Allenda Simpson is the owner of Simpson and Associates LLC, a San Francisco-based recruiting agency. With more than 20 years of experience in corporate staffing, Simpson specializes in helping job candidates land their dream job and making sure companies hire the perfect fit.
Simpson says she was ready for a long career in banking when she was unexpectedly laid off from her job as a new account supervisor at Bank of America, saying it was a life-changing moment.
“In 1993 Bank of America bought out another bank and, as with most mergers, a lot of positions became redundant including mine. Bank of America was supposed to be my ‘forever’ job, so I never saw the need to keep up my resume or improve my job skills.”
Simpson says, as a result, she had a difficult time finding a job, despite her experience and education credentials. Instead, she took a job as a corporate cleaner and lunch lady.
Simpson didn’t let the setback discourage her from finding her next ‘forever’ position. “I was graced with colleagues, managers, and mentors who knew my strengths and weaknesses and pointed me in the best direction.”
Simpson took the next seven years to perfect her job skills before landing a position with Fremont Group as their sole recruiting manager. Taking those years to really map out her plan worked in her favor, and now it’s something she recommends to others.
“There’s no pressure for you to figure everything out right away because you’re going to make mistakes. Take the time to do your research, figure out what your niche is, and find mentors who really understand the industry you’re looking to work in.”
While Simpson says she never intended on being a business owner, she was able to find inspiration close to home.
“I never dreamed this would happen, it was something totally outside my comfort zone. My dad was a business owner, working as a real estate broker, and I always admired his work ethic but that was something I never thought I would be able to do.”
Simpson left Fremont Group in 2017 after her father was diagnosed with dementia to become his full-time caregiver and opened Simpson and Associates in July of 2019. While this balancing act can be challenging at times, Simpson says there was one area of her business that was taken care of from the start--commercial insurance.
“Even though I’m a sole business owner, I still need to have the same outlook as large companies. I still needed to have the right registration, licenses, and insurance in place. With my clients, having insurance is a condition of doing business so, for small businesses especially, it’s important to have a one-stop-shop like CoverWallet. I was able to get everything I need in minutes, and with policies from a major carrier.”