Seeing Fit: How Acara’s Mariah Ramundo Turns Challenges into Opportunities

When Mariah Ramundo left her job at a telecommunications company to join Acara as an account executive, she went from a job selling phones, internet, and data to a people-centric career enabling companies to enhance workforce productivity, and helping hardworking recruits find great jobs. In our latest Seeing Fit interview, she reveals the daily practices that help her perform her best for herself and others.

On finding fulfillment in her day-to-day work:
At Acara, we connect people and businesses in ways that change lives. That’s why I’m passionate about my work. I live in the community, I have my family here, and I like giving back. So, facilitating our region’s economic development by connecting people and businesses is what empowers me.

How she starts her day, every day:
I have a morning routine called SAVERS which I learned from reading, The Morning Miracle, by Hal Elrod. SAVERS is an acronym, and each letter stands for a different 10-minute task. The S is for silence, so I practice meditation and reflection. The A is for affirmation, when I focus on my strengths and remind myself of my priorities. V is for visualization. I have a vision board I reference to remind me of my goals and what brings me happiness. E is for exercise, so I practice yoga or go for a walk or a run. R is for reading, so I’ll read the paper and articles that are trending in my industry. The final S is scribing; when I journal, starting with three things that I’m grateful for that morning, after which I create my to-do lists for the day.

Why it works:
By practicing my routine, everything else finds its place. It puts me into an abundance and confident state of mind for the rest of the day. I feel that’s important because I believe we have to be the best versions of ourselves for everyone else in our personal and professional lives. It’s especially critical for the business that we’re in at Acara, because we’re consultants. We put a personal touch on all our interactions with current and potential customers to let them know we care about their growth, prosperity, and success. We are truly in the business of helping people and changing lives, so we have to show up and be on top of our game.

On seeing the glass half full:
I see all challenges as opportunities. As a sales person, I don’t convince people to work with me. I will find the opportunity to allow them to see the value that I could bring to their situation, through asking questions and active listening.

Why she loves her job:
I love the people. I get to go into workplaces; I get to feel the energy; I get to engage. If I feel the energy in a workplace is negative, we’re not going to place a recruit there. I’m grateful that Acara allows us to vet our clients in the same way that we vet candidates. We want to work with companies that mirror our values.

On the Acara difference:
We are consultative. We proceed thoughtfully in the beginning to make sure that we get it right. That said, in the world of business and workforce development, things change, so we’re also constantly communicating with clients. We see them as partners. We don’t just place people, collect our money, and say, “See you later.” We remain connected, and we’re always available.

Her advice to employers:
You’re competing for talent against every employer in our region because unemployment rates are so low. In that landscape, hiring needs are increasingly based on behavioral competencies and soft skills like communication, decision-making, leadership, and collaboration. You have to be creative and open minded with hiring because the perfect person with the perfect technical experience typically doesn’t exist. You hire the person who’s the right cultural fit and then coach them to meet the rest of your requirements. That’s what you need to do to stay competitive.

How she finds balance in a demanding career:
As a leader at Acara, I help business owners attract and retain talent, and that’s a demanding job. But it’s a flexible work environment as long as I put in the hard work and perform. For example, if I get a call from daycare that one of my children is sick, I am able to pick them up. If someone needs me, I am always available on my cell phone, or they can look at my calendar and see my location. The pressure I feel as a working mother is lifted because I am able to take care of my family and focus on my career simultaneously. Acara recognizes how delicate and valuable that so-called “balance” is, and they make a point to provide that support.


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