Singer. Olympic figure skater. Equestrian. Doctor.

A handful of the dream jobs I had as a kid. With more pluck than luck as a tone-deaf, klutzy germaphobe, I ended up hitting my stride as a professional resume writer and editor as The Job Monger with no regrets (although watch out on karaoke nights). Here’s how:

I graduated from Stanford in 2011 and returned to my beloved hometown of Chicago with the chutzpah to start my own startup. But chutzpah only gets an unfettered solo, non-technical founder so far, so I shelved that plan in favor of learning the ropes at an established startup.

The problem was that the non-engineering roles weren’t exactly free flowing in the local tech scene at that time. Getting through the door meant unpaid internships through the end of 2011 until landing a paid internship through a VC firm in Oakland.

This internship morphed into a long-term remote consulting gig that spanned nearly a year. While this skirted underemployment, I made enough to live comfortably (eternal s/o to my mom for housing) and found this experience to be badass in the long run.

I forget exactly when I felt the itch for more traditional office life, but I do recall vastly underestimating how swift the transition from consulting to full-time would be. College admissions, anxiety-ridden as it was, was nothing compared to the ego monster truck rally of the job search.

I tried everything to land my dream job – at least I thought I did. The turning point was a resume makeover I received from someone who worked at a well-known NYC startup.

A job did not happen overnight, but I started hearing back from more companies right away. Not every interview went perfectly, but my confidence and skills grew with each one as I started getting the positive reception I sorely lacked before.

I soon found the right fit as a Marketing Coordinator at a Chicago e-commerce startup (insurance! benefits!). Although this came at the heels of networking, research and skill-building, that resume was the catalyst I needed to get to the next level.

The aim here is not to romanticize my job search – even with the blessed spoilers of gainful employment, nothing changes the fact that job searching is and was a sh!tshow. But that’s the beauty in life – the opportunity to sort out your narrative in due time.

After years of helping family, friends and acquaintances craft their resumes and find jobs with much success, I set out to find a more formal way I can reach job seekers who are where I was not long ago.

I believe that there is power in reclaiming hard knocks and giving them meaning. I am grateful that The Job Monger gives me an opportunity to do that. I hope that when you successfully conclude your job search, you too will find strength and not shame in your journey.