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Discovering Muscles I Didn't Know I Had

When Leo loses his job, he reaches out to Ergon and gets paired with a "heavy-hitter." A story of concrete accompaniment.

Leo and his family

In October 2020 I lost my job of eleven years as a Senior Production Artist/Studio Manager at AT&T Creative Services. My whole department of about seventy-seven people knew this was happening for a few months, which gave me time to work on my resume and website. For six months after my last official day at work, I was sending resumes for jobs I saw online, connecting with recruiters from the past, and networking with former co-workers and bosses. During this period I got only one phone screening interview for a full-time job.


I’ve known about Ergon Professional Hub since right before I got laid off from my job in June 2020. I was considering giving my time and actually had the opportunity of mentoring two people for a short time. After I lost my job, Andrea Bacarelli from Ergon wrote me an email to say “let us know if you need help with your work search.” I thought it would be good to get help. After a few weeks of Ergon searching to pair me with a mentor, I was assigned with Maurizio whom I had met but didn’t know that he was the Chief Marketing Officer for a tech company in California. I thought, Great, I have a heavy-hitter offering his time to help me.


Immediately we met via ZOOM, and Maurizio blocked out time on the calendar every week for our job searching meetings. In our initial meeting, he had me break down my skills and experiences and think about what would be my gold-standard job. The early weeks of meeting my mentor were like going to the gym with a personal trainer and discovering muscles I didn’t know I had.


A few weeks into working with Maurizio, I told him I needed a few days for my wife’s minor surgery and he recommended that I focus on her and my family. We have two toddlers that are two- and three-years-old. The surgery actually revealed a serious infection and my wife needed to quarantine in the hospital so that they could run tests to find out what was wrong. I went back to Maurizio who advised that I halt my work search and take care of my family first--which was the best advice ever.


After 1 1/2 months of seeing my wife through this stressful time, I reconnected with Maurizio and we got down to work again. He recommended that I step up my search and apply to jobs within the realm of my recent relevant experience and that I find out if I had a LinkedIn connection with anyone at the company I was applying to.


After doing that I immediately received a reply from a job and became a candidate for an interview with a Pharma ad agency and was called in to interview with the top five people in the company. Maurizio and I then prepared for the interview, beginning with thinking about questions I may be asked and how I would respond. I even went as far as making a unique background to be used for my ZOOM interview.


I’m happy to say that on June 1, 2021, I began working with the Pharma Ad agency, beginning as a temporary employee with the intention of going on staff. In hindsight, it is clear that being accompanied by Ergon and the people involved has been a tremendous help for me during my employment search, especially now with so many people looking for work and the limited opportunities we have had of seeing people during the pandemic. I can remember so many times meeting with Maurizio and not knowing how to respond, judge, and evaluate a possible job opportunity. Despite having great work experience, I realize we are all limited and always need the help of another.


Leo, Brooklyn, New York



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