This article is part of our#40over40series.
This is our time! We’re stronger when we work together to lift other women up. EvolveMe is creating the first-ever 40 Over 40 list! We're curating profiles of women who have or are in the process of reinventing their careers in their 40s, 50, 60s and beyond. And we're thrilled to share these stories of reinvention - women returning to work, pivoting careers or launching new ventures!
Linda Mauro, one of our amazing EvolveMe members, inspires us with her innovative thinking and self-motivation! Linda's empathetic leadership skills have helped her grow and thrive in her career.
What is the current focus of your career or - if you are in transition at this time - your area of professional interest?
My current position is COO of Berkeley College NJ. As the operational leader of the largest NJ campus of a multi campus NY/NJ private college focused on careers, I lead a team to ensure that student retention and student success meets the mission of the college .
Making certain Berkeley students are prepared for career success is our goal. Through student programming such as mentoring, leadership development and professional skill enhancement, I strive to ensure I connect with our students so they feel part of the greater college community.
My organizational commitment, executive leadership and transferable skills are what have helped shape my career journey.
What prompted your career reinvention?
I was an early career pivoter! After graduating college and landing myself right into the fashion industry, I grew up in a very fast paced, competitive workforce. I learned fast, worked hard and one day stopped to ask myself if this is where I saw myself in 3-5 years?
I was not exactly sure of the answer, so I decided to take a look at my surroundings in NYC and think about how to use my transferable skills. My fashion background -fueled with passion, resilience, self motivation, innovation, goals and extreme focus to detail - provided a gateway to higher education executive leadership. At Berkeley College, I've successfully created a legacy of community, empowerment, teamwork and growth in my role as COO.
What's the best thing about midlife career change?
It's allowed me to apply my well seasoned skills - which have simmered with experience -resulting in great tasting results! :)
Depending on why the change is happening , it allows you to explore new opportunities that you might have been dreaming of and never pursued.
What's the biggest challenge?
The Good and the Bad about change: Change can be great , it opens up new worlds , it may result in great profits or generate new ideas. But change can be challenging if you're not clear on what it is you want to do.
What's your personal mantra or mission? Why?
1. Get comfortable with the uncomfortable!
2. Hard Work Pays Off
3. Be You, Be Honest and Be a GREAT Listener!
1 and 2 are cliche but I use them regularly!
Your best career advice for other women at midlife is...
Be you and be confident in YOU. I am my own worst enemy and my greatest competitor.
You may be too and that might be what is stopping you. Get out of your own way. Allow change to come in.
Also, please find time for yourself. Practice balance. A healthy mindset will take you far.