Recruiter Secrets: Sharon Reid - Hasbro

What's Your Story?

My name is Sharon and I am a Sourcer. Many jokingly refer to me as a sorcerer; and being that a part of my responsibility is to find jobseekers using “wizardry” sourcing skills to promote career opportunities, makes the title Sorcerer quite fitting!

About five years ago, I knew that one day I would want to become a career coach to help jobseekers explore potential careers and land in their dream roles. Thus, I entered the recruitment field to gain an insider’s perspective so that in the future I could be more credible when I provided tips and tricks to individuals exploring careers. I’ve been fortunate enough to join one of the largest toy & entertainment companies in the world to recruit for model makers, product developers, game designers, engineers, brand marketing professionals, and more!

Recruiter Secrets:

For all you jobseekers out there that ever feel discourage or that the job search process is taking way longer than you expected, please do not despair. Two things job seekers do to stand out among applicants during the job search are: showcase their passion for the work they do and demonstrate how their experience can help solve a company’s pain point.

Showcase Passion:

Many individuals have passions that someone else might not have the same passion for, and that is okay. When you can speak to an employer about what you do and why you love to do it, there is an aura that radiates throughout you and can be felt from the person sitting across from you, or even on the phone with you. Imagine being a part of a team where there will be days when things get tough, a person with passion can remind the team why they do the work in the first place and this in turn can bring up morale. Wouldn’t you want someone on your team like that? I know I would!? Bloom where you are planted.

Speaking to a Company’s Pain Point

o    When a company has an opening for a role, it’s because they have a “business pain” that they need help fixing----“Business Pain” coined wonderfully by Liz Ryan. When a candidate can show a company how they can potentially contribute to help solve the hiring manager’s business pain, it’s a big differentiator.

o    Understand the requirements from the job description to get a small sense of what the pain point might be

o    See how your experience could potentially help fix that pain

o    Think of concrete examples of how you were able to fix something similar in other roles you’ve held

Take for example:

o    Candidate goes into an interview for a role that is focused on identifying and attracting veterinarians to join the hospital.

o    Before the interview (keeping in mind the job description), the candidate goes online to look at the veterinarian market for small animal because this hospital only works with small animals.

o    Candidate identified there was a huge demand for veterinarians but not enough veterinarians in the field.

·       Pain point: A huge demand for veterinarians but not enough veterinarians in the field

·       Candidate takes it upon himself/herself to find out where the veterinarians are, what type of organizations out there for veterinarians

o    During the interview, the interviewer expresses the reason they have a need for this role is because their team is finding it extremely hard to find veterinarians

·       Pain point: Hard to find veterinarians

o    Not only was the candidate able to discuss to the interviewer his/her findings through research and provide a source to find veterinarians, but was able to describe a similar situation in prior company where he/she was tasked with working with a niche skill and how he/she went about being innovative in using out of the box sources to find those people with that skillset

Think about the requirements from the job description to get a small sense of what the pain point might be, see how your experience could potentially help fix that pain, and think of concrete examples of how you were able to fix something similar in other roles you’ve held.

Sharon's LinkedIn:

Mary Blalock
Jolie Brownell - Author, Speaker, Blogger

What's Your Story?

Jolie Brownell is an 18 year old who is already a professional speaker, author, blogger - and all around inspiration! In person and on stage she provides words empowerment for girls and women. She's a prolific speaker and writer with a published book  and active public speaking schedule.

What do you love about your work?

I love how I am able to empower women and girls through my passion of writing. I also love how I get to speak to girls about my personal story of finding self-love, and encourage them to start their own self-love journey. But what I love the most, is the fact that I can be myself - the real, raw, and honest version of myself, which then creates space for others to embrace and be their authentic selves. 


What advice do you have for women (and girls) pursuing a dream career?

Allow yourself to go for it, even if you're scared out of your mind.
Even if you don't have all the pieces together.
Even if you don't believe you can do it.
Start anyway. 
Start terrified.
Start unprepared.
Start unconvinced.

