Unstuck in Action: Career-change crisis

Name: Ariel Finkelstein

Age:  30

Location: Riverdale in the Bronx, by way of Louisville, Kentucky.

Current job: Digital media executive recruiter at AC Lion, NYC.

Previous job: Senior administrator at a nonprofit.

Passionate about: Time with my family, NY sports, craft beers, nature, traveling, and Education Technology.

How did you hear about the Unstuck app?
“I read about it in December in TechCrunch and I said ‘I’ve got to have it!’ ”

What was your stuck moment?
“I worked in nonprofit for a good nine years alongside individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities, and I loved it for a long time. I went from direct care to manager to a senior admin role. It was the only career I knew.

“But when I became a senior admin, I realized I wasn’t happy. I love helping people with my own hands and I was detached from that. But I had no clue what I wanted to change to. Zero career insight. That happened last October [2011].

“I spoke with friends, shooting some ideas out there, but I was coming up with blanks. In December, I came across the Unstuck app. It was like digital therapy for me. It gave me things I had never thought about. I never thought about the different feelings I might have. What’s the root of my issue? Without having to write a lot down it was feeding me a lot of the feelings I had inside so I was able to see the underlying issue.”

What were you feeling?
“I was terrified.”

Once you knew fear was keeping you stuck, what did you do?
“Getting a lot of the feelings I had inside of me out helped me see where I was in my life and what I needed to do. I got therapy on the side, which also helped. And I listened to friends who said to go into recruiting. 

I had never thought about doing recruiting before. Growing up, I don’t remember asking my parents for a recruiter costume. But in January, I was able to strengthen myself up and take an internship with a nonprofit recruiting firm. Six to seven months later I was fortunate to join the AC Lion team. There are so many good people here, and the work environment is fantastic!”

How were you acting in this big stuck moment?
“I was a Reluctant Adapter. I was like ‘hmmm.’ One of the things I’m good at is change. I was surprised at the answer. I thought about it for a long time. Getting to that point was awesome. It makes sense now that I know it’s just about that moment.”

How have you acted in other stuck moments?
“I got a new job, which I love. But after eight years in one place, getting started someplace new is not easy. I did the app and it said at this moment I’m acting like an Avoider

. That felt good! It wasn’t telling me I’m an Avoider in a negative way. It was a good shot in the arm that said ‘Oh, come on, you can do it.’ It gave me confidence.”

How do you know when you’re stuck?
“When my thoughts aren’t where they should be. I’m thinking about things that are not relevant to what I’m currently doing.”

What’s it like to get unstuck?
“It’s great!  There’s clarity. There is confidence. It gives you the ability to breathe freely and to feel as though you can take on whatever challenge you have. Bring it on!”

If you could change one thing about Unstuck, it would be:
“I love the app. Great visuals and easy to use.”

If you would like to be interviewed for the Unstuck in Action series, contact us at ideas@unstuck.com.

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