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Community Highlights: Meet Carmen Drummond of Career Nerd

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Drummond.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
Personally, I am a mom and wife that loves her family above all, there is nothing I wouldn’t do to ensure they are armed with the resources they need to be successful. I am a military veteran and that bleeds into both aspects (personal and professional) and has the largest impact on who I am today. My journey to Diversity & Inclusion and Career Development starts here. In 2011, I was asked if I wanted to be a mom more than I wanted to a soldier. My answer was, why can’t I have both? Due to military law and lack of a family care plan, I was forced to choose to be a mom. Not knowing what that decision would hold, I blindly transitioned into civilian life. I didn’t have support from the command releasing me, and that made the first few years of transition the hardest. I found myself in a few unfortunate circumstances.  I was jobless, without a home, a borrowed car, no money, and limited support. Still, I was able to quickly grab myself by the bootstraps, identify my unique value, and create an income to get my children and myself into our own place and our own car. Coming from the military and serving as an Information Technology Specialist and Human Resources Coordinator, I knew I had value, so I found out what companies needed. I highlighted those skills on my resume, while I was networking at job fairs, and in interviews.  I exceeded the job description’s expectations.

I leveraged my story, and boy is it one for the books. I never shied away from hard questions and always used my life lessons to create innovative solutions that helped businesses grow, especially in crises. Once I realized that I was leveraging my barriers and turning them into wins, I started doing the same thing for other people, especially transitioning veterans. Why should our misfortunes or incidentals be a dark cloud over our heads? We should be able to grow and flourish from them; otherwise, it was all for nothing. Fast forward, in late 2019, I started Career Nerd. A company dedicated to educating professionals on how to leverage their unique diversity to create inclusive opportunities. I decided to use my personal and professional lessons to develop strategies for others to use in their professional growth and development.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The road has not been smooth, not one bit. Being that I had to learn through my mistakes and missteps, nothing went as planned. It’s okay, though. With each lesson, I learned more about myself, created boundaries, demanded respect, and advocated for the community’s voiceless and exhausted people. Through this journey, I have been broke, broken, lost, and almost gave up. Every time I have tried to walk away, someone pulls me back through crisis, opportunity, or charity. My humanitarian spirit won’t let me fall victim to the struggles life throws at me; I use them as a lesson that is not to be repeated but taught so that others can elevate higher and faster than I did.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Career Nerd?
Career Nerd is a company that provides career development to professionals and business solutions to companies that want to create diverse and inclusive cultures, practices, and recruitment strategies. We provide virtual and in-person training and solutions throughout the United States. I am a multi-diverse professional, and I can see the D&I space from almost every angle. This unique perspective is what I use to put myself in my client’s shoes. I am known for creating custom strategies for professionals who want to align their careers to six-figure incomes and assist military veterans with successful career transitions into civilian life. What sets me apart is that I am not leading from non-experiential circumstances; I lead from passion, resilience, grit, and real-life experiences that I have overcome time after time. They don’t sell what I have to offer in any program I’ve come across. I am most proud of my flexibility and the ability to pivot within my industry to ensure that I impact. Career Nerd provides custom solutions; we do not believe in a one size fits all approach. There is a likeness in our stories, but every one of our clients has a unique diversity, and it is our job to highlight the value and increase the salary. We provide one-on-one coaching, career strategy, job search, and resume writing for professionals. We offer custom workshops, training, D&I council/ Employee Resource Group strategy, and business recruitment strategies. We offer COMPLIMENTARY discovery calls to identify qualified candidates for services. Visit our website to schedule your appointment, download templates, and search our resources.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Resilience is what has been most important to my success. This quality is not something that I chose or self-identified. The people who knew my story would always say, “you are so resilient, you can manage through crisis, and you always find a way to rise again.” Finally, someone just went on and nicknamed me “Carmentor,” like the terminator, because if I ever found myself at the bottom of my situation, they knew, “I’ll be back.” Remember, this wasn’t an easy road; I went from a homeless veteran to a successful professional who thrived within the career development industry. Through it all, without the ability to grow from my situations (personally and professionally), I would not be standing where I am today. Without resilience, I wouldn’t be able to claim myself as a success because I would still be stuck back in 2011 without a home, no money, with my two kids, lost and without a plan.

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

Leroy Armstead Instagram @leroy_armstead

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