WISE Within SF/Bay Area mentor program's group session.
When I was 20 years old, I was convinced my career path would lead me to the Los Angeles Angels. I made connections to secure a position that year, but a hiring freeze derailed my efforts and killed my momentum. Shortly after, the “real world” with its bills and responsibilities collided with my dream world.
Multiple jobs with a temp agency ensued, eventually landing me a full-time position in the airline industry. I thought I had it made because I actually had a “real job” after college, but I never checked in with myself to see if it was what I wanted to do with my life. Seventeen years later, I found myself in the same industry. In that time, I received many promotions, earned a substantial salary, traveled frequently and established myself within the industry. But was I truly fulfilled? Was I happy?
I wondered how I had gotten where I was and thought about how it differed from what I really wanted. In fact, I don’t think I ever stopped along the way to figure out what that was. The last thing I remember wanting was that job with the Angels. So, that is where I re-started.
New Journey Begins with WISE
I began researching jobs on TeamWork Online and had the privilege of meeting the site’s founder and TeamWork Consulting president, Buffy Filippell. She introduced me to WISE, simply saying, “They can help.” I became a member of the SF/Bay Area chapter, and a new journey began.
I was accepted into the WISE Within mentorship program as a mentee and expected that I was going to get great advice on breaking into the sports industry later in life. What I got instead was an awakening — a glimpse into my own psyche — and an introspective road map of what made me tick. My mentor had faced her own challenges and came out intact on the other end. I found her guidance and life coaching invaluable. It was not about getting a new job — it was about finding a home where I truly felt my efforts were aligned with my beliefs.
Inspired by Helping Others
I am still a work in progress, but securing a position on our chapter’s WISE Within committee to help others find direction has inspired me to continue adding layers to my endeavors. I am currently enrolled in a sports philanthropy certificate program and recently became a wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation. I have yet to make the official career switch, but I am slowly moving in the direction of my heart, using the guideposts my mentor helped me find.
Not everyone has the same journey or a clear-cut path for their lives. Some may be late bloomers in finding their true passion. But it is never too late to make a change, and if you have the courage to try, others will reach out to help you. WISE is a great example of this, and I encourage any other women looking for direction to give it a try.
About Kimberly Parker
Kimberly Parker is a sales manager with the shipping and logistics company DHL in San Francisco and has spent 18 years in the travel industry. She is currently a student at The George Washington University in its sports philanthropy program, a WISE Within committee member, a wish granter with the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and a proud mom and wife. She has a degree in marketing from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
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