‘Taking Stock of Your Strengths’ – How I Changed Industries and Found a Company I Love

Sponsored by CarGurus

Gabrielle Bertholdt

Photo courtesy of CarGurus.

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April 17, 2024 at 6:28AM UTC

Gabrielle Bertholdt has had an unusual career path. She worked in the insurance industry for over 10 years (primarily in client relations and sales), and, although she was happy in her job, she was intrigued about a company her friend was “raving about” — CarGurus.

When Bertholdt decided to interview with CarGurus, “I worried I would not be a good fit because I did not have a background in the auto industry,” she reveals. However, she quickly learned that “this doesn’t matter, as CarGurus is a tech company first and foremost, and offers extensive training for new hires, especially in sales,” Bertholdt explains. “They are also a very inclusive company that recognizes individuals' strengths. This meant they saw my background as a source of fresh perspective that would be an asset to the team.

In addition to understanding her strengths, CarGurus also made sure to give Bertholdt the support she needed to transition to a new industry. “New ‘Gurus’ on the sales team get four weeks of structured training to teach you about all the products and services we offer, the tools we use, and the data and resources available to help you succeed,” Bertholdt tells us. “From there, people are collaborative and helpful but never micromanage you. I was — and still am — able to work independently at my own pace, knowing that I’d get out what I put into the role, and that ideas and support are just a call, Slack message, or team meeting away. Because people are so nice at CarGurus, and our company values transparency and collaboration, I feel like I can ask anything of my colleagues and managers and know I’ll get a helpful response.”

Today, Bertholdt has successfully transitioned to her role as an Account Executive. “I help small, independent car dealers make the most of their relationship with CarGurus by connecting them with ways they can use our products and services to grow their business,” she says. 

“It’s fun and challenging work that makes me feel like I’m making an impact on real people.”

In this article, Bertholdt reveals more about her career pivot, how it benefited her and advice for other women considering taking on a new career path.

What has been most interesting or surprising to you about this new direction for you? 

I didn’t realize I could love a job this much! I’ve worked in many different types of companies with different cultures, but nothing compares to the one I’ve experienced at CarGurus. People genuinely care and that’s clear from our values, benefits and the way managers and leaders interact with employees. 

For example, we have unlimited personal time off in addition to a generous vacation policy. This is great if you need to go to a parent-teacher conference or have someone coming by to do work on your house. New parents really like our parental leave policies, which include 16 paid weeks off for primary caregivers and 15 days for a gradual return to work. Practical perks like free lunch in the office and fully paid commuter benefits save me time and money, and make me feel valued as an employee.

Looking back, how has making a career pivot positively impacted you?

Knowing I have a job I love, a supportive company and team and the work-life balance I need has helped me feel more productive, present and fulfilled both in and out of the office. Also, taking on this new role in a new industry made me more aware of how the energy of others impacts my own. People at CarGurus are positive, optimistic and can-do — and I find this brings out the best in me too!

What is your best advice or motivation for women going through career changes?

Be attuned to how you feel; check in with yourself now and then to confirm you’re still learning and happy. Take stock of your strengths, and, if they’re not being used, seek roles (in your current company or a different one) that will truly leverage and value them. Keep an open mind — there are a lot of interesting opportunities out there that you may discover along the way.

What traits and skills do you think best help you excel in Sales? How do you develop and evolve these in your current role?

The problem-solving and relationship-building skills I’ve honed over the course of my career, which are fueled by being a good listener. I know we have many ways we can help our customers achieve their goals, but applying them starts with asking good questions, taking the answers to heart and then creating a plan that works for everyone. I also “listen” to the data my customers generate on our platform. We have a seemingly endless amount at our fingertips that I use to help them make decisions and allocate resources. 

How do you maintain your work-life balance? How does CarGurus help you do this?

With CarGurus’ hybrid model and unlimited personal time off, I have the flexibility I need when I need it most. The company also encourages me to be myself, and I fully embrace this by being candid with my colleagues and clients about my schedule and the boundaries I need to set to be available for my daughter. I’ve found that people are very receptive when you share a little bit about yourself and your needs — after all, they’re people too!

Is there anything else we didn’t ask about that you’d like to mention?

Consider a role at CarGurus or one of our sister companies, CarOffer or Autolist! Together, we are transforming how people shop for, finance and purchase cars today. Being involved in every step of the car-shopping process creates lots of opportunities for creative and ambitious people across a number of teams. If you’re in sales like me, you’ll find we have great products you’ll be proud to offer your clients that will make a real difference for them.

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