Job: Roofing Sales Specialist
Location: Kansas City, Missouri
I was connected to Chelsea through previous interviewee Tessa Moxley. Chelsea candidly shares her story with me of realizing her job is not the right fit and what she hopes the next steps in her career will be. If you have ever contemplated if your job is the right fit, this is a great story for you.
Can you give me an overview of your background?
I'm originally from a small town in Tennessee called Johnson City. I moved there when I was five from Indiana, but I would say I'm from the Smoky Mountains. I got my undergrad from the East Tennessee State University where I was part of the honors college and the Fine and Performing Arts Program and received my Bachelor’s degree in theater and dance. Upon graduation, I began waitressing at Midcity Grill, a late-night diner, in my hometown and got pretty involved in the downtown music scene. I did this for about four years, and then my mom encouraged me to make the most of my talents and go to grad school. I auditioned for this thing called URTA, which is like a big audition in Chicago, California, and New York where you audition for about 60 schools. University of Missouri, Kansas City, offered me a position in their program which was a small program of only eight people, four guys and four girls. I then relocated to Kansas City, which is the only city I've ever lived in besides my hometown so it was a pretty big move for me. Grad school was really tough for me, the whole time I was here, I kept asking myself "what am I doing?", and I kept telling my teachers "I don't know if I belong here." However, they reassured me that there was a reason I was there and it was allowing me to try something different.
What did you do after grad school?
I graduated with a Master's degree and ended up going to Bolivia for a month on a tour doing a play in Spanish. I actually did not even know Spanish before but was able to learn my lines and make it work. After that, I came back to the States and worked some jobs here and there. When the pandemic hit, I met the owner of a roofing company who offered me a job. I liked the job a lot because the hours are very different from anything that I had ever experienced, and it has felt like my first adult job.
What does your day-to-day look like?
Our company deals specifically with insurance-related claims, so we review insurance paperwork, do roof inspections, and knock door to door. Coming from the restaurant industry, having to read and explain paperwork to homeowners was a new skill I had to learn. Now that I understand how it works, I am able to walk homeowners through the whole process of putting a new roof on and it’s a really lucrative business. I also had to learn to set up a ladder by myself, climb up on steep roofs, do roof inspections, and then communicate those results to homeowners. During the pandemic, this industry has certainly been booming. Since more people are at home they are getting more renovations done because no one wants to be stuck in a house with a leak or other issues.
What has been your biggest hardship and how did you overcome it?
I would say I'm still kind of figuring out exactly what I want to do with my career. I'm very open-minded and now that I have this roofing job, I have realized that I can do anything and be really good at it if I apply myself. Working in roofing isn't necessarily the right fit for me anymore, so I'm exploring some other options. I think for me, it’s just that I don't always apply myself as I should. I actually started reading this book called Lean In by Sheryl Sandburg and in one part she talks about the difference between men and women when they apply for jobs and how women will wait until they feel really qualified or they won't apply for certain things. This made me realize that I'm at a point in my life where I feel very confident about my skills and if there's something that I want and I put my mind to it, I'm going to get it. This roofing job has helped me grow a lot by getting really good at talking to people and being comfortable with myself. Now I've been asking myself, “what other jobs are out there that I want?”
What is the next step for you?
I really do like working in sales, it is excellent for somebody like me because I'm a people person. I've started thinking about going into pharmaceutical sales, so I'm trying to learn more about that industry. I want a job where I can make my own schedule, dress up and look professional, and also make really good money because I don't need to depend on anybody for anything.
Any last-minute words of advice?
Something I'm grappling with right now is my current job, this specific company is just not working for me anymore. As a woman in a male-dominated industry, you constantly have to prove yourself, you have to work three times harder than any man that's on your team and you'll still be underestimated. I'm at a point right now where I've had meetings with the other women in my company in an effort to bring us closer together so that we can be stronger. My advice is, if it's not working for you anymore, don't even think about it, get yourself out of that situation, and replant yourself in a work environment where you can flourish, your talents are appreciated, and you're valued. Don't ever underestimate your own worth just because of what someone else thinks of you and constantly put yourself out there, apply yourself, and push yourself to the next level even if you don’t think you’re qualified. If you don’t think you’re ready yet, you have to take those big risks and you have to get yourself out of situations that are no longer serving you.
YoPro Know's Takeaways:
– Be confident in your skillset and don't let the fear of being less experienced keep you from applying to a job you want
– If you feel that your job is not helping you grow, it is okay to take a risk and find a job that fits your goals
Check it out: Lean In, East Tennessee State University, University of Missouri, Kansas City