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Overwhelmed Newbie Turned Proud Conference Sponsor – in 24 months
The Denver NRWA conference was THE pivotal point in my career that catapulted my business from a side gig to the real deal. I had been struggling with my start-up efforts — putting in late nights for little profit while working full time in the pharmaceutical industry. It was exhausting and I was starting to resent what I genuinely loved to do.
I was seriously considering shutting down my résumé writing business for good. Then, I heard about The NRWA conference and decided to give it a shot. What did I have to lose? Turns out … It was the best professional investment I’ve ever made!
I booked travel for my then-3-month-old son and my mom (babysitter) and arranged coverage for my other 2 young children. The logistics were definitely challenging, but I needed to do this for my own sanity. Then my entourage and I were off on an adventure!
I was blown away by the program content. There were so many expert breakout sessions covering a wide range of relevant topics, from passive income (Bridget Weide Brooks), to ATS navigation (Robin Schlinger), to employment gaps (Michele Aikman). It was difficult to choose; I wanted to attend all of them!
I was equally impressed with the attendees. They were all so friendly, helpful, and supportive of each other. I felt like I had finally found my tribe — fellow writers who are passionate about crafting résumés and helping clients succeed. Who knew there were so many of us out there?!
I left Denver with new friends from around the country, an arsenal of resources, and a brand new mindset about my business. Later that year, I quit my comfortable, stable day job and committed to building my own company. It was terrifying and exhilarating at the same time.
I returned the following year (Charlotte) with a renewed sense of purpose, confidence, and focus. It was here that I strengthened my professional relationships, picked up my amazing business buddy (who has been a godsend), and learned new techniques to fine-tune operations.
Last year, I switched gears and launched a new component of Fresh Start – staffing/recruitment. I returned to The NRWA conference (Annapolis), this time as a sponsor with my EVP (Carrie Davis) to roll out the official NRWA referral database and profit-sharing platform.
Chicago will be the site of my 4th consecutive The NRWA conference. I can’t wait to see how it directly impacts my company. I am also counting down the days until I can reunite with my friends, colleagues, and mentors.
I am so grateful for this amazing association and the leadership team that puts it together every year. I can honestly say that I would not be where I am today if not for The NRWA.
There’s something for everyone in this industry – from the new business owner to the experienced rock stars among us. If you are on the fence about attending, give it a shot. You have nothing to lose and so much more to gain!
Kate Madden, MBA, CPRW – President of Fresh Start Careers LLC and Fresh Start Résumés LLC
Fresh Start Careers is a full-service, women-owned, boutique staffing agency that launched the official résumé referral database of The NRWA. This pioneer platform is a central repository that benefits all parties involved – clients, writers, and the association. To learn more about our generous referral program and other FAQs, visit: http://freshstartcareersusa.com/careers/nrwa-faq
How Attending The NRWA Conference Grew My Business More Than I Imagined
Attending my first NRWA conference in 2014 in Denver, I can say without a doubt was the catalyst for me to take the leap to full-time entrepreneurship. This conference made me realize I could leverage my legal background and become a well-recognized résumé writer who could assist other high-level professionals in their career transitions. I knew my personal journey of transitioning from attorney to résumé writer would relate to clients that also want to make a career change.
Not only did I learn a lot, that conference opened my eyes to the entire industry and the enormous need for creating strategic career-branding documents in the digital age. What I thought I knew about résumés and résumé writing was totally different after my first conference. I came back with a completely new mindset about what I needed to do to make this happen, including obtaining my NCRW. I credit attending that first conference as my biggest business game-changer.
I decided to go back in 2015 and 2016 because I learned so much from the conference in 2014, and I also saw a huge jump in my business. By the time the 2015 conference occurred, I was already an NCRW with 3 certifications and breaking into the 5-figure a month revenue mark. I knew that furthering my knowledge would only continue to drive my revenue and presence in the industry.
It was inspiring to hear there were big players in the industry with 6-figure résumé businesses. What stood out to me was that most of them had subcontractors, so I was not sure if I could create that type of revenue as a solo résumé writing business. I was wrong. I conquered my own fears of being able to surpass the salary I made as a lawyer. I am proof that if you want to build a high ROI résumé business, it can be done. You just have to work hard.
Each year, the conferences get better and better. I love the collaboration and the energy of the conference. I’ve been to a lot of conferences in my career, but The NRWA conferences are an ultimate 3 days of jam-packed learning with fun and laughter rolled up into one. I return from every conference reenergized and excited to close out the last quarter of the year with new ideas and ways to tweak to my business.
Some people choose not to go to the conference because of cost. My theory is that in order to make money, you need to spend money. You need to see the value in the conference and what it can do for your business. If you want to see your résumé business soar, The NRWA conference is a must-attend event. I would not be where I am today in my business had I said no to the conferences the past 3 years. I am ready for my 4th NRWA conference this year and can’t wait to learn, laugh, and grow with my colleagues.
– Wendi Weiner, JD, NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, CCM, The Writing Guru®
Wendi Weiner, creatively known as The Writing Guru®, is an accomplished attorney, former college writing professor, 4X-certified executive résumé writer (NCRW, CPRW, CCTC, and CCM) and career transition coach. She has been featured and published more than 100 times in approximately 40 major media outlets and recently gained recognition as Best Résumé Services Firm and Executive Career Coach of the Year by Corporate America News.
“I attended The NRWA conference for the first time in 2011, and haven’t missed one since! It’s a great opportunity to learn, share best practices, and connect with colleagues. I leave every conference feeling energized and confident that I’m providing my clients with the most up-to-date resources.” – Michelle Swanson, NCRW, CERM, CJSS, ACRW, CPRW, MichelleSwanson.com
“I attend to keep my skills sharp and I learn something new every year. Most of all I look forward to being able to chat with industry rock stars.” – Michelle Robin, NCRW, CPRW, Brand Your Career
“I’m very grateful to The NRWA for the support, direction, and education. I consistently hear that in life and in business, you must have your ‘team’ — those crucial members of your support network who always have your back and rejoice in your accomplishments. The NRWA has been that for me and more.” – Angela Kinney, Studio A Resumes & Career Marketing
“I attended my first NRWA Conference in 1996 and was hooked! Everyone was so helpful and sharp and I learned so much! I was humbled yet encouraged at the same time. I've taken the business and life lessons I learned and applied them to my career over the last 10 years and am happier and more hopeful than I've been in years about what I can offer job seekers. – Adelle J. Dantzler, M.S.Ed., CFJST, CFCC, Fed Jobseeker