Making Sense Of It All
How Jade Yourth used her mixed bag of sales experience for maximized potential in Digital Marketing
The wedding was the final straw, for so many reasons.
Jade Yourth had been working this retail job and that, at this company then another, for years. She was good at it, but the weekend and evening shifts never ended no matter where she worked. She could barely get the time off for a dear friend’s wedding on the east coast. You want two weeks? We’ll give you a generous three days, Jade’s memory added a hard twinge to her boss’ words.
Dismal hours aside, Jade didn’t feel proud of where she was at in life. The wedding brought her old friends together, and as they swapped life updates she realized they were all moving along in their careers. They had accomplishments to celebrate. All she had was a mixed bag of retail work that didn’t seem to amount to anything.
What Happy Feels Like
What’s more, everyone had spent the weeks leading up to the wedding coming together to help out. It was amazing to see the bond it built. And she missed out on it, because of her demanding job. She always missed out.
Even with the pangs of regret about her current life state, the most impactful moment was when Jade remembered—for the first time in ages—what happy felt like. Celebrating this truly monumental life event, surrounded by friends, reminded her of what really mattered. She felt grounded again, her roots firmly planted. I can’t keep missing all the important stuff, she determined. Something needs to change.
Jade decided to take two weeks off, approval or no, to enjoy the burning embers of the wedding on the east coast. Like a bird uncaged, Jade felt a rush from the freedom—all the while knowing in the back of her mind that she would be jobless when she got home.
A welcome switch
Jade’s boss wasted no time in firing her, of course. But that was part of the plan. Jade had already begun considering how to transfer her sales skills to a new trade. Sales and marketing go hand in hand, don’t they? She thought.
Jade didn’t have time or patience to spend years in school. She honed in on RED Academy Toronto’s Digital Marketing Professional program with a simple Google search, and it seemed perfect. Three months long, with a small classroom and family-like atmosphere. Plus, dog-friendly?? Considering her family had a whopping 17 dogs, that was a major bonus.
The admissions interview clinched it. The RED space was warm and welcoming. Interactive and cozy. The instructors friendly and real. She left the interview and sent money for tuition immediately.
A blur of good moments
Once a change is in motion, things tend to happen quickly. For Jade, everything to do with RED was rapid. A blur of good moments in quick succession.
Activated on all levels, Jade had a newfound support system to lean on while testing the limits of what she could do. And, she found her past smattering of work experience coming in handy. She never realized how much marketing she had already been doing in her sales positions. As well, her skills from her days of recruiting for Aveda meant she could help with RED’s admissions.
Her instructors saw her potential—reminded her it was there—and wanted to do everything they could to help her do something with it. Gratified at finally getting some form of recognition of her worth, Jade began dreaming about what she could achieve. With a class model that was “get out what you put in”, Jade took on extra projects and became a RED ambassador.
Through the program, Jade also met the person who would help her truly unlock her potential: Mandy Gilbert, founder of Creative Niche. Mandy came in to do presentations and workshops on resume-building. She and Jade spent a lot of time working together, both not knowing that Jade would work for her one day. “I remember thinking ‘Man, I would love to work for her,’ but I never thought there would be a position that would fit,” Jade says, picking up the story from her home in Toronto.
Mandy became a mentor that Jade looked up to—idolized, even. Mandy was Jade’s age when she founded Creative Niche using a line of credit, before building it to the million dollar business that it is today. To Jade, it was the stuff of legends.
After Jade finished her three months at RED’s Digital Marketing program, she was working a job focused on helping older businesses set up their social media. It was filler, until she found something better. And it was a good summer job—low stress, friendly coworkers, lunches on the beach.
But one fateful day, that “something better” came. Jade was walking one of her many dogs when Ramli, a RED Instructor who often checked in on her job search, texted about a role at Creative Niche. “I just stopped, like ‘What? Am I really doing this right now?’” Jade remembers. What followed was a whirlwind—she was on the phone with Mandy within minutes, hearing about the job duties. She interviewed on the Tuesday, and started work the Wednesday.
Gratefully, Jade now acknowledges the power of connectivity. “It was nice that I had really established that connection with Mandy and used the networking opportunities RED provides,” Jade says. “It meant that Creative Niche could accept me that quickly. It was the best feeling ever.”
More than a year later, that feeling hasn’t worn off. Jade is Mandy’s sole Marketing Manager after proving her abilities right out the gate with some big projects. “I started taking over all the marketing because I knew I could do it, or could figure out how to do it if I didn’t,” Jade says.
On looking back to life before the wedding, Jade sees a different person–a little lost girl, terribly unhappy and feeling like nothing was leading anywhere. And now the meaning of it all has become crystal clear: her uniquely formed skill set is part of maximizing her potential. “ I would not be as good at marketing if I had not gone through all that. All the random bits and pieces of knowledge come into play every day,” Jade says. “Because marketing is always changing, and I always have something different to pull from. It all makes sense now.”
Sense. Especially from the blue skies vantage point of having weekends and holidays off. Or the high, high peak of 25 annual vacations days—to start. “That’s insane, coming out of the retail environment,” Jade insists. “That’s unheard of. You don’t take vacation, you don’t take lunch.” But at Creative Niche, it’s encouraged. The understanding is that you’ll manage all your commitments and decide for yourself when it’s a good time to go.
That works for Jade. In the past year, she has taken trips to Vancouver, New York and Prince Edward Island with no issue. Fully paid. (What a concept!)
So, it goes without saying (but it feels good to say it)—Jade is loving life.
Written by Carly Jansen
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