Idalia Andrade pursued a degree in liberal arts, but after graduating she felt burnt out from the education industry and started a new career path in hospitality. The change reenergized Idalia because she likes to help people and she enjoyed the social aspect of the industry. While Idalia thrived in her new career path, she wanted to learn more and do more, so she asked her manager if there were any other responsibilities where she could apply her talents. There was an accounting clerk position available, and while Idalia did not have formal training or experience, she did have many other qualifications. Idalia flourished in the accounting role for two years.

Idalia sought the help of National Able Network (Able) to make her next career pivot. During one of her first meetings with the team, Idalia had an eye-opening experience when she was asked to think about her values and how important it is for your job and career pathway to align. Idalia was matched with her career coach, Luis, who helped Idalia use the experience she had in her previous position as a springboard for her new career in accounting. Idalia enrolled in the Accounting Assistant Bookkeeper Training Program at America Business College Fullerton. During her training, she gained a number of certifications, including: Intuit QuickBooks Certification, Certified Microsoft Office Specialist, Certified Microsoft Excel Specialist, and Certified Bookkeeper.

Idalia found and applied for an open Accounts Payable Associate position at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. During her first interview, the topic of salary came up, and Idalia felt prepared to respond because of the support of her career coach and Able’s JUMPSTART job readiness courses she completed. The salary offered was less than her expectations, and she remembered her first days with Able, recounting the advice of knowing her worth and values. Idalia declined the position at that salary rate. A few weeks later, she was surprised to hear back about the role, and this time she was offered the position at a better salary!

And while Idalia changed her career pathway, she is happy to have the best of both worlds: a career that she loves in accounting within an organization focused on her passion of liberal arts. When recounting her experience at Able, Idalia says: “I wanted to thank you so much for all that you have done to support me and challenge me.  Your support has really made a big difference.” Congratulations Idalia!