Matt Martin, a 32 year-old Los Angeles native, worked in commercial real estate for more than ten years. When he and his wife moved to Chicago, Matt continued working in the real estate sector, but was unfortunately laid off in early 2018. Although it was a set-back, Matt didn’t let that deter him! “I wasn’t looking to change industries or change my skill set, I just needed to refocus my energy on where I wanted to go next and I had specific parameters,” Matt said. While at church, a fellow parishioner mentioned career services offered through CareerPlace to Matt and he decided to give it a shot!

Fortunately, CareerPlace was exactly what Matt needed to get back on track! “CareerPlace provided a sense of great structure in terms of putting together a job search work plan,” said Matt. “It was really helpful in putting my thoughts together and consolidating my efforts.” As Matt continued to work with CareerPlace, he attended many of the workshops twice because of the educational value. “It gave me confidence and it gave me tools. Also, my LinkedIn exploded! I now have 1,000+ connections,” said Matt.

In addition to the workshops, Matt worked one-on-one with career coach Bob Zanchelli. Matt said, “I didn’t need to take the first position offered, and Bob was very helpful in regards to discernment in terms of what job was really going to help me advance my career and provide me with the maximum output for my efforts.” Matt interviewed with 20 different companies in a span of four months! “I got several offers during that four month time,” said Matt. “Ultimately when it came down to saying ‘no’ Bob’s experience helped me say no properly and round out everything, whether it was an ‘I appreciate your offer I’m going to continue my search’ or just a flat out ‘No.'”

Out of many career offers, Matt received two that ultimately matched his parameters, and for the first time in his career, Matt negotiated his job contract properly and on paper. “CareerPlace was helpful and motivated me continually,” said Matt. “I went through four rounds of interviews and they were there every step of the way.”

Matt is now the Vice President of Asset Management at The Habitat Company! When asked for advice to pass along to fellow job seekers, Matt directs them to go to CareerPlace. “What do you have to lose? I came to it with open-mindedness and I learned to put my tools together,” said Matt. “I had a great experience.”