Karen Skinner: A Reinvented Career
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
RICHMOND — After her longstanding career came to a sudden end, Karen Skinner took the opportunity to reinvent her professional livelihood. “I had been in the telecommunications industry for more than 30 years when I was unexpectedly laid off,” she recounts. “At that point, I took some time to decide what I would do next. I was pretty burned out on the telecom field and felt ready to reinvent myself and take on a new challenge.”
Not long after, Karen got wind of a sales position opening at a local paver company and decided to give it a shot. “I didn’t have any experience with pavers, but it sounded like it might be fun,” she says. “As it turns out, it was a lot of fun and I really flourished. By the end of my second year at Viking Pavers, I was a top sales rep, and the following year I was promoted to Senior Project Design Specialist.”
Today, Karen says her favorite part of her job is seeing her customers’ projects come to fruition. “Since my job is basically to bring the client’s dreams into reality, my favorite part is seeing the final result. It’s really exciting to witness the beautiful transformation that takes place.” Additionally, she appreciates the dress code her new career allots. “After 30 years of wearing three-piece suits, I love the fact that I can go to work in jeans and sneakers.”
Originally from New Jersey, Karen resides today in Redwood Shores, where she spends her time outside of work on a variety of pastimes. “I’m an avid golfer and participate in a women’s golf league,” she details. “I also make wine and am part of a winemaking group in San Carlos. Two years ago, I won second prize at the San Mateo County Fair’s amateur winemaking contest.” Additionally, Karen enjoys music (especially blues and classic rock) and regularly attends live concerts.
In her life and career, Karen espouses the wisdom of the Golden Rule. “I try to show compassion to others and treat them the way I’d want to be treated,” she explains. “That applies to both my personal life and my professional career. As for the latter, whenever I work with a client, I try to be respectful of their home environment and treat it as if it were my own.”
When asked the first thing she’d do if she were to retire tomorrow, Karen says she’d connect with her family roots. “Half of my heritage comes from the Czech Republic and I’ve never been there, so if I retired tomorrow, I would catch a flight and spend a month experiencing the culture.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite book?
A: “The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom” by Don Miguel Ruiz.
Q: What’s your all-time favorite band?
A: Aerosmith. I’ve seen them in concert four times.
Q: What was your first pet?
A: A cat named Whiskey.
Q: What’s your favorite local winery?
A: Domenico Winery in San Carlos.
Q: Which of the Golden Girls do you most identify with?
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