If you try and wait until you're fearless, 100% confident or prepared, you'll waste your whole life, because the truth is that your fear isn't going anywhere, there will always be some level of doubt, and you are incapable of being 100% prepared for anything that is thrown your way.

But don't be discouraged, because you got this!
You are badass and can achieve whatever you put your heart and mind to. 
So go for it!
We're all rooting for you!

Follow For Inspiration:

Author of Me Too Book. Buy it - it's amazing! :)
Creator of Me Too Girl Blog

Mary Blalock
Kate Bingaman-Burt - Illustration & Inspiration

What's Your Story?

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an illustrator & educator. Her work orbits around the objects in our lives: the things we buy, the things we discard, and the collectivity and social interaction that can arise from cycles of consumption.

What do you love about your work?

I work in a variety ways. Every day is different...drawing for clients, drawing for myself, teaching at Portland State or leading a workshop at Outlet. Variety makes it interesting, but all of the activities are woven together to make up my life. I want my students to have the ability to sustain a life of creativity and I feel fortunate that I have been able to do this myself. 

What advice do you have for women pursuing a dream career?

Speak up. Have confidence in your voice and your ideas. I spent most of my 20s being afraid to use my voice and was pretty comfortable letting other people speak up instead. One of the things that I have enjoyed about getting older is that my voice is strong and getting stronger. I wish I had that feeling in my 20s, but I am sure happy that I have it now. 


Follow For Inspiration:

Studio/Workshop Space:

Mary Blalock
On She Goes - Dez Ramirez

What's Your Story?

Dez Ramirez is a writer based in Portland, OR. She recently helped create and launch On She Goes -- Travel Stories for Women of Color.

Loves: storytelling, traveling, cooking, music, karaoke, plants, coffee, incense, books, and making her apartment crush-worthy.

One of her dream careers is: to be a rugged outdoors woman road tripping across the U.S. and living out of a van

What do you love about your work?

I love that I helped create a new safe space for women of color. It's been very fulfilling to provide opportunity for women of color that have a desire to incorporate storytelling into their writing and share experiences through their travels. As a writer and traveler, On She Goes has been an exciting project to help bring to life! We are encouraging women of color to be mobile and move out in this world. And we are telling them, "Hey, we're here for you now and when you come back and we want to hear all about your trip." 

It's just, awesome to support women of color in this way, and makes me happy thinking about it. I love giving back to people and this platform gives back.

I also just love growing into my art, which is writing. I didn't have a straight path into being a writer or journalist out of college. 2007/2008 was a bad time to be graduating with a Journalism degree, because Journalism was a crumbling industry. I had to work very un-glamorous jobs for a while out of college, and tried finding small ways to continue calling myself a "writer". I was living fully, making mistakes, and picking myself back up again. There was no European backpacking trip, study abroad, or Master's program for me. And now, a decade later, I have learned so much about myself, my work, and what makes me happy -- so growing into my identity as a writer now in my thirties is incredibly fulfilling. When you drift away from your art or craft seeking financial stability and responsibility, it feels crappy for a while, but its what some of us have to do. Its a sacrifice. But you can always go back to it, and when you find that path back, you feel aligned, and that feeling is the BEST. 

What advice do you have for women pursuing a dream career?

My advice to them is to pursue that dream career and truly believe that it will happen. Envision and manifest. I am a big power of manifestation person and believe in the power of the human and written word. The dangerous part here is when times get hard on that path to the dream job -- and believe me, it will get tough -- and you start verbalizing fear, and stress, and all that other normal stuff. Its OK to go there. But you've gotta remember to come back and stay focused. So, find whatever it is that grounds you and brings you back to center with yourself and your life dream. You're gonna need that during the challenging times. 

Buy the self-help books, listen to the podcasts, research the internet until your eyes burn. Research, read, meditate, exercise, talk to people, and support yourself with all the materials and activities out there that women rely on to help themselves achieve. Those things exist for a reason and it will only help you in the process. 

We all have different roads to our success stories and dream lives. The sooner you own that and stop judging yourself for mistakes, the better!

