How did you get to where you’re at in your career?
I feel lucky to be in the point of my career that I am. A lot of it was predicated on relationship building and gaining the trust of peers and managers along the way. I have been working in marketing for over 15 years, with 11 of those being in the industry of staffing. Over time, you build up a level of expertise and strong relationships that as they progress…you progress. I also feel I was lucky to have people around me that I could learn and grow from. I have always been fortunate enough to have leadership that inspired me every day and challenged me to take risks and not be afraid to make mistakes. When one’s professional career is cultivated in an atmosphere like that, you are bound to advance as a professional. Lastly, I think there was a little good old fashioned luck involved—being in the right place at the right time. Once I was there, I made the decision to stay with my employer when others might have job/employer hopped a bit. Longevity does play out to benefit an individual over time and opportunity is bound to open up when you get to truly know your employer.
Did you always know that you would end up doing this?
Actually, no. I didn’t always think I would end up in marketing and I never assumed I would end up in staffing. In a conversation recently someone posed the question, “does anyone say I want to work in the staffing industry when I grow up?” I found that to be humorous, yet very true. When going to school, I wanted to go into TV production/journalism or political science. As a double major, I found myself drawn to both career options. After graduation, I looked for jobs in both arenas and happily landed in the production field where I stayed for two years. Being exposed to various clients and businesses in this job made me realize that I loved the creative aspect, but wanted more of a business setting. A few stepping stones later, I arrived at Randstad where my career has played out. Have I forgotten my political ambitions? For the most part, yes. However, I am a notary public, which is considered public office. So, I sit here laughingly telling myself that my major wasn’t fully lost!
If someone else were to walk in your shoes for one day, what could they expect?
If someone were to walk in my shoes they could expect a consistently busy day. To do this job, one really has to enjoy a hectic schedule and thrive on a fast momentum and a bit of unpredictability. In my role, I have the advantage of overseeing a number of functions that fall into traditional general marketing, so it is normal to go from a morning PR discussion, to a lunch appointment about job boards, to an afternoon discussion on candidate care/maintenance. The subjects vary greatly and all pose their own set of challenges, opportunities, and deliverables. The biggest thing I have learned and grown to appreciate is that to truly be successful it comes down to the team and not one individual. When you have a strong, dedicated team, the challenges become possibilities and learning experiences. In our organization, the team concept is incredibly important.
What do you like most about your job?
What I like best about my job are the people—the people on my team, the people we support, and the people who lead us. Our business is about people and I feel lucky to have found a place that I can go each day that I truly enjoy. I also tend to thrive on controlled chaos and because each day brings new challenges and new projects, I enjoy the variation.
What would be your advice for someone wanting to take the same career path?
My advice would be to make decisions early about your career. College is a good time to determine a specialization and focus on that. Students would be much better prepared in this economy if they graduated with a specialized degree, such as engineering, computer science, and/or nursing, than a general bachelor’s degree. We are in an unprecedented economy and the more you establish an area of expertise, the better off you will be. It is also important to find internships, volunteer opportunities and freelance work that are in line with your desired professional area to demonstrate some skills on the job and the desire to learn more. Finally, networking is a big part of being a professional and you can never start too early. Find an organization to join that will allow you to rub elbows with people in the business. As with most things in life, opportunity is often times presented through a friendly face.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
In my spare time I enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors. Regardless of season, I enjoy the fresh air. I also enjoy gardening, interior design, spending time with family and friends— and unfortunately shopping!