red two-door Pontiac with as many clothes and possessions as possible. I inserted my dog (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel) and my mother (who was co-piloting the 10-hour drive with us), and we set out for New York!
The drive was pretty uneventful. Ok, I locked myself out of my old apartment before leaving, and I had a flat tire on the way to retrieve my mother. Otherwise, I was excited to start my new life. A little apprehensive, too.
I was going to live in a one-bedroom apartment in Flushing. I was thrilled to be working in NYC. So what if I was taking the Q64 and the E train to work each day from Flushing. I had a great job opportunity and I was going to be with my new love!
As our road trip neared its end, and we began to cross over the George Washington Bridge, my cell phone rang. It was the recruiter, calling from my new place of employment. This time I answered the phone. He asked, “Are you ready for the Big Apple?”
Yes, yes, I was.
Thank you, IABC job board!
About the Author
Kathleen O’Neill, her boyfriend and her dog, are still together, currently living in Long Island, New York. The couple married in 2013. A board member of the IABC-LI chapter, Kathleen credits IABC with providing her with many professional and personal opportunities throughout the years, across multiple states. When people ask her about possible job opportunities, she always refers them to the IABC job board.