If you pay attention to much of the local business news, you know there have been a lot of layoffs in RTP in recent months.
Personally, I am looking to make my next big career move, and I know many others are as well. Networking is a critical piece of the job search, and as such, I joined a group called Networking Women of the Triangle to expand my local professional network.
The group is run by two local women, one of whom I had the pleasure of meeting in person. Gigi Marie is also a single mother, who works full time and runs a business of her own. A mom to a seven-year-old girl, who is “versatile enough to go from princesses to Minecraft,” Gigi already has her hands full.
As a small business employee, she wears many hats - working on government contracts, pitching in developing resumes and even doing some recruiting work. Because of her varied experience, over the years, her friends have often asked her for resume and career advice.
Driven by a desire to help others, Gigi has always been willing to lend a hand. When other local moms heard about her expertise, she began to ask herself “Why am I not making money doing this?”
Thus, Silver Key Resumes was born. The business was literally created in an hour when someone once asked her for pricing for her services. She is committed to short turnaround times for resume writing services to keep her clients on top of the ever changing job market. She realizes that “anyone can write you a great resume,” so she goes above and beyond the basics to teach you how to effectively use that resume.
Gigi says “I don’t want to catch fish for you, I want to teach you how to fish.”
For now, you can find Silver Key Resumes on Facebook, but her website will be launching in the very near future - and the business is set to expand to the all-inclusive “Silver Key Career Solutions.” Since February, her business has already grown so much that Gigi has hired on two other local moms to help out, and helped a friend launch the networking group where I found her.
When I asked her why she was so focused on networking specifically for women, Gigi told me of her desire to empower other women like her (and me). Women are still at a disadvantage in the work force, and those who are “double minorities” have even less support.
Networking Women of the Triangle is a myriad of professional women who come together to offer support, advice, job leads and resources to each other. There are over 1,100 members so far, and their first official networking event will take place at the end of this month. Sign ups for that event filled up almost immediately, but there are more events to come, including a convention next year!
On top of all that, Gigi is active in giving back to her community as well. In her hometown of Fayetteville, she founded a non-profit organization, the Tracy Lyn Project, that is heavily involved in coordinating school supply drives and events to feed those in need.
Gigi strongly believes that “finding an identity outside of mom is both important and OK.” We talked a bit about moms being criticized for taking time for your own personal goals, and she, like me, knows that your dreams don’t go away when you give birth. It’s so important to continue to do the things that make you happy - both for your own sanity and so that your kids learn to reach for their own aspirations. And, as I always say “You can’t fill from an empty cup.”
Can we ever really “have it all?” Probably not, but we CAN find a balance that makes us happy and fulfilled. We have to put some energy into it, but we can certainly achieve our goals, even as (single or partnered) mothers. If those goals include launching or relaunching a career, Gigi certainly wants to help empower us.
Stacy Lamb of Apex is the divorced mom of two. She is an active member and former organizer of Single Parents of the Triangle. Find her here monthly.