The next Women Who Wows is Eva Wisnik, the founder of Wisnik Career Enterprises. I’ve known Eva for nearly 20 years now – almost as long as I’ve been in the legal industry. I’ve always been so impressed with Eva in terms of how she helps others who are not only looking for their next job, but she provides expert career advice, time management tips and helps professionals of all levels become their best professional selves. I always learn something from her. She is also incredibly kind and has always been more than willing to listen and give advice.
Get to know more about Eva in this Women Who Wow feature.
What do you love most about your work?
This month marks 25 years since I launched Wisnik Career Enterprises, Inc. and it’s been an amazing journey! I am most grateful for my clients. Having placed close to 1,000 professionals, I am deeply proud of the trust-filled relationships I’ve built. Our business is based on others thinking of us for new opportunities—job openings and trainings—as well as referring us great talent to place. There are candidates I placed right out of college that are now directors. Helping others to succeed drives me every day!
What advice would you give young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
I spent a significant amount of time during the pandemic writing a book for college students and recent grads. Your Fairy Job Mentor’s Secrets for Success draws from the lessons I learned from failing early in my own career, coupled with what I have witnessed as a recruiter for investment banks as well as major law firms.
In this book I provide information, insights and inspiration to help this new generation of professionals create successful careers and fulfilling lives. Three things I advise are:
- Take one brave action every day. This could include asking a potential career advisor for coffee or your boss for feedback. Brave actions, not just working hard and being smart, breed confidence and success.
- There are no failures, just opportunities to learn and grow. I got fired from my first job out of Barnard for a Wall Street bank and had a painful experience working as a recruiter for Lehman Brothers (I felt like I was living the Wolf of Wall Street movie). These early experiences taught me who I am and what the musts are in my career and led me to my dream job.
- Invest in your professional relationships. Over the past 30+ years as a recruiter, I have observed how companies and law firms disappear. The only job security we really have exists from the trusted relationships we build. I highly recommend that young women find multiple career advisors, as opposed to just one mentor. Most important stay in touch with the professionals you meet when you don’t need anything from them, and I promise you that they will be there when you do need them!
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
I came to the United States as a refugee with only my immediate family at the age of five. We were expelled from Communist Poland. I grew up believing that living in America is a huge privilege and felt an enormous pressure to succeed; otherwise I would be wasting all the opportunities I had.
My parents survived the Holocaust and only had an 8th grade education, so I felt compelled to get into a good college, work for prestigious firms, earn a graduate degree (I got an MBA at Fordham) and to “make it” in the U.S. To be honest, I was driven by a fear of failure and need to prove that I was good enough. I wish I could tell my younger self that success is an inner game and that I would exceed all my goals if I would just shut down that inner critic in my mind and focus on contributing my unique talents and serving others.
Life doesn’t have to be as hard as I believed growing up and the goal is not just success but fulfillment. Once I figured this out, I felt compelled to write my book so other young people didn’t have to suffer as much as I did, and the pandemic was the perfect time!