Bill Hickey’s career started as soon as he graduated from Loyola University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Production Management and Personnel Management. Ultimately, Bill decided to join the family business – a full service travel agency in Mount Prospect. During the years Bill owned and operated the agency, he expanded it to four locations with $20 million in revenue. Bill continued his entrepreneurial journey by owning and operating a secondary business for an additional nine years. However, after more than 20 years as an entrepreneur, Bill instinctively knew that the travel industry was transforming and wanted to try something different.

Through a combination of his professionalism and his networking connections, Bill began a brand new position as Vice President of Corporate Partnerships for the Orlando Suns Hockey team in Florida. “I’ve always ran my own business – I would wear a number of hats. I’ve done operations, sales and a bit of everything with my travel agency, but the Solar Bears position really allowed me to focus on sales,” said Bill. In a short span of five months, and in a brand new market where he virtually knew no one, Bill generated 60 leads, 30 proposals and six contracts. However, Orlando is quite far from his native Illinois, and as a father of four boys he didn’t want to uproot the entire family, so he made his way back up north. And for the first time in his life, Bill began a job search!

After attending a networking event, he learned about CareerPlace and felt that his experience aligned with what CareerPlace had to offer. He became a member and sought guidance on digital job searching. “The last time I had to find a job, it was a lot more of who you knew, which is a strength of mine, but CareerPlace was able to give me the knowledge and expertise when job searching online,” Bill said. In addition, Bill worked with CareerPlace Career Coach Pete Pappas, to discuss best possible career paths. Bill says through his conversations with Pete “all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place” when determining that a sales position in the travel industry would allow Bill to fully utilize his extensive travel expertise, while hyper-focusing on his passion of sales.

Bill is now the Vice President of Sales at Travelex International, a position that was created at the company specifically for him! When providing advice for fellow job seekers, Bill said, “Ask a lot of questions and seek counsel of a lot of people. There is no right answer. What works for one company may not necessarily work for the other. Don’t get discouraged! The right opportunity will come along. It’s a matter of meeting the right people and having the right conversation.”

If you or someone you know is looking for a new career, CareerPlace can help! Click here to enroll today!