An Interview on Changing Careers

I have a varied skill set due to the twists and turns in my career path. I started off in the U.S. Army as an Arabic linguistic specialist, then worked (mostly as a volunteer or board member) in the non-profit realm as I raised my children. When I was ready to re-enter the business world, I landed an entry level position with a SaaS company serving the M&A sector. I quickly rose to become VP of Operations, but found myself unhappy with “Corporate America” and all that came with the typical career in the financial services market.

I wasn’t “searching” for a new job, but the position at CauseLabs did perk my interest as the project manager role they were looking to fill managed a Bible scripture translation project. I had to follow up because it sounded like my dream job.

It was certainly daunting venturing into yet another career and starting over, again, from the bottom. However, it seems to hold true that a leader will always lead because within the first year, I was promoted to Director of Partner Solutions. Looking back, I can’t imagine working with M&A services today. I’m so grateful that I followed my heart and made a career change when I did.

Here is an interview I had shortly after being hired (December 2010.)

Why did you join CauseLabs?

I have to admit, the interview process was very long. As a project manager I had to be able to work with the whole team as well clients, but more importantly, I had to share their passion for changing lives. In the end, the impact of their work is what made the difference in my decision to join the CauseLabs team.

Why do you love CauseLabs?

I love CauseLabs because I’m able to really enjoy my work. As if making a difference with our work isn’t enough, every day I get to be around fun, talented people. We don’t just think outside the box, we continue to expand our box. You never know what’s coming next. It’s the perfect culture for sharing inspiration and innovation.

Share a day-in-the-life of Sheryle Gillihan.

I like to start my morning with a cup of coffee in the backyard. Instead of driving an hour in traffic, the serenity of the morning sun puts me in the right frame of mind to think creatively and tackle whatever comes my way.

Things stay pretty busy once I kickoff my day. I’m jumping from one meeting to the next on most days as I juggle the needs of projects, but the excitement and momentum of what we accomplish with our work never wears me down. I love that I can work from anywhere. Life brings unexpected turns, both good and bad, and CauseLabs allows me the flexibility to work around that and still have a full-time career.

At the end of my day, I feel productive. I spend the evening with my family, volunteer with my girl scouts, or relax with a good book; I’m ready to do it again tomorrow.

Any advice for others looking to make a career change?

Follow your dreams and let life take you where ever that may lead. Don’t walk blindly into situations, but also don’t plan too far ahead or you’ll be reluctant to grow with your passions and discover new opportunities. Be amazing, every day – If you’re not, it’s time to find something else to do so you can rise to your potential.

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