Unlocking Opportunities: Navigating a Career Pivot Through Networking


Nicole Konover Reinwald

In a world where career paths are increasingly non-linear, embracing change and building strong connections can be the key to unlocking unexpected opportunities. 

I'm Nicole Reinwald, Senior Director of Strategic Accounts at Movable Ink. If there is one thing that my journey from the fashion industry to the world of SaaS sales has taught me, it’s the power of networking. Learning how to cultivate and leverage your network can lead to transformative opportunities, especially for women in sales.

Navigating a Career Pivot

My career took an unexpected turn in 2013 after a layoff in the fashion industry. As an assistant buyer at a major retailer, I spent most of my day in spreadsheets. It was not for me. I liked meeting new people, collaborating, and solving problems. This moment of uncertainty led me to explore new avenues, and I found myself drawn to sales. 

The transition was sparked by a friend’s encouragement to look into SaaS sales and a timely job post on Facebook. Despite some initial skepticism because of my lack of direct SaaS experience, I was always a salesperson at heart. My inherent skills in sales and passion for connecting with people proved to be invaluable assets.

Networking: A Catalyst for Change

Networking played a crucial role in my career, especially in my move to New York City. As a Sales Associate in Florida, I used every interaction to build connections, particularly with New Yorkers, as I dreamed of moving to the city. This proactive approach to networking led to a life-changing encounter with a businessman in the garment industry, which eventually propelled me to New York.

This experience underscored the importance of networking in my career. By actively engaging with people and expressing my aspirations, I opened doors to opportunities that were aligned with my goals. It's a powerful reminder that it’s not always what you know, but who you know. You can learn the what!

Leadership and Coaching: A New Direction

Making the transition into a leadership role was a significant step in my career. It was not an easy decision to make. As an IC, I had more flexibility with my schedule and the potential to earn more. However, I found that it made sense for me to maximize what I’m good at - making connections with people.  

Once I was promoted, I immediately hired an executive coach. Together, we built the groundwork for my leadership style based on my true values (accomplish, empathize, observe, energize, experiment). He helped me understand that our values are the fundamental beliefs that drive our actions. If I don’t understand what makes me tick, how can I motivate my team?

Balancing Motherhood and Career

Returning from maternity leave marked a new chapter, and I was ready to be back. Balancing motherhood and a demanding career is not without its challenges, but it's also incredibly rewarding. My career is a big part of who I am, and I know that I’m a better parent when I take care of myself and my needs. Mom guilt is real, but knowing that I’m setting an example for my son makes it worth it.

Example Meeting Agendas

Incorporate structured agendas into the program framework, addressing specific professional development needs, pipeline reviews, and skill-building workshops. These agendas provide a roadmap for sessions, ensuring productivity and reducing the strain on mentors with busy schedules.

My path from fashion to SaaS sales has taught me the power of networking, embracing change, and the impact that personal growth has on professional development. Whether you are transitioning into a new field, stepping up as a leader, or balancing personal and professional roles, each step is an opportunity for growth, self-discovery, and reaffirming the belief that you are enough.

Interested in more insights? Watch our WISE virtual panel featuring Nicole here.