Bonding Over Hockey Leads to Winning Plays for Job Search: Chris’ Story

As a senior-level manager in information security, Chris LaBuda felt confident he could navigate his job search solo as he and his family relocated to Georgia. “I thought there would be multiple opportunities for me with the number of Fortune 100 companies in Atlanta. I didn’t think I needed assistance from a coach at first.” 

But his job search advanced faster than he expected. “I received a job offer weeks before I moved,” says Chris. “I needed help weighing my options and checking my priorities.” This is when he turned to the help of Carrie LeMahieu, senior career coach at IMPACT Group. The two bonded over hockey. “Most Chicago sports teams lack championship caliber. It’s easy to gravitate toward the Chicago Blackhawks and their multiple championship titles,” says Chris. Carrie is an avid hockey fan as well. Once this common ground was established, their relationship grew into a trusted partnership as they created winning plays for his job search. 

Chris was the point person for relocation matters as his wife started her new role in Atlanta. He wanted to make the transition as smooth as possible for their son before starting a new position. The quick job offer tested his priorities. “After discussing it with Carrie, I decided to decline that offer. I discovered that I had the discipline to stay on track with what mattered most to me – my family.” He was out of the job market for five months strictly by choice so his family’s needs could come first.

“My conversations with Carrie were my favorite part of the program. Her in-depth knowledge and advice were greatly appreciated,” Chris comments. “I strongly believe that having an unbiased advisor like Carrie reinforced my decisions and ultimately gave me solace in my decision to wait.” 

Chris learned that relocations demand more than expected. “I relocated once before in my early 20s. But this time around, I wanted to find the right job and that created a unique challenge.” Atlanta was unchartered territory for the LaBudas. Without connections, Chris’ resources were limited. “My job search would have consisted of LinkedIn or Indeed without Carrie’s help.” He believes Carrie’s assistance made the process more personal and provided valuable tools. Throughout their time together, Carrie coached Chris on managing multiple job offers, negotiating salary, and declining opportunities – without burning bridges.

“Job seekers should never settle,” advises Chris. “They need to be confident in what they offer to an employer.” It takes patience and due diligence to wait for the right role. “I could have taken the first offer I received and been back in a job four months earlier, but I would not have been happy with my decision.” Not only is the right job worth it – the right company is worth it too. “Don’t let money be the only driving factor when deciding on a company. Reputation, location, opportunities, and company culture are key.”

A great opportunity found Chris when it was the perfect time for his family. He is settled into his role as IT Analyst – Governance, Risk, and Compliance at State Farm. He is excited to be an intricate part of growing the team’s presence in the organization and the community. “I’m extremely eager to apply my knowledge to advance the team. The majority of my team members are fresh out of college. This motivates me to help them in any way possible to launch their careers.”