Follow for inspiration:


Mary Blalockradcareerladies
Mary Cecchini - World Traveler/Owner of Living Big

Mary Cecchini is a world traveler and owner of Living Big, an adventure company for women who don’t want to travel alone. She’s an inspiration to anyone who dreams of owning their own business AND traveling the world , but she’s also the most down-to-earth and friendly person you will ever meet. With a background in Marketing, Mary has launched her business in a way that really connects with people – offering packages that are accessible (yoga in Forest Park) and stretching her clients to dream beyond their comfort zone (trekking in Thailand with a bunch of strangers, anyone?)

I asked Mary a couple of questions below about her business and what it feels like to be living the dream:

Describe what you do for a living.

I essentially have two facets of my professional world. I'm a freelance marketing consultant: I work project-to-project doing everything from brand management, project management, event production, and basically get brought in by brands or agencies that need some short-term bandwidth added to their teams. That takes up about 60% of my time. The other part of my world is in the travel industry. I own a business called Living Big and I take small groups of women on a variety of adventures and international trips. They are two very different worlds, but I feel like I'm at my best when I can have one foot in marketing and one foot in travel.

How did you discover YOUR DREAM CAREER?

I grew up professionally through the marketing world. I've always been really stimulated by the creative challenge of solving company or brand issues through creative marketing. So that’s always been part of my world, but I discovered an interest and need to expand into the travel sector 4 or 5 years ago. I'd always been a big traveler but I think what I realized was that I needed more in my life - more than just the satisfaction of climbing the corporate ladder and working for big brands. There was more to me that needed to be fulfilled that wasn’t being met through my work in the marketing industry.

I actually took a sabbatical from the Marketing industry and spent about 5 months traveling solo to soak up some inspiration and evaluate what that world would look like if I switched industries. I also thought about how travel could be part of my world. And what my legacy would be or how I wanted to affect my community. It was a time of transition (which often felt like a swirl) of figuring out what was at the intersection of travel, creative marketing, and wanderlust. The way that eventually manifested is through the business I run today - Living Big, where I get to connect with women and help build their communities while I'm building my own. And the marketer and producer in me gives me the tools to bring these cool experiences to life.

What were some lessons along the way to starting Living Big?

I think the first hurdle was figuring out what I wanted in life. A lot of that discovery started through a program called heartspark. Step one was figuring out who I am, how I want to show up in the world and what the components are that I want to have in my life that will make me feel fulfilled and valued. When I completed that exercise, I had ownership over what I wanted the framework of my life to look like. Now I just needed to lay the foundation. 

The second hurdle was that I had to find peace with the unknown, which is really hard for a Type A planner and producer like me. I didn't know what this new foundation was going to look like and I had to be open to it evolving and changing. I had to be comfortable calibrating along the way or admitting that something didn't turn out the way I expected. Finding peace with all those insecure moments was a big hurdle for me that I'm still working through on a daily basis.

The third hurdle was being okay doing something that (some) people in my community thought was pretty radical at the time. The idea of telling my community that I was quitting my very comfortable job, selling a lot of my things, and traveling by myself in Europe was a little nerve-wracking. Getting to a place where I was at peace and not impacted by how people perceived what I was doing took some time.

What advice would you give someone who was trying to find their purpose and get unstuck?

I think you have to really commit to the process. For me, it meant that I needed to take time and create space in my world because I couldn't go through that process while I was working 60 hours a week. You have to commit to taking action and setting some goals for yourself even if they're just timeframes to first do the thoughtful internal work that's going to set you up for making some changes. If you just keep these big life questions and thoughts in your mind for a month, a year... it turns into 5 or 10 years and you can easily get distracted by the activities that fill your days. You can easily never really do anything about it. There are a lot of different actions that you could take, but step one is to commit to want to work through these questions.

How did if feel inside when you found out what your purpose is?

