Start-up Boomed During The Pandemic. Here’s How Entrepreneur Jessie Wilkie Found a Niche

  • Published on:
    December 30, 2021
  • Reading time by:
    5 minutes

When the coronavirus pandemic shut down businesses across the nation, Jessie Wilkie decided it was the perfect time to start a new one. Today we hear her story of the career she started middle of the chaos of the pandemic.

I started YOR Careers in the midst of the chaos that was 2020.

I had just come out of the best professional year of my career. I had made all the right moves, I had built all the right connections, and I had won Leader of the Year in my first year at a new company. I was on top of the world and BAM! Hello, 2020.

The pandemic hit and overnight I watched an industry that had given me so much fall to pieces.  As an HR Manager, you don’t have the luxury of losing your job first.  Instead, you’re tasked with delivering the news to the rest of your employees and watching the worry build up in their eyes without any power to change the outcome.  And then, it’s your turn.  

On March 23, 2020, I lost my job due to the pandemic, and all I could think was: I have to do something.  So I did what I do best. I wrote. I ran to my LinkedIn, shared my heart and tears with those struggling, and offered to write resumes.

And there was the birth of YOR Careers. In the first year, I wrote over 100 resumes and gave hope to those who had none. I helped 100 professionals regain their freedom in Corporate USA by giving them OPTIONS! Options to seek new opportunities and sell their best selves so that they could continue their career growth in a time when most couldn’t.

What are the mistakes people make when they are looking for a career change?

Applicants rely too much on the Hiring Manager’s ability to “read between the lines” of their resumes.  They read a job description, think, “I can do this job,” and submit a resume that does not sell them for that position.  I say this with love and experience, it is not the Hiring Manager’s job to determine why your skills are valuable.  It is your job as the applicant to make sure your resume tells that story.  If you are sitting there reading job descriptions, saying to yourself, “I can do that,” yet all you’re getting back are rejection letters, it’s not you’re experience.  It’s how you’re selling it.

What are some new trends regarding career changes?

First and foremost, we are currently in an Applicant’s Market.  Hiring Managers are struggling to hire, which means applicants have the upper hand.  With a strong resume, applicants can capitalize on this job market.  You can explore multiple options and take your pick.  You can negotiate for a higher salary and get it!  And it’s the perfect time to try out a new career because companies are willing to train employees who show signs of good work ethic and company loyalty.

Other trends include a deeper interest in remote or hybrid positions and work/life balance.

Share some tips for creating a more successful resume.

In order to attract jobs that you want, your resume must:

  1. Speak the industry’s language.
  2. Solve the problems they tell you that they have in their job description.
  3. Highlight your accomplishments rather than your job duties.

What else should we know about you?  What sets YOR Careers apart from competitors?

With 8 years of experience in Human Resources, I KNOW THINGS!  I know the secrets behind what HR & Hiring Managers look for — not only in strong candidates, but in STRONG professionals.  And with this, I can help you climb the ladder in half the time!

Additionally, the services I offer are done-for-you services.  They are not DIY.  I get on a call with you for an hour to learn more about you, your accomplishments, and your goals.  Then, I personally draft your resume & more to best sell you for your next career move!

A few additional fun facts, I have a Master’s Degree in Business Management, an aPHR Certification, and a minor in Wine Management.  What does this mean?  I take my job seriously, but not too seriously!  You can’t have a successful career without a good happy hour!  Am I right?

My most recent role in HR was Training Manager where I trained up to 300+ people at a time.

I’ve had 3 promotions (& salary increases) in the last 3 years, and I want to teach my clients how to do the same!

Some of my favorite things are: old word wine, a good charcuterie board, travelling to new places, laughing until it hurts, being outside, and watching other people succeed.

Where would you like to see your company 5 years from now?

2020 was the year of Resumes.

In 2021, I launched Career Advancement Programs, where I offer one-on-one career advising on Mastering your Interview, Finding your Career, and Crushing the Corporate Ladder (in half the time)!

In 2022, I am launching YOR Community, where members will get exclusive access to my best HR secrets through mini trainings, member-exclusive events & more that will make it easier for them to climb the ladder!

My goal is to create a space where professionals can feel as if someone truly does have their success in mind.  Companies can do a number on your self-confidence and self-motivation, and I want to be available to build my clients back up—to remind them of all that they have accomplished and that they are of value.

Who or what inspires you?

I created YOR Careers for the professional who is who I was three years ago.  I knew I was capable of more but had been so beaten down by horrible bosses and work cultures that made me question my ability to lead or make an impact in a company.  I cried often.  My anxiety was through the roof.  I contemplated switching my career all because multiple leaders had told me that I “wasn’t built for HR.”  But all it took was for one Director of HR to say, “They told me to fire you, but instead, I’m creating a position for you that is going to highlight your skillset,” and the rest is history!  I went on to continue my HR career and won Leader of the Year the following year.

And I want to be person that for my clients.  I want to give them the shot they’re looking for and to remind them their worth is not determined by someone else’s opinion.  You still haven’t met all of the people who are going to love you!

What have you learned most from entrepreneurship?

Failure is not the enemy.  Your ego is.

What is a skill you think all women should learn and why?

To start taking their seat at the f*cking table.  Don’t wait to be invited.  My career advancement did not come from sitting pretty in the corner.  I made waves.  I asked questions.  I pushed people to think differently.  I was memorable.  And sometimes, I wasn’t very “lady like…”

If women truly want to support women in business, we have to stop trying to fit each other in a box—that we didn’t even create.  Women have so many additional MADE UP rules pushed upon them (how professional women should LOOK, should DRESS, should SPEAK, etc.), and the only professionals who seem to “keep us accountable” to those rules are other women.  It’s time we broke the mold.  Start showing up however you see fit based on your personality and the impact you want to make in this space—and encourage other women to do the same!

If you could go back by 10 years, what would be some of the top tips you would give your audience?

A few of my best tips would be:

  1. Just because someone says it’s a weakness doesn’t mean you have to agree.
  2. Not everything is worth fighting for.  Pick your professional battles.
  3. It’s okay to be a “different person” at work.
  4. Your boss isn’t the only one you have to impress.
  5. How well you do your work should not depend on how much you like your coworkers.
  6. If you want more money, bring more to the table.
  7. Be the solution to a company’s problem.

What has been your keys to success?

  1. Show up to Serve | The more people you serve, the more people you leave an impression on.  Build your network & your networth.
  2. Prioritize Learning | Focus on learning all that you can.  Not just about your role, but also about how your role affects the company as a whole.  And then apply that knowledge.
  3. Have an Entrepreneurial Mindset | You work for YOU!  Do your best simply because you have your best to give.

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