When we met Jon Solomon, he had just been blindsided with a layoff from CBS. After a decade as a college sports writer, he was ready to move on to a new career with more stability and growth opportunity. He was able to follow our Career Upgrade Accelerator process to land a new director role in a NEW industry in just 45 days! In this video he shares his story on how he did it and what steps he took to make this a reality.

Video Transcript

Olivia Gamber: Hey guys, I’m here with Jon Solomon and I’m really excited to share his story. He’s done something pretty incredible, he went from day one, leaving his company, having to separate from his organization because of a layoff, and in less than a month and a half later, he’s already in his new role. I’m excited to talk to you, Jon. Thank you for sharing your story and how you did it, and giving some people some inspiration.

Jon Solomon: Sure, no problem. Thank you for your help.

Olivia Gamber: Absolutely. So, I guess, Jon, when we met, if you don’t mind sharing a little bit about where were you at, what were you thinking your next role would be, kind of what was your mentality about your career at that point?

Jon Solomon: Sure. So, I was at I had been a college football reporter for a number of years. I had been a sports reported for 20 plus years and, you know, not getting renewed and had to try to figure out what to do next. The media industry isn’t necessarily the greatest industry these days, so I wanted to consider at least, a career switch. I found, I had a connection through you guys, you put me in touch with you all, and I also found your terrific book on your website that I was able to download and be able to read it. It just was really helpful having actionable steps along the way, that you do this, you’re making a little bit of progress. You do that, and you’re making a little bit of progress.

Olivia Gamber: Yeah, I know it can be overwhelming, ’cause when you met us, I was kind of asking, you know, what’s that ideal outcome look like, and at that point, you really didn’t know. You were pretty open, so I’m curious, how did you nail down where you were going to fit in the market without being a sports writer anymore?

Jon Solomon: Just trying to talk to as many people as I could. One, the person who I’m now going to be working for is someone I’ve known, he’s been in the media industry as well, and he has been sort of branching out and doing something different. It just came through casual conversations, he’s one of 50 people you reach out to, or 100 people, whatever it is, contacts. Just start having conversations, and as you’re going along, it looks like, he happened to be looking for particular jobs, as well. It sort of happened to be you keep talking, you keep talking, and it looked like there was a chance for it to work out.

Olivia Gamber: And you start on Monday.

Jon Solomon: I do.

Olivia Gamber: That’s exciting.

Jon Solomon: Yeah. I end on Sunday and start on Monday.

Olivia Gamber:  That is so funny. So, I’m so curious, what’s your new title?

Jon Solomon:  I’m going to be a Editorial Director for the Aspen Institute Sports and Society Program.

Olivia Gamber: Very cool. So, looking back, I guess a month and a half, did you ever expect that you’d be here right now, if you were ever to think back to where you were?

Jon Solomon: No. No. It’s, you know, you go through it and you’re kind of numb. You know, a little bit at first, but you just have to be proactive. You have to be just thinking outside the box. What was really neat, and you wrote about it in the book, quite a bit, I agree with once you experience it, having all this informational meetings, just with so many people, even though a lot of them didn’t end up resulting in my job, it just was really fascinating –

Olivia Gamber: Oh, yeah.

Jon Solomon: To meet with these people and talk with them, and understand their industry. The people were really helpful.  If you just go out and talk to them, people will give you 15 minutes and just be able to pick their brain, and then they introduce you to so many other people.

Olivia Gamber:  Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jon Solomon: There are four degrees worth of people, and I can’t even remember how I initially got introduced from them, but you just keep going and going, it’s kind of like Linkedin, in that way, but with a human face.

Olivia Gamber: Yeah, no, I love that. I’m curious, just last question for you, obviously not having to go through … You were at CBS for what, eight years, right?

Jon Solomon: Three years at CBS.

Olivia Gamber: Oh, sorry. I thought it was longer. Well, I guess the process is when you’re reaching out to these people, were you really surprised by how helpful random people were to you?

Jon Solomon: Oh, yeah. Just people you don’t know at all.

Olivia Gamber: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jon Solomon: But in some of the people I reached out to, a good number were also former journalists. So, they know what you’re going through, they know what the industry is like. They know what the transition is like, so that could be something helpful too, is if you know a particular field you want to go into, find people who made that switch explicitly, just like you –

Olivia Gamber: Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Jon Solomon: And how did they do it, and what advice do they have.

Olivia Gamber: Awesome. Well, Jon, I’m really excited for you. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. Any other advice you’d give to somebody going through that situation?

Jon Solomon: No. Just read your book. Read the book. It was good.

Olivia Gamber: Yes, thank you. I appreciate that. Thanks, Jon. I appreciate it.

Jon Solomon: Sure, thank you.