Vice President, Customer & Employee Experience
What advice would you give your 25-year-old self?
Advocate early and often for yourself. Early in my career, I believed my hard work and performance would be recognized and rewarded by my management. While it was in some cases, I have found that when I document my own successes and highlight the difference I made to the organization and share it with leadership, it showcases my value. I've now made a practice of doing this each year and sharing it with my peers and senior leader to not only highlight me and my team's accomplishments but also get feedback on how and what we could be doing better or focusing on for the next year. So, don't wait to be asked to highlight your accomplishments or expect someone to know what they are, document them, and be prepared to do a little self-promotion.
The other thing I wish I had done early on is to collect all those kudos into one folder. I've started doing that as it's a great way to get pumped up on those days when you feel imposter syndrome creeping in, you are feeling discouraged or you need some data points and courage to ask for that raise or promotion.
What are you most proud of in your career?
I have a lot that I am proud of over my thirty-year career spanning finance, operations, and marketing - from creating systems, improving processes, and increasing engagement and productivity. However, one that sticks out is how I earned my current role. I identified an opportunity that wasn't being addressed and created a proposal for a brand new position to fulfill the need. While the senior leader agreed with my proposal, I was having challenges with our human resources regarding compensation and promotion since it was a new role for me and the company. HR suggested that I prove it out first and then they would grant the promotion and salary increase. I had confidence in the value I could bring and held my ground on my compensation and promotion expectations. My senior leader supported my stance and made me an offer I couldn't refuse.
What are the ways you stay grounded and take care of yourself?
I've found that I need to focus on my mental and physical wellbeing in order to be at my best and not burn out. Some of the things I have done include walking 3-4 miles each day with my neighbors (I've been doing for over 20 years - rain or shine) or by myself (when they aren't available) while listening to a podcast; reading leadership and fiction books; practicing piano; and baking cookies, cakes, and cinnamon rolls. I've found that I can't multitask when I play the piano or bake (oops baking soda instead of baking powder!), so it's a nice way for me to clear my head and focus on something else to reset and take my mind off work.