Farmington Hills native Laura Labovich readily admits she has "pixie dust" in her blood.
The North Farmington High alum, who now lives in the Washington, D.C. area, has followed a career path that began with a Disney internship and now has her working with job seekers all around the country. Founder and president of The Career Strategy Group, Labovich recently released her first book — 100 Conversations for Career Success — which received the 2012 Career Innovator Award from Career Directors International.
Written with co-author Miriam Salpeter, the book helps navigate "those awkward moments" during a job search and offers scripts, tips and templates, Labovich said.
But it all began on a double-decker Disney World tour bus, via an internship offered through Michigan State University. Labovich brought along her experience on the North Farmington High stage, where she performed in "almost every play and every musical". She called Dean Cobb, who headed up the theater program, "a profoundly talented teacher", and said she enjoyed being part of the school's close community of thespians.
Labovich parlayed the internship into a full-time job recruiting for all of Disney's water parks and two hotels.
"That was a really amazing job for a 23-year-old," she said. "Every single day I would drive into Lake Buena Vista and see the manicured lawns and the Welcome to Disney World sign, and I'd think 'I can't believe this is my life'."
Labovich was later promoted to a job recruiting college students, traveling to 27 states and giving them the same opportunity she had. After five years, though, she was ready to get off the road. She wanted to come back to Michigan, but in the process, met her husband, Matt, in D.C.
'This is my calling'
The couple moved to Bethesda, MD, and Labovich began working with America Online, where she started a program that hired 100 college interns in the first year. She left there when her first child was born.
"That's when my life as I know it began," Labovich said.
In 2006, after volunteering and then working as a resume writer, Labovich launched The Career Strategy Group, through which she offers career coaching, social media training and, of course, help with resumes.
"I came up with my own formula for what I liked, and I used that with my clients," she said, noting that even when she was young, she would help friends who were wondering what to do with their careers. "When I found this industry, it was like I was going home."
In addition to people who are looking to land a job ("I help them land faster"), Labovich works with companies that are down-sizing, to help their employees with job searches. She works with clients all over the country, even in Michigan.
"I love the work that I do," Labovich said. "We have such a great solution for job seekers. This is my calling, for sure."
Learn more about Labovich's company at thecareerstrategygroup.com.