Mid-career shift: Using well-developed skills in a new job | nnbw.com

Mid-career shift: Using well-developed skills in a new job

John Seelmeyer

Six years ago, Tova Roseman decided she was tired and needed a break from a busy career — writing books, hosting television shows, consulting, professional speaking engagements, managing an advertising agency that focused on industrial clients.

But when she decided to get back into the game, she found that lots had changed. The Great Recession had come and mostly gone. Social media had swept through the marketing universe that Roseman had called home. And traditional jobs were tough to find.

Instead, Roseman has found growing success in the application of seemingly old-fashioned business skills in a new business as a representative for Jockey Person to Person Inc., the direct sales arm of the venerable clothing company.

Jockey Person to Person works like other home-party sales companies.

Roseman, or one of the five women she has recruited for her sales network, host parties and take orders for a women’s clothing line that extends from casual through dressy.

The company’s selling point: Each of the designer clothing items is available across a wide range of sizes — extra small to extra large — and crafted to look right at each size.

Even though the broad reach of social media has become a key element of many marketing strategies, Roseman sticks with tried-and-true methods of building her business.

“A lot of social media is like junk mail,” she says.

Instead, Roseman works a busy schedule of networking events — several a week — where she wears the Jockey Person to Person line. When friends ask about the clothing, a sales opportunity opens.

The home-party structure also allows Roseman to exercise her belief in traditional sales.

“You are together, laughing, trying on clothes, talking,” she says. “You still need that personal touch to sell something.”

Using that personal touch to sell something has been a centerpiece of the 59-year-old Roseman’s career as it has run a winding course.

She began her career in advertising, later launching her own firm to focus on the specialized marketing and advertising needs of industrial companies.

That morphed into work as a professional platform speaker who taught folks how to develop marketing strategy.

Along the way, Roseman self-published two books addressing the challenges of high desert gardeners — she has a degree in horticulture — that led to radio and television shows.

And that, in turn, created a thriving business for Roseman as a landscape-design consultant.

Despite all that success, Roseman wasn’t sure where to turn when she decided to return to the business world after her break. Buying a $50 starter kit from Jockey Person to Person, she generated $1,000 sales at her first home party.

She kept at that pace with a couple of home parties a week, some charity fashion shows featuring Jockey Person to Person clothing and one-and-one sales with people such as assisted-living center residents who find trips to a mall to be difficult.

“I’ve decided to make it my business,” Roseman says. “There are alternatives out there. People shouldn’t be afraid to look for them.”