There's a quote on the wall at the heartspark office that says, “You will recognize your own path when you come upon it, because you will suddenly have all the energy and imagination you will ever need.” In my world there's so much truth to that quote because it takes a lot of work to go against the norm. If you're going to switch something up in your life; start in a new industry or start a new business, it takes so much work. There's so much attraction and appeal to what's familiar and comfortable. But if that's not fulfilling and making you happy, you have to commit to what's going to take you away from feeling stuck.

Starting Living Big was hard. I'm a business owner of one and have had to learn about the finances, liability, insurance, building a website, etc. Planning trips and booking hotels was the easy part, but running a business requires more then the easy parts. If it wasn't my true passion and what I was meant to do, there is no way I'd have my feet on the ground at 4:30AM most mornings to bring this business to life, but I have all this energy to do it because it's what I'm meant to do. The telltale sign is that I'm motivated to do things that I never in a million years thought I would do. I’m pushing myself to learn new things every day if it's necessary to bring this vision to life.

What are your plans with Living Big for the future?

This year and early into next year, I'm focusing on cementing the brand. It's really ironing out the vision for this company, what I want it to be, and who I want to serve. Tightening up processes, making things more efficient, enhancing the experience. I have a handful of international trips this year and I've also started adding a new Pacific Northwest based program with trips that are 2-3 nights away. I also offer a handful of single day adventures, so there's snowshoeing or hiking trips.

The goal is to offer adventures and travel experiences that are at a sliding scale. For a lot of my clients, the idea of doing an adventure with a group of women that they don't know is a huge stretch of their comfort zone, so they might want to start with just a single-day trip on Mt. Hood, rather than a 9-day trip in Croatia. It gives people a chance to engage with Living Big at whatever level feels most comfortable.

In 2016, I'm hosting international trips for small groups of women to Iceland and Croatia. In 2017, I'm hosting 3 international trips: to Switzerland in June, Italy in September, and Thailand in November. Also in 2017, I'll continue the Pacific Northwest program with 2 long weekends trips and a handful of single day adventures in the Greater Portland area. 

Find out more information about Living Big travel tours at

Reini Chipman - Chief People Officer @ Simple

Reini Chipman is the Chief People Officer at Simple, an online banking/tech company in Portland, Oregon that was built on “genuine human goodness” and helps people save their money. She’s an engaging and insightful person who I’ve know for long enough to realize that she’s a powerful force in this world. I’m impressed with her genuine commitment to challenging and disrupting the status quo through making her company an inclusive and truly supportive environment. 

I asked Reini a couple of questions below and learned that her job is part Human Resources and part Social Work/Life Coach/Game Changer - disrupting the banking industry and HR at the same time.

Is this what you were planning on doing with your career?

In college I studied Psychology and Social Work and always envisioned helping, supporting, and being involved with people. Like many HR folks, HR sort of fell into my lap. My school didn't offer a formal path to study HR. I kind of stumbled upon it, and then I noticed that it’s interesting and complex, and every organization has some form of it. 

Until about 4 years ago, I didn't see myself as a C-Level Executive - and I certainly didn’t see myself working at a bank. But Simple is a tech company that is changing the way people bank and think about their money. We’re here to help people feel confident with their money, and I think that’s good for the world. I’ve always wanted to do good in the world and help people, and at Simple I get to do both. 

If I had the luxury and the privilege of going back to school and studying formerly again, I would probably study anthropology. 

How did you end up with this job and what were some of the challenges in your career?

Coming out of school, I had learned how to be a social worker and how to work within the non-profit and social services world. I took a position with a non-profit organization that was focused on helping women access training to find employment. Unfortunately I think a lot of non-profit organizations aren’t very effective at bringing about real change. And after several months of being part of this organization I started to realize that I was actually enabling and perpetuating oppressive institutionalized frameworks and systems. I was concerned that we were unintentionally doing harm. 

I had a candid conversation with myself and decided that real change starts with me and with my own community. Lots of folks have written inspiring words about “being the change you want to see in the world” and I am a big believer in that perspective. I’ve noticed the most powerful and sustained change happens when we build on the strengths of a community. And if we aren’t an active member of the community we’re trying to empower, how can we possibly be effective as change agents?

