Susanne Petitto's resume reads like a chef's tasting menu at a fine restaurant: it's full of variety.
In the last decade alone, she has worked as a special education aide in the Three Village Central School District; a professional organizer and real estate stager; and an office manager in a home improvement company. Petitto, who has lived in Three Village for 20 years, is a single mother of five who is looking to make a career move that will help her support her family.
"I'm a single mom and I need to find something that’s going to pay a little bit more than what I’m doing," Petitto says. "I’m willing to try just about anything."
Someone with such varied experience may want to consider working with a career coach to help maximize his or her job search, according to Marianna Savoca, director of the Career Center at Stony Brook University. She suggested two ways of approaching the job hunt.
The first way is a two-step approach that starts with the candidate. "Step one is what I call 'self first.' She can examine very thoroughly ... every aspect of every job she has had, and distill it into a set of transferable skills," Savoca said. "Step two is investigate what work settings need people with those skills."
The second way is a more industry-based approach. "She would first identify the type of job she wants to look for: investigate what it’s looking for or what that job category is looking for, and figure out how she can match that," Savoca said.
Years ago, Petitto would work with employment agencies. She has witnessed firsthand how the job market has changed.
"I used to go on interviews and I used to get calls immediately for the job. Now’s that’s not the case," she said. "There are so many people who are looking for work."
- Helped launch Envision Home Improvement Ltd., where she managed employee schedules, insurance, communication with clients, bookkeeping, and more.
- Created her own business, Angelwings Transformations Inc., where she organized and de-cluttered clients' homes as well as staged homes for sellers to make them look as attractive as possible to prospective home buyers.
- Worked as an office manager for Estee Lauder in New York City, where she handled communications, travel arrangements, conferences, researched fashion trends, helped test products, and more.
- Spent more than seven years working as a teacher's aide at North Shore Montessori School; since 2008, Pettito has worked as a special education aide at Mount Elementary School.
- Completed some coursework at SUNY Farmingdale as a major in English and art.
- Achieved a Level 1 teacher's assistant certification.
- Scored a 91 on the civil service exam.
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About this series: Putting the spotlight on a local resident who is hunting for a new job. Is that you? Get featured on Patch by contacting the editor.