From Retail to Recruiting – How I Began a Successful Career with TERRA Staffing Group

By Jezabel Southard

Posted on March 7, 2018

Rebecca Polcyn, TERRA's Mesa Branch ManagerSuccess Stories Created Daily. That’s our mission at TERRA. And we couldn’t make our mission a reality without our amazingly talented Recruiters.

But if you think all of our Recruiters come from a recruiting background, think again.

TERRA Recruiters come from all sorts of career backgrounds. Many of our most successful team members got their start in retail management.

Yes, retail management.

It may not seem obvious at first, but recruiting is a natural fit and a great next step for retail professionals looking to take their career in a new direction. Sales, customer service and the ability to manage competing priorities are all skills necessary for success in retail. These same skills are required for success in recruiting.

The main difference is that in moving from retail to recruiting you’ll have a better work-life balance – no more nights, weekends, or holidays spent on the job!

Don’t just take our word for it.

We recently sat down with Rebecca Polcyn, Mesa Branch Manager, who before coming to TERRA was a successful retail professional with seven years of retail management experience.

She is now managing a successful branch, developing a staff of recruiting professionals, and expanding our TERRA-tory in a relatively new market.

We asked her to tell us about her path at TERRA – and how her life has changed since joining the team.

How did you hear about TERRA?

My fiancé, also in retail management, got a call from the previous manager of our branch. She spoke to him about a potential opportunity to work as a recruiter. He was not in a position to make a career move, so he asked me if I wanted to speak with her about the potential fit. A month later, I launched my new career as a TERRA Recruiter in Mesa!

Why did you decide to take the leap and leave retail for recruiting?

Honestly, I was attracted to the Monday through Friday schedule. My fiancé and I both worked retail and with our growing family the schedules were hard to navigate.

What sold me on the opportunity was my final interview with Greg, TERRA CEO. He didn’t seem to “sugarcoat” things and introduced challenges off the bat. I was able to picture myself in those situations and felt confident that I could succeed.

What were your biggest strengths as a retail manager and how have they helped you in recruiting?

I think my biggest strength in retail was creating relationships, with both employees and customers. Being able to build solid relationships has allowed me to be able to listen and adjust my approach as needed. I’ve striven to create a fun, competitive culture for the employees and repeat business from customers.

What was your biggest fear in embarking on your recruiting career? How do you look at that fear now?

I had two big fears.

First, catching on to the administrative aspect of the job. I am not the most computer savvy. I was aware of my weakness, and worked hard to break bad habits and learn the software quickly.

Second, would I enjoy an office setting? I was nervous that I would be locked to a desk if I made the move from retail to recruiting… but honestly my days now go by faster and I feel more productive.

Photo of TERRA's Mesa Branch, with big smiles on their faces.
Let’s be real, transitioning to a new career is hard. What is a challenge you’ve faced at TERRA and how did you get through it?

Moving to a new career I wondered, would I would be any good at it? I was the expert in my last position, coming from management. And starting over in a new role, a new atmosphere, new industry, and with new coworkers was tough to think about. The biggest challenge is to be patient and be consistent with your daily activity and NOT GIVE UP. I think to be a great employee at TERRA, you have to show resilience. You have to go through some challenges, that teach you and test you, and it is how you overcome those challenges, how you strategize to get over those hurdles that will make you GREAT.

What has been your path here at TERRA?

I started as a recruiter with TERRA in June 2016. I was promoted to Staffing Manager in February 2017 and received another promotion to Branch Manager in July 2017.

Since joining TERRA, what accomplishments are you proudest of?

I am most proud of developing a full staff and profitable branch. When I joined TERRA in 2016, they’d only been open in the Arizona market for a few months. I started from ground zero and learned all the basics, and now I work to pass on that knowledge as we continue to grow our team. Becoming profitable in 2017 was a big milestone, and I’m really proud of the work we did to get there.

How has your life changed since joining TERRA?

Going through the leadership development program with TERRA has helped me not only in my professional life, but with my home life as well. Becoming a stronger leader at work has allowed me to have a stronger relationship with my family. And I get to enjoy my nights and weekends with my little one at home even more.

What is the best thing about recruiting here at TERRA?

I feel confident and proud when I tell people that I am a recruiter with TERRA. I feel I am a part of a supportive company that has a leadership team of developers and mentors.

What do you wish someone told you when you were considering moving from retail to recruiting with TERRA? What would you tell someone considering the same move today?

Jackie, Clackamas Branch Manager, worked with TERRA for a short period of time before I came on. I reached out to her for advice. She told me “if you want to be challenged, but given to tools to succeed, I’d take the leap!” After our conversation, I knew it wasn’t a question of can I do it. It was a matter of just doing it and taking a chance on a new career.

I would tell someone something very similar to the message Jackie gave me. It is not easy, and with each new day comes a new challenge. But if you thrive in a challenging environment and can put trust in the company to give you the tools to succeed, you should take the chance to work for a company with so much growth and opportunity potential.

Interested in a career with TERRA?

If Rebecca’s story resonates with you, and you’d like to transition from retail to recruiting, we’d love to speak with you.

Call Cary Ambler, Corporate Recruiter, at 425-405-7645 or feel free to send her an email at

Or visit our website to lean more about TERRA and check out some of the job openings we currently have available.

Categories: Success Stories

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