Monday, July 6, 2020

Wendy D’Attilio: Rediscovering the Energy Within

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Wendy D’Attilio finds herself in unfamiliar territory

Having been in the regulatory side of industry for 35 years, in a variety of sectors from waste management to energy (or, as she puts it, “from trash to gas”), it came as quite a shock to Wendy D’Attilio, a hydrogeologist, when she had to look for a job for the first time in 15 years.

“I didn’t know what LinkedIn was. I thought it was a dating service! I saw all these jobs and started sending out mass quantities of resumes.”

Based on that experience, Wendy says there may be a future book satirizing her job search. (“Trust me, Boomers,” she says, “it will be a valuable resource.”)

Overqualified and underemployed

During her own pursuit of a new role, Wendy says,

“I probably read every self-help, ‘you’re a badass’ book, but the biggest resource of all was Katie Mehnert, CEO, pink girl extraordinaire, who challenged me professionally and was my catalyst.”

Even for someone as highly educated and qualified as Wendy, who has a Bachelor’s in biology, an MBA, and a Registered Environmental Manager (REM) certification, job hunting can be daunting. The normally optimistic Wendy found herself giving in to doubts and negative thinking and realized she had to take measures to put herself in situations where she could network, meet new people, and discover potential opportunities.

Wendy Takes Action

Wendy attended a Houston energy forum and met Katie. Recalling the encounter, Wendy says, “She took my breath away.” Katie’s naturally exuberant personality and passion for the industry helped Wendy regain her positive mindset. At Katie’s urging, Wendy joined Pink Petro and participated in a Coach’s Corner event. When Katie generously provided her with a ticket to HerWorld 2019, Wendy says, “I cried.” She showed her gratitude by volunteering to help and was willing to do anything, including stuff envelopes.

A spirit of inclusion

Wendy was attracted to Pink Petro by Katie’s spirit of inclusiveness. “She has included me in everything. She’s always checking on me. I was able to mingle with women from the industry. Katie gave me the confidence to get back out there and not give up. I experienced the energy from Katie and all the people in her network. It’s been a godsend. She knows everybody and she’s an incredible mentor. She wasn’t afraid to share her experiences and shoot from the hip. She mentored me and coached me and said, don’t ever give up. Because of Katie and all the people I’ve met through her, it’s propelled me to continue to do what I love.”

Words of advice

When asked if she has any words of advice – besides “join Pink Petro” – to other women who may find themselves in the daunting position of having to re-enter the job market, Wendy says, “Slay the naysayers.”

Wendy D'Attilio member feature on Pink Petro

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