With the four children now in full time school, it was time for this mama to get a full time job. But, man was it hard to find something! Being out of the workforce for over 10 years has made me a dinosaur and you would think starting up and running a company, like Durham Improv, that I would be a desirable addition…well, it just makes me look overqualified! I stuck to my guns and started knocking on doors to see if I could get into areas of creativity that I had yet to really master, namely radio. But here is a medium filled with young, hungry interns fresh off the broadcasting school boat. I was submitting my resume to Wonderland, Cineplex, Corus, you name an entertainment company and I probably sent them my specs. The thing was, not one company called me back for an interview, not one!

I finally called up an old friend at the Durham Region radio station and asked him to take me around and introduce me to the creative and programming directors, maybe once inside the room my dazzling charm would thwart off any hesitation. Well, turns out, this radio station is so good, no one is leaving and no spots are open. Then came the comment that changed it all, “Too bad you aren’t in sales.”  I actually come from a background in sales, from fundraising for the Alumni office of the Business school at York U. as an undergrad, to retail and service industries to corporate sales (in bound and outbound with a few managerial positions to boot), and let’s not forget my extensive network marketing (I always said I was born into direct sales, “AMWAY” was probably one of my first words as a baby). My good friend (who is the VP of sales) put it into perspective, “The top creative person makes 30-40K a year, the top sales person makes 70-80K”, okay, this was a no brainer. I asked for an interview and the second interview was with the president and they had us down to 3 top candidates. I blew them out of the water and am now the newest sales rep on the team.

Very excited and chomping at the bit to get going, it made me realize a return to the past is not necessarily taking a step back. I have been selling my brand as an actress, writer, performer, and corporate trainer non-stop for the past 10 years. I am not reverting back to a career I walked away from; I’m embracing the skills and creativity I never actually gave up.

Is there something that you stopped doing that you were good at?  Even a hobby you enjoyed but haven’t even thought about because of lack of time? Look again at what you did, and did well, and see if there isn’t some wiggle room in your life now.  I’m here selling ad space on line and over the airwaves but now, in the door and at my cubicle, I have already been asked to do an entertainment report on one of the morning shows and the creative director asked if I’d be available to do voice over work for commercials. I’m not that far from my craft, try to see if you can rediscover yours!

About the Author

Stephanie Herrera is a comedian, writer, producer, teacher, singer, actor, mother of 4, and shallow philosopher. She runs the Durham Improv & Acting Studio in Oshawa, Canada, is a professor at Durham and Fleming Colleges, and is an award winning performer.  www.durhamimprov.com / www.stephanieherrera.com / info@durhamimprov.com / (647) 899-3342  Durham Improv Group and Business pages can be found on Facebook and follow @durhamimprov & @antimommy