My Career: Jaime Petkanics, The Prepary


Are you in need of career advice, tips on how to improve your resume or how to successfully expand your network? Then look no further than The Prepary! Founded by Jaime Petkanics earlier this year, The Prepary provides advice for the modern job seeker and professional all under one roof.

Read on for an exclusive chat with Jaime and to learn how you could receive some personal career advice!

What difficulties did you face when starting out in your career? 

My first big challenge was actually finding a full time job, like so many others! I graduated from NYU in May and launched my job search early that summer.  I didn't start my first job until that October so needless to say, I started to get a bit panicked as the summer went on.  The toughest part was turning down offers that were good, but didn't feel 100% right.  I'm glad I held out though (and worked part time in the process) because the role I ended up taking was worth waiting for.

What interested you in becoming a recruiter?

During my senior year at NYU, I watched many of my peers go through the campus recruiting process and watched them land Consulting and Investment Banking jobs months and months before graduation.  At first I was a a bit envious that they already had it all figured out, but then it clicked.  I didn't want to be a Consultant or a Banker, but I was really interested in being the person who came to campus and shared information about those opportunities - the campus recruiter role.

After a long search, I landed in my first role as a Campus Recruiting Coordinator and was promoted to a Campus Recruiter role about a year later.  After 3 years in the Finance Industry, I realized I loved recruiting, but wanted to work in an industry I was more passionate about.  That's when I moved into a Recruiter role at Tory Burch - a brand I was incredibly excited about.  I can't say enough about working for a company that excites you.  It makes every day so much more interesting and fulfilling.

What motivated you to establish the Prepary?

As a job seeker, I was very frustrated about the lack of transparency and reliable information around the job search process.  Then, as a recruiter, I was able to see how things worked from "the other side".  I knew that if I could help share that information with job seekers, and if they had a resource (and person) they could trust for advice on this topic, that i'd be able to help more people get jobs.  That's what I am most excited about in launching The Prepary - that it will help more people get their dream jobs.

What are the pros/cons of running a site like the Prepary?

I love running the site and my client business as well because I see it helping people during what can be an extremely frustrating process.  As long as The Prepary can support people and make the experience a little bit less painful, I am thrilled.  So far, I don't see any real cons.  Of course, running your own business is riskier than working a stable job (which I've done for the past 5+ years) so that's definitely one adjustment.

How many requests for help do you receive on a weekly basis?

Depends on the week! At least a few a day.  I work with some people one-on-one to act as a "job search coach" and for others, just help answer random questions as they come up.  I also love hearing from readers about what is on their minds so I can cover the topics in future posts.

What is your long term vision for the Prepary? 

Eventually, I'd like The Prepary to have tools built in that will help people manage and organize their job search and that will automate things that take up tons of time.  Keeping track of all of your contacts and applications can feel like a full time job.  I am definitely interested in making that easier for people!

What is the best career advice you have ever been given?

One piece of great piece career advice I received was around the importance of going above and beyond the call of duty for your coworkers, clients, superiors, etc. My first boss (who is a major mentor for me) had this extreme attention to detail that at first I thought was excessive, but then I realized how valuable it made her to the company.  Go above and beyond and deliver a flawless and reliable work product, and you will quickly get noticed and handed more responsibility.  By doing that, you also make yourself indispensable.  Equally important is to pursue a career path where you're excited to give that 110%, not dreading it.

Political Style is running an exclusive Q&A session in partnership with The Prepary! Jaime will be answering questions exclusively for Political Style readers, with the answers to be published on the site and on Political Style's Twitter feed. 

To submit your question, send an email with 'Prepary Q&A' in the subject line to: 

The closing date for question submissions is the 13th December 2012. 

You can follow The Prepary on Twitter, Facebook and on Pinterest.
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