Sue Reynolds’s penchant for helping others reach their full potential has extended even to her pets.
Growing up with horses in a small town in Illinois, Reynolds jumped at the highest levels of the amateur jumping world. In college, when her psychology class distributed rats, she taught hers to put a ping-pong ball through a basketball hoop. And when her family decided to get a Doberman Pinscher, she saw in it a hidden talent as well; they now go to search-and-rescue training twice a week, Reynolds says, and “Nudel” really seems to be enjoying the new career.
But it’s through bringing out the best in people that Reynolds makes her mark in the business world. Reynolds is the founder and owner of NewMarket Careers, a company that specializes in career-development and job-search assistance, working with everyone from recent graduates to veterans of the workforce to senior-level executives, recently terminated employees, business owners, and more – just about anyone, she says, who is serious about his or her job or business.
“I say to people, ‘I’m not a human resources person. I’m a marketing professional,’” Reynolds notes. “And people have to be marketed to grow effectively.”
Reynolds assists clients with résumés and interviewing strategy, as well as advocating for themselves, finding and building connections, and negotiating. She says she sometimes calls in other experts, such as speech therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists, or wardrobe consultants for their knowledge – all as part of helping her clients promote themselves successfully.
“A lot of people – either for their own businesses, their careers, or for the large businesses for which they work – they don’t do a good job of advocating for themselves,” Reynolds says. “And that’s one of my big… mantras, if you will – is all of us need to advocate for anything that we care about. And we probably ought to be caring about our own careers.”
But as beneficial as Reynolds knows putting one’s best foot forward can be, she also knows that advocating for oneself is useless in a vacuum. That’s why she stresses the importance of networking as an essential component of finding and building a successful career.
“Most opportunities come from unexpected sources,” Reynolds explains. “So, we think that it’s all going to come because
Sue and Nudel
we see an Internet posting for a job; that’s 10 percent of the job market. And that was true 20 years ago.”
Networking, in fact, even led Reynolds into the career she enjoys today.
While she was involved in a work-study job in the marketing department of a community college, Reynolds says, the Illinois Department of Corrections called and said that they needed someone to fill a position. Because Reynolds was in the right place and knew the right people, she says, the job became hers.
“I was recommended,” Reynolds emphasizes. “It had nothing to do with academics or applying for a job – it had everything to do [with] the referral and the networking.”
Later, when Reynolds came home with her bachelor’s degree in communications from Indiana University, it happened again. Reynolds was working in marketing for a small manufacturing company when she was recommended for a position as a speechwriter for Allied Chemical. Her experience in that capacity included helping corporate professionals with presentation, which ultimately directed her toward starting the business that she operates today.
“It wasn’t my résumé, it was that recommendation that I had,” Reynolds reiterates. “Networking, networking, networking. Connections are everything.”
Today, Reynolds’s own connections – coupled with her desire to assist whenever called upon – have resulted in her participation in the leadership of multiple organizations. Reynolds currently serves on the board of directors for the SCV Education Foundation and as president of Soroptomist of Greater SCV, as well as serving on the education committee of the Valley Industry Association and being involved with the Boy Scouts of America, in which her son has participated.
Reynolds admits that she sometimes finds the demands of serving so many organizations overwhelming, but says she doesn’t feel that’s any excuse for inaction. “Somebody’s gotta step up,” she says, adding, “I am a step-upper.”
Reynolds’s propensity to get involved led her to join the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce almost as soon as she moved to the area. But she didn’t stop there: Reynolds now serves, not only as a Board member for the organization, but also as a member of its Marketing and Ambassador Committees. And Reynolds has been rewarded for her efforts as well. Her business has become respected in the Chamber circle, she says, being nominated multiple times for Small Business of the Year, and she recently won the Special Recognition Award that the Chamber gives out annually.
Reynolds says that her involvement with the Chamber of Commerce has been a positive force in her own networking, citing multiple examples of business connections she’s made through the Chamber, members whom she now also considers to be dear friends. That itself, she argues, is a good reason for any local business owners to want to participate.
But Reynolds’s belief in getting involved with organizations such as the Chamber goes a little deeper than just the immediate rewards.
“It’s the right thing to do,” she says. “If you’re a business person in this community, or you’re representing a business in this community, then it’s your responsibility to step up, and be part of this. Even if you don’t think you’d get leads from Chamber, Chamber’s advocacy in Sacramento and Washington D.C. still ought [to] mean something to you as a citizen of the business community,” she adds.
“There’s that Boy Scout mom coming out again. ‘Be a good citizen!’” Reynolds says, laughing, but she has made her point: a business owner, in Reynolds’s eyes, has a responsibility to be an active and constructive member of the business community as a whole.
“Be a good business citizen,” Reynolds says again. “Join Chamber, participate, you’ll reap the rewards…be a good business citizen.”
For more information on Reynolds or NewMarket Careers, please visit www.newmarketcareers.com, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 661-702-1345. You can also find NewMarket Careers on Facebook and visit Reynolds on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/newmarketcareers. For more information on the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, please visit www.scvchamber.com, e-mail email@example.com, or call 661-702-6977.