What are some of the primary obstacles you faced while trying to move up the corporate ladder?
To me, obstacles are opportunities to learn and grow. The first one that comes to mind is balancing family and work. For me, family comes first and I know that I’ve got one shot at being a good parent. At the same time, I enjoy what I do and the difference we are making in people’s lives. Having the right team is another one. It makes a big difference when your team has diversity of thought, background, and experience. Build a great team that “completes your incompleteness”. Gaining trust in your skills, ability and knowledge is key. I became an officer at a young age and, in addition to being a female, trust is certainly earned. Once that happens, it can be leveraged to influence change.
What role have coaches and mentors played in your life and how did you go about choosing them?
Mentors and coaches have played a critical role in my career and personal development. My approach was more organic in that I looked for people who were different from me and who would also challenge me. When I found people whose strengths were my opportunities, they brought out a better version of myself. Complete honesty is very important to me too.
How has networking impacted your career path?
Networking is the reason why I am where I am today. I’ve created meaningful connections over the years with different leaders. We’ve shared best practices and invested time to help each other succeed. My network coached and mentored me, and I do the same for others. Having a network of peers is also invaluable.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you would like to share with individuals who are trying to advance into a position like the one you hold?
I would say seize the opportunity or challenges within your department or your organization and be the solution. Solution-oriented leaders stand out.
What involvement have you engaged in the local community that you found helpful for self-development or helping others grow?
My favorite non-profit is Dress for Success. Empowering others to show up better at their jobs or job interviews through mock interviews, professional attire and a network of support is so rewarding. In giving back, I’ve learned everyone has a story and that story can open your eyes to a bigger world. When you take time to help others, you will find that your purpose is greater than yourself.
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