Caroline Ceniza-Levine Interview: Do What You Love to Do! (And Quit What You Don't)
Diana Landau | March 30, 2021
This week’s guest is Caroline Ceniza-Levine. Caroline is a dynamo in every sense. She has been a career coach for Amazon, Condé Nast, Goldman Sachs, Google, Tesla and other start-ups through global economies. Her specialty is career change, and she is the author of “Jump Ship: 10 Steps to Starting a New Career."
But HR is just a fraction of the many things she does well. She’s been a guest expert on CNN, NMC, CBS, FOX and other outlets; she’s also been a Senior Contributor to Forbes and a former career columnist in Money, CNBC and Portfolio. Did we mention she is also a Director for non-profits, an adjunct professor and a very funny stand-up comedian?
Although definitely not your average career path, Caroline says she learned the pace and variety from her hard-working single mother. She says that growing up in Lower East Manhattan, her mother always had several side gigs. Caroline went to Barnard College and studied at Julliard as a classical pianist. It was the first time she decided to pivot to something new. “That was a big growth step for me,” she says. “Quitting was a gift to myself.”
So Caroline followed her many other interests instead. She was working with large companies and saw very successful, talented, hard-working people who were still not 100% satisfied with their jobs. That’s when she decided to trust her instincts. Her secret? “You have to be prepared to pivot constantly. So I embraced that.”
Caroline urges people to find their dream jobs, instead of a haphazard approach to finding that next opportunity. The same could be said of (un)retirement—make a plan:
Look for growth opportunities
Identify your resources
Make the changes you desire
Build a new community
During the podcast, Carl tells Caroline how much he admires how fearless she is. Caroline replied, “I’m actually fearful. But you just need to push yourself through it!” Caroline and her husband now split their time between NYC, Jacksonville FL, and Costa Rica. And you guessed it, still following her passions!
More insights on (un)retirement from Caroline:
• "Networking—Go do it! Figure out the methods of networking that work best for you."
• "It’s so much easier now to make money at things you are interested in. What a great time to have a body of expertise and experience and (you can) carve something new out of that."
• "Work is play! I now pick my projects based on whether they’re going to be fun and I’m going to enjoy working on them."
Diana Landau is the Content Wrangler for Pickleball Media. After 15 years in corporate marketing, in 2012 she pivoted to write and wrangle content for Niche Media's weekly blog. She now manages the “I Used to Be Somebody” weekly blog.