Team Member Success Story, Mary N.If you took a glance at Mary Northrup’s resume, you might wonder how she ended up at Work Opportunities Unlimited (WOU). After all, she had a long and successful career as a general manager in the weight loss/nutrition industry, which is a far cry from helping people with barriers obtain meaningful employment. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find that Mary was preparing for her position with WOU for many years without even realizing it.

During Mary’s 18-year career at Nutrisystem International, she worked her way up from manager to general manager. She was running several different medical centers in central New Hampshire when the company switched to primarily an online platform for its services. Mary then went to work as a director at Inches-A-Weigh, a company whose weight loss centers encompass a 3-phase program to achieve a healthier lifestyle and successful weight loss for all its clients.

When that Inches-A-Weigh location closed in 2009, Mary came upon a Career Resource Specialist opportunity with WOU during her job search that piqued her interest. It fit her desire to work part time, and she felt she had the skills to succeed. “I went through a lot of training with my prior companies that prepared me for WOU’s clientele,” Mary commented. “Psychologists trained us at Nutrisystem in behavioral counseling and how to work with customers who had anxiety and depression, and while with Inches-A-Weigh, I also worked with clients with disabilities.”

Still, she wanted another person’s opinion, so she turned to Nancy, the local owner of Inches-A-Weigh, who Mary considers “extremely smart in human resources and marketing” to take a look at the job description and see what she thought. Nancy felt the position was right up Mary’s alley, so with that stamp of approval, Mary applied with WOU. We thought working together was a match, and Mary was hired.

Ten years later, Mary still loves her job, and while she has been a part of many great placements and success stories during her time with WOU, she is especially proud of one in particular. Mary explained, “Our client was an avid fisherman and wanted to work in a fishing department, so realizing that a Bass Pro Shop was coming to our area, the client and I worked together to write a letter to corporate management in an effort to convince them that my client would be a great asset to their team. Wouldn’t you know that he was hired as the first non-management employee of the store? Not only that, he was that store’s first employee of the month! [To read more on that story, click here.]”

Mary is proof that you don’t need to follow a specific career path or earn a particular degree to succeed at WOU. While she had some on-the-job training, she also has the right blend of soft skills–creativity, compassion, perseverance, and patience—that help her tap into each client’s unique talents and get them on the path to meaningful employment.

If YOU are looking for meaningful work and are inspired by Mary’s story, we invite you to talk with one of our Recruiters to discover if Work Opportunities Unlimited is a career path that interests you. Call 866-761-1347, email or schedule a call using our calendly app – We look forward to meeting you!