So I said, "Well who are my people?" I grew up with a mix of blue and white collar dynamics, so I decided to check out the for-profit world. I found a job in recruiting, and started helping people find jobs. I moved away from helping people in communities that I wasn’t actively a part of to helping people in communities where I better understood the strengths and possibilities. That’s when I found the practice of HR, it was through Recruiting. I loved recruiting because on many days, I felt like a job fairy! I mean, who wouldn’t want to tell someone “You got the job!” My first recruiting gig was in the healthcare industry and it was awesome learning, but I also learned that at my core I'm not aligned with much of the healthcare system in the US -- I am more interested in holistic ways of approaching wellness over traditional practices. 

I searched around and found a new entry level gig at a tech company doing recruiting. It was in this job that I started understanding the depth of what it means to be with people on their employment journey - the depth of recruiting and the depth of HR. I got really hooked. 

I've been intrigued by technology from an early age (even though I studied mostly social sciences, I'm decent at math!). I have a secret engineering/technical side to me - I love innovation and iteration and continuous improvement. The methodologies that engineers use such as agile have really come into focus and I see the agile methods extending beyond just engineering. Other departments such as finance and HR have taken a much more iterative approach to how they help build the business. I keep coming back to tech because this is where there's the most readiness for revolutionary thinking and acting around what it means to be at work.

Why is working at Simple your dream job?

Simple’s purpose aligns with my purpose. I've done a lot of personal work in the last couple years to get clear on what my purpose is and why I exist on this earth. I'm pretty clear now that I'm here on this earth to help people feel freer so that they can live their best life. And work (paid and unpaid) is a huge component of our overall wellbeing. I want to help people to feel free to live the life they want to live, to laugh and to love. And careers are a huge gateway to get there for most of us. So being part of Simple’s people team is a natural fit for me because we have the privilege of helping to build the organization in a way that empowers everyone to feel confident and to have epic experiences at work.

Simple’s values align with my values. My biggest personal value is gratitude - the opposite of which I describe as entitlement. A dark side of being in any given community can be the unintended impact of institutionalized oppression. Every institution has unconscious bias and institutionalized oppression and I know I participate in it every day. Because of my privilege, I’m inherently part of the problem. What is different about Simple is that every person that I meet here is curious and empathetic, in service of trying to understand what someone's superpowers are, their craft, and just who they are as a human. It’s a magical place because there's a critical mass of people who want to build a truly diverse and inclusive work environment. And, we know that is not a static thing where one day we get to say “hooray - we’re inclusive!”. We acknowledge this work won’t be done in our lifetime. But I've never been surrounded by a group like this of 300, or even 100 people who pretty much all feel that way. We do the hard right things and have the big conversations -- even though most of us aren’t quite sure how to do it and we’re scared that we might get it wrong. 

All this said, I strive to practice abundance thinking over scarcity mindset. So I’m confident there are lots of dream jobs out there for me and for all of us. And...I’m deeply grateful that I’ve found one because there’s nothing quite like doing work that we love.

What advice would you give someone who is trying to find their dream job?

Take good care of yourself. It might sound counter-intuitive to prioritize self care, but it’s one of the most important ongoing conversations that I have with myself. I know that when I take good care of myself I’m more likely to be present and in the moment.  This sets me up to be more likely to notice an opportunity or have a conversation with somebody that can lead to that next cool thing. Also when I’m feeling healthy, I’m more resilient during times of failure. 

We all have these moments in life when things pull us away from our self-care commitments. It’s okay to lose focus on self-care for a moment but ultimately finding and keeping a dream job is an energy game, and we need to remember to keep putting our own oxygen masks on first.

How do I do it? I try to remind myself to own my well-being and be deliciously selfish and indulgent. I’ll say to myself “wow, I have a lot to do, but I’m going to take a bath because I need some quiet time.” or “I’m going to have a dance party with my son because I’m craving connection with him and everything else can just wait.”  

I certainly don’t nail it every day but I know that everything is better when I prioritize self-care.