Today we’d like to introduce you to Julia Rock.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Julia. So, let’s start at the beginning, and we can move on from there.
I had always done resumes for friends back in college, but it truly became a passion of mine starting in 2007. I didn’t charge or anything, but I helped friends and families edit their resumes. Over the next several years, I helped people (informally) prepare for interviews, as well as work on their resumes.
Fast forward to 2013, I coached a good friend of mine to his first six-figure job, and he said to me, I am so grateful for the help, but you should really start charging people for this. You should make money from this. At the same time, I had started attending career fairs for my 9-5 to help screen candidates, and I noticed there was a glaring difference between the performance of students and professionals of color vs. those who were not of color. Those of color (particularly African-American) did not come across as prepared or polished as the others.
That truly bothered me, and I felt compelled to do something about it. So with the ammunition from my friend and what I was seeing at the career fairs, I decided to launch Rock Career Development in 2013. Fast forward to 2018, Rock Career Development has a full suite of career services to offer. Not just resume writing, but interview preparation, career coaching, networking techniques and strategies, salary negotiation strategies, to name a few.
This year, I also added on startup/entrepreneurship consulting services to help provide would-be entrepreneurs with guidance on how to convert their ideas to executable businesses. I was seeing far too many individuals that were seeking help in assessing their business ideas, but seemingly not getting the assistance they needed.
So I’m truly fortunate to be able to say, that at this stage, I had the opportunity to provide services to clients from all backgrounds and career levels, not just in Houston, but nationwide and internationally as well. I have been on the radio here in Houston (1480AM), and have been able to speak in various capacities (leading workshops, participating on panels, etc.).
My business has a lot of growing to still do, but I am truly proud of the progress I’ve made.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not! Entrepreneurship is always a struggle!
One of the major challenges was keeping up with the business while maintaining my 9-5. I wanted to continue to be excellent in my day job, of course, but I still wanted my business to grow. So I had to improve my time management skills to make better use of my nights, weekends, and vacation time.
One of the other challenges was trying to make my business attractive and relevant. I had great services, clients were always happy with the work I did, but “career development” just isn’t a sexy business at all! So I did my best to try to create a more attractive online and social media presence, as well as interact more with groups and events in town.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Rock Career Development – what should we know?
Rock Career Development (RCD) is a boutique career services firm based in Houston, TX that delivers results on the job search and career enhancement needs of clients across the nation. From students to executives, we provide a personalized, one-on-one experience to ensure that services are tailored to the specific client needs and requirements.
While RCD does not place candidates in positions, we prepare them to be successful in achieving their career goals. In essence, we help job-seekers, career-changers, and professionals “level up” in their careers AND secure the compensation they want.
RCD is known for offering a complete suite of career services, including:
– Resume and Cover Letter Writing
– Interview Coaching
– Career Coaching & Strategy
– Salary Negotiation Coaching & Strategy
– LinkedIn Profile Revisions
As mentioned earlier, RCD expanded its service offerings this year to include entrepreneurship/startup consulting, with a focus on helping would-be entrepreneurs in the evaluation of their ideas and development of strategies to convert from concept to executable business. This truly sets RCD apart because most career development firms/consulting agencies don’t offer any assistance to entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurship is something I am truly passionate about, particularly for women of color, and I wanted to make sure that my brand catered to those individuals as well.
I’m so proud of the growth of the Rock Career Development brand. RCD started with just resumes and the occasional interview preparation assistance for friends. Now in 2018, I have been able to successfully expand what I offer and attract clientele both in the US and in other countries. I have had the opportunity to be on the radio, speak at conferences, lead workshops, but most importantly help individuals improve their lives through better careers, It never gets old when you receive the status update of “I got the job!” or “I finally got the salary I want!”
While my brand has a long way to go in terms of growth and visibility, I am still excited when I meet people, and they’ve actually heard of my brand. But I think one of the things that makes me the most proud and truly sets RCD apart is our philanthropic efforts and our commitment to giving back to the Houston community. Between 2017 and 2018, RCD has given back to various organizations such as the Houston Area Women’s Center and Beauty Mentoring (serving as a top-tier sponsor for Beauty Mentoring in 2018).
Earlier this year, we hosted a free private screening for A Wrinkle In Time to give Houston youth of color an opportunity to see positive images on-screen. We also recently partnered with the Huntsville-AL based company SneakerPhetish to donate 50 pairs of sneakers to We Code Too, a Charlottesville, VA-based community initiative focused on teaching underprivileged youth valuable coding skills.
Additionally, I created a non-profit organization called The Listiel & Juliet Rock Foundation, named after my parents (official 501(c)(3) paperwork in progress), which will allow us to grow our philanthropic efforts even further.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Most people would probably say, my ambition, my hustle, my creativity, etc. But besides all that, I believe my willingness to learn is what’s most important to my success. Once you feel like you have it all figured out, you stunt your own growth and “block your own blessings” for lack of better phrasing.
As an entrepreneur, you will make mistakes. But if you keep an open mind, grow from your mistakes, learn from people who have reached the level of success you’re after, I find that’s how you keep yourself on the path to success.
- Career Coaching Session – $75 / hr
- Salary Negotiation Coaching Session – $75 / hr
- Entrepreneurship Strategy Session – $100 / hr
- Website: www.RockCareer.com
- Phone: (713) 487-5388
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/rockcareer
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/rockcareer
- Twitter: www.twitter.com/rockcareer
Elayne Mitchell, Fredis Benitez