Alaant Spotlight:

Ilene Friedman, MBA , Co-Founder/Owner,
Send Me Waffles

Alaant Spotlight: Ilene Friedman, MBA, Co-Founder/Owner, Send Me Waffles
+ About the Alaant Spotlight

The Alaant Spotlight features regional influencers and local luminaries sharing their career advice and secrets to success—in their own words. They are the people making a powerful impact for good across the community.

What advice can you give to people (millennials, generation Z) just starting out in their career? 

If you are not enjoying it or you are bored, do something else. 

When I started working in the Insurance industry right out of college, I walked every day past rows and rows of cubicles to find my seat for the day. Saying hello to everyone on my way, there were two men who pretty much kept their heads down and did their workday after day. One day, one of them said, "get out while you can". At first, I did not understand, as I was excited to have a job with a real paycheck post-college. As I engaged him in conversation, I realized how trapped he felt. He had been in the same job for years and due to the increased pay and family obligations, he felt it was too risky for him to switch to a different career or job. I came home extremely sad for him and vowed to not have a life like that. 

After my time at the Insurance company, I looked for a new job. A local wine store took a risk on me and hired me to do social media marketing for them. This opportunity gave me more independence, creative license and on-the-job learning. It was a much better fit for my personality. One day, I woke up and realized I was doing the same thing each day and felt I had peaked in my growth potential. Instantly I had flashbacks to the former co-worker in the cubicle. It was time to move on. 

This is the part of my story where I started an eCommerce business selling Belgian Liege Waffles, but that is a different story.  

Yes, it is scary to do something else and if you are like me, you are not necessarily certain what that next career move should be. However, if you are not enjoying what you are doing or if you are bored, remember this is YOUR life. If you wake up miserable each day, it affects not just you. It influences your work, your friendships and your health. Take control and make a change. Ask around to see what other opportunities may be out there. Try volunteering somewhere or take a class to gain new skills and make new connections. You get to decide what type of life you live - so LIVE it. If you want something, go out and try it. If you fail, learn from it and try something else. Don't waste away in the box you put yourself in.

About Ilene

Ilene is the co-owner/founder of Send Me Waffles. She enjoys connecting and supporting other small businesses, traveling, and marveling at the small things. 

Ilene Friedman, MBA


Send Me Waffles

Connect with Ilene on LinkedIn

About the Author

Denise Anderson, Human Resources Operations at Alaant

Denise Anderson, Manager, Talent & Human Resource Operations

Denise loves helping people and organizations find their perfect fit —whether that is helping someone find a dream job or scoping out what role a company needs to fill and finding the right person for them. In her spare time, she likes to keep physically active and this year has competed in two sprint triathlons. Denise has 2 teenagers and has logged many miles over the years following them around the country to watch them compete in their sports events. When she is able to be at home on the weekends, she enjoys being on her boat, especially during the summer.

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