ProInspire Alum Launches New Initiative to Help Others Build a Career They Love

 

By Erica Soultanian, 2016 ProInspire Fellow

At this time last year, I had reached a low point in my life. I felt stuck in a job that I hated. I had been trying to get out for over a year, but a steady stream of rejection letters wasn’t getting me anywhere. My self-esteem was at an all-time low, and I felt alone in my journey to find a new job. While I know my friends had good intentions, their inquiries about my job search served as a constant reminder of my failure to find a new career direction. Finally, in October 2016, I received a job offer through the Proinspire Fellowship and I am now happily working as a Program Analyst at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development in Washington, D.C.  

While I am so excited to have a job that I love, I will never forget my struggle to transition careers. After going through this difficult experience myself, I am passionate about helping others build a career they love. For the past few months, I have been developing a program along with my two co-founders called Mission Collaborative (www.missioncollaborative.com), an initiative to help young professionals more effectively transition careers. Our workshops are a combination of professional development exercises, community building activities, and employer-sponsored projects to give our participants a taste of whether a new role or industry is right for them.

My goal is to help people who know they don’t like their jobs, but don’t really know what they want to do next. While there are a lot of career resources in college (e.g. career centers, internships, classes), once you graduate you are largely on your own. University career centers have not yet adapted to the new reality that professionals do not stay in the same job for their whole lives, and my hope is that Mission Collaborative will fill this gap and help people build a career that they love.  

If you are in the DC area and are looking for a new job, I encourage you to come to our workshops. You can check out the full schedule at www.missioncollaborative.com.


Erica Soultanian is a Program Analyst and Proinspire Fellow at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning (DMPED), a DC government office focused on executing the Mayor’s economic development strategy. At DMPED, Erica is responsible for supporting economic strategy development through communications outreach and research. Prior to DMPED, Erica was an Analyst in the Securities & Finance division at NERA Economic Consulting where she honed her data analysis skills. Erica graduated from the George Washington University with Bachelor degrees in Economics and International Affairs. Outside of work, Erica enjoys listening to podcasts (Planet Money is her favorite), hiking, and playing board games.

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