My Career Arc – Michelle McKinley


CareerArc Sr. Director of Growth Marketing, Michelle McKinley Shares Her Career Story

What was your very first job?

I worked for the City of Glendale’s Parks and Recreation Department as a Recreation Leader. I worked with kids as a part of the city’s parks program, and also worked summer camps. The summer camps were probably the most challenging, because you’re a teenager responsible for several little kids on field trips to crowded places like theme parks.   

How did you find your first job?

My dad worked for the city and heard about the job opening. It was so long ago, but I think I submitted a paper application.

What was your most exciting/unique job?

My most exciting or unique job was probably working the desk at the Malibu Racquet Club. It’s a private tennis club tucked away down a hidden road in Malibu. It was down the street from Pepperdine, and I saw the job posted on our school’s job board. Many members are celebrities or influential people in Hollywood. Despite their status, everyone was very kind and it was a great environment. Probably my best day on the job was the day Pierce Brosnan came in to play. I had a crush on him from back when he played 007. He was very kind.

What was your most unique or least favorite job duty?

My least favorite job duty was probably pushing shopping carts. I worked at Vons for a year during college, and I had to push carts up hill in a dark parking lot at night. Creepy and exhausting.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be in marketing. I imagined myself working for an agency creating ad campaigns.

What did you go to school for?

I studied Journalism and Communications at Pepperdine University.  

Describe your career arc.

Recreation Leader > Camp Counselor > Checker > Front Desk > Content Writer > Content Marketing Manager > SEO Agency Owner > Director of Marketing > Managing Director > Sr. Director of Growth Marketing

Have you ever been laid off? What challenges did you face? Did it end up being a good thing?

I was the Managing Director of a price comparison website. The owner decided to move back to the UK and close the company. My mother had been let go from her job of 19 years just a week before. It was a few months before my wedding and I had a lot of bills to pay. I got right to work job hunting for both myself and my mom. Luckily, I received two job offers within two weeks of being laid off. Once I met with CareerArc, I knew the company was for me. Being someone who had just been laid off, I loved the idea of working for a company that connected people with employment. The outplacement product is a truly unique solution that is desperately needed in this country.

What would you do if you could retire today?

Travel with my husband and baby girl who’s due next month!

How do you like working here?

I love working for a company that supports employment. Whether it’s the college graduate looking for his first opportunity or the recently laid off mother of three looking for her next job after a lay-off, I can feel good knowing the product I promote helps people.    

Photo ofMichelle McKinley
Michelle McKinley
Job Title
Sr. Director, Growth Marketing


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