Nicole Korn joined 501(c) Services in March 2021 as the Director of UI Solutions. With 16 years of experience helping employers manage their unemployment needs, Nicole is no stranger to the ins-and-outs of the industry. In her new role, she provides internal support to the 501(c) Services Member Services Team and ensures that member organizations can implement unemployment solutions smoothly and successfully.
What’s your favorite part about your new role?
“My favorite part is working at the organization itself. It’s so agile and flexible, which is different from coming from a very rigid corporate structure. We have such great leadership that values their employees and their family lives. The work-life balance is exceptional.”
“Coming into a smaller company, a lot of my new co-workers have been here for a very long time. I get to bring in a fresh set of eyes and bring out new ideas. Having the flexibility to implement those ideas is awesome. And, I’m learning some new things, which, you know, being in the industry for almost 16 years, there are still new things to learn and different parts of this industry that I hadn’t really dabbled in before that I’m starting to learn now. So that excites me.”
“I’m just so thankful for this opportunity. I’m just super grateful to be here.”
You’ve been working in the unemployment industry for 16 years — how did you get your start in this field?
“I just happened to stumble upon a job after college. I didn’t know anything about unemployment, I had just returned from working overseas for a little bit, and I needed a job. I had applied to be an unemployment insurance consultant with TALX Corporation, which is now Equifax.”
“That was back in 2005 and there was some rigorous training. To be honest with you, even after 16 years, I still don’t know everything. It was basically just working with customers and getting on-the-job experience.”
“This is the kind of industry that once you’re in it, people tend to stay because it is very niche and very specific. It’s not something that most people know a lot about and becoming an expert in this area makes you want to stick around.”
How does your new role as Director of UI Services compare to your prior roles at Equifax?
“It’s very similar, but my role now is more focused on helping members. When I was with Equifax, they were a very large organization with a very corporate structure. I had an obligation to 501(c) Services as my client, but I also had an obligation to Equifax. Now I get to focus on what I love, which is helping people, educating them on unemployment, and educating our teams internally.”
How has the pandemic affected your work?
“The pandemic did a couple of interesting things. Number one, it raised a lot of questions surrounding unemployment, even for people who had previously never had to think about unemployment.”
“There were constantly changing rules and legislation, and that was a fun thing about it all. The pandemic made me have to pull from all my years of experience and remember everything that I have learned so that I could provide support to a very large customer base at the same time. It was stressful, but it was also re-energizing. It kind of got you out of that mundane day-to-day, and I suddenly became a very important part of people’s organizations.”
“I think the pandemic has brought up new and interesting things that weren’t there before, and it has allowed me to be creative in the work I do.”
Can you tell us a bit about your work set-up?
“I live in St. Louis, Missouri. I’ve been a remote employee for over 10 years, so I’m used to working from home and working remotely. It’s been great because we use video technology to make it feel more like we’re all together. I have to be camera-ready all the time, but it’s been really good because it keeps you connected and face-to-face with everybody.”
What do you spend your time doing when you’re not at work?
“I’ve been spending a lot of time bowling with my family which we picked up over the pandemic because there weren’t a lot of things open that we could do. We like to ski in the winter which is a newfound passion the last couple of years. I learned to ski at the age of 38, but we had to cancel our ski season for various reasons this year so bowling was something we could do.”
“We have all the equipment and we’re learning all the bowling techniques. It’s super fun because it’s actually very challenging. There’s a lot of mechanics that go into it. I don’t think people realize how complicated it really is.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lia Tabackman is a freelance journalist, copywriter, and social media strategist based in Richmond, Virginia. Her writing has appeared in the Washington Post, CBS 6 News, the Los Angeles Times, and Arlington Magazine, among others.