What is the recipe for making a bold career move? Is it taking big leaps, small steps or a combination of both? For Senior Marketing Manager Katie Lewandroski, she has carved out a career that is based on an inner strength (she is a marathon runner and completed an ultra-marathon), risk taking mentality and has embraced challenges even when she didn’t have all the answers. Katie is an excellent example of how a high performer is viewed also as high potential by creatively gaining access to senior leadership, working across functional areas and seeking out mentors.
- Embrace challenges. Katie started out at an agency and delivered exceptional value to her clients with a “whatever it takes” attitude. Her work ethic lead to a career opportunity working for a large Fortune 500 Pharma company, when her former client hired her.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. One of the key characteristics of a rising star is the ability to seek out help to fill in any gaps in knowledge or experience. After making a big career move from agency to corporate, Katie connected with mentors in the new organization, and they gave her resources to learn everything she needed to succeed.
- Look for opportunities to shine. Katie shared how she volunteered to be on a cross-functional committee that included all areas within the organization, procurement, finance, regulatory, sales, marketing, R&D. The one year assignment allowed her not only to gain access to functions within the company she might otherwise not otherwise interact with, she was visible to senior leaders who saw her initiatives and applauded her ideas.
- Go the extra 10%. Katie recognized that if she wanted the opportunity to meet with the VP of her division, it wouldn’t happen during a busy work day. She decided to arrive to work at 6:30 AM when the senior leader had time for conversation. Gaining access to senior leaders might mean arriving really early or leaving late…and it is worth it.
- Don’t look back. If you have the chance to make a move, internally, or across the country like in Katie’s situation, evaluate and then go for it. Having a carpe diem mindset will foster upward opportunities in your career.
Katie’s philosophy on collaborating with others includes “being nice” to people you work with both suppliers and other employees. Sounds so simple and when applied to relationships at work, it makes everyone’s experience collaborating much more enjoyable.