When graduating from Arizona State University in 2021, Jenni Nemeth knew exactly how she wanted to start her career. After balancing college as a student and mother, she entered the workforce feeling confident with her decision to freelance and eventually land a developer position. However, the 2020 pandemic disrupted the job market. “It was hard for me to break into my first development role because I was also competing against all the other developers who had lost their jobs during the pandemic, so it was kind of a long road,” says Jenni. She revisited her career plan, applied for support roles at tech companies, and landed a position at StyleSeat. Jenni knew what to look for in a new employer, especially as a working mother. “I was looking mainly for an employer that was going to be flexible and knowing that I’m going to show up as a mom, not just an employee.”
According to Motherly’s 2022 State of Motherhood Survey Report, “Forty-eight percent of mothers who are currently employed report dissatisfaction with their employer’s lack of schedule flexibility and paid time off. Fifty-five percent of mothers report their employer can better support them with longer, paid maternity leave.” Now more companies are shifting to remote work environments, largely due to the positive benefits it provides parents and caregivers to remain productive with the right resources and tools.
“There are certain times where I have to take off because my kids are sick, or I have to head out for an hour to go pick up my kids from school because they unexpectedly have to go home early,” she says. StyleSeat’s flexible work hours affords Jenni the ability to show up fully as a mother, and she feels even more empowered to support other parents at the company to do so as well.
As a co-lead of CareSeat, an employee resource group at StyleSeat that creates a safe space for parents, caregivers, and pet owners, Jenni prioritizes driving the mission through group meetings, company events, and even just being a shoulder to lean on (or needing one herself). “We’re caring, and we’re working. So just being able to vent about the pressures and responsibilities the modern world has for us right now, I think that’s been valuable,” she says. “I’ve received so much advice from that group, and I’m so thankful for it.”
In March, Jenni celebrated her one-year anniversary at StyleSeat and transitioned into a new role as a Software Development Engineer on the Quality Assurance team. Her interest in evolving into a technical role was sparked after hearing a Quality Assurance team member present as a guest speaker during a department meeting. “I loved bugs and figuring out what was happening to our users and trying to diagnose what’s actually causing this,” explains Jenni. She worked up the courage to set up shadowing with the Quality Assurance team member, and the opportunity to transition roles was proposed. Jenni went on to complete technical training in Cypress (a front-end testing tool used for web automation) and was officially onboarded.
What inspired her to go for her dream role? Reading a book on the law of attraction allowed Jenni to evaluate the direction of her career. “It was eye-opening because the moral of what I got out of it was that you’re holding yourself back. I had this feeling because I couldn’t get a developer role in the pandemic that maybe I just wasn’t enough, and that wasn’t true,” she says. “Am I not enough, or have I not pushed hard enough?”
Getting your dream job is possible, and we asked Jenni for top career tips. First, think about your previous experience and how it will translate into your desired position. Then, tailor your resume to showcase your skills. According to Jenni, freelancing and taking online courses are opportunities to highlight your remote work experience. If you have limited experience in your desired field, consider furthering your education or online course libraries like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning.
If you’re seeking a new position within your company or a different industry, don’t be afraid to go for it. She suggests browsing through job listings and connecting with employees that currently work at the companies that interest you. “Referrals are the golden ticket,” says Jenni.
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