May Question of the Month 💭 Join the conversation and receive a badge
We recently shared a Forbes article from our EVP of engineering, Praerit Garg that spoke about the big impact managers have on the performance and retention of their teams.
In keeping with the topic of career impact, this month's Question of the Month asks:
Who has had the biggest impact on your career and why?
Could be a professional connection, a teacher, book author, childhood friend - possibilities are endless. We can't wait to hear your stories.
Share your answer in the comments below.
About Question of the Month:
We kick off each month with a new question. These monthly ice breakers are just one way to help you get to know your Smartsheet peers and rack up some badges and points in the process.
Everyone who participates by answering the question prior to the end of the month will automatically receive a unique participant badge once the question closes at the end of the month.
In addition to the participant badge, the top three answers based on Community member votes will receive the Top Answer badge. To vote on an answer click on the upvote icon associated with an answer in the comments below. Multiple votes allowed and encouraged!
There are so many different avenues to achieve this. My manger is there to promote me, and give me the tools, but it is mainly on me to use those tools to excel and advance in my career and job. Connections definitely help, but I need to be the one to either initiate them, or accept new connections that can connect me to different avenues. It also comes around with surrounding yourself with the positive and same goals individuals to push me to move forward, because one can get stuck in a rut and with no support, you cannot excel
Who has the biggest impact on my career? Honestly...probably my children. If I could be on an island doing nothing all day- I'd do it. But I need to provide for my kids & show them that if you work hard, you get a good reward.
It's definitely a mix of people who have had an influence on my career: 1) Excellent managers and leaders who had my back. 2) My mum and Nonny for showing me what strong women look like from a young age (my Nonny especially was an effortless community builder). 3) Anyone who thinks outside the box and expresses themselves no matter what - encouraging others to do the same.
Well over the last 20 years 4 people are the reason I am here today. My Dad push me to get my EMT, My Mom introduced me to Emergency Management when she went back to school when I was in high school. I joined a regional HAZMAT team back in 2009 and started doing Hazmat ops Instruction for local fire departments My partner who was also my Captain told me that if i really wanted to make money at this career I needed to get in to private industry Move forward to 2015 I got hired on at my current company as a specialist and my Director has molded me in to the manager I am 8 years later.
I want to say its one of my previous managers. He always pushed for knowledge expansion and certifications. Today he is one of my best friends and we talk daily about the next knowledge target.
Sr System Analyst, Carelon Medical Benefits Management
Certified Smartsheet Administrator
Be Firm! Be Fair! Be Friendly! Be Honest!!!
This is a tough question, but it really makes you think. In my life, I have always loved helping people and kids! My favorite teacher in High School suggested I work for a local company helping those in our community with Developmentally disabilities. I applied and started on my journey for 6 years. As I changed positions within that organization, I was given the opportunity to work with the kids in the school district after school hours and loved every second. I applied with our local district and started on my new career path here at MCVSD 51. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and people are put in your life to help guide you towards your reason! My path led to some amazing people, and I am just grateful for each and everyone that entered my life, making me who I am today. There is not just one person who pointed me to my career but rather a village of supporters. My family, my friends, and myself, that's who guided me!
Deanna Vandermeer Overachievers Alumni
This is a great question and it is very hard to narrow this down to just one person. There have been many, many people who have had an impact on my career over the 36 years that I have been employed by our school district. But overall, I feel that there are four significant, incredibly strong and powerful women who have had the biggest impact of them all. These four women, while each very unique in their approach, had one thing in common. They believed in the philosophy that women should be supportive of one another and help build each other up as opposed to tearing one another down. As a woman, and working mother, I struggled a lot with not only men thinking I was incapable but women feeling the need to stab me in the back if it meant they were somehow helping themselves (perhaps out of jealousy and their own insecurities?) but also struggling with balancing my own work and home life, raising my three children, being there for my husband and finding time for myself in between all of the responsibilities and pressures that we as women tend to place on ourselves. I struggled with my own insecurity as well and being overly concerned about what other people thought of me, especially when there were times that I felt I was being unfairly targeted simply because I was taking on more roles and responsibilities above and beyond the ones listed in my "job description". I LOVE to learn new things, I LOVE to help others and it brings me a great sense of accomplishment if I have actually managed to have not only found a better, more time saving way to do something, but to have been the one to create the solution that gets implemented as a result. Without the support of these four amazing women I don't believe that my career would be where it is today nor do I think I would have had the courage to seek out and present Smartsheet to our upper management and persuade them that our district should purchase Smartsheet licenses, nor would I have been able to successfully implement the many, many solutions across our entire district. These four women encouraged me to believe in myself and my skills and to trust that "I know what I know" and that I know what needs to be done to make things happen. I also believe in passing this same support and trust to my coworkers and helping lift them up each and every day. I wish that more people (men and women alike) would believe that we are better when we come together and support one another versus tearing each other down and wasting so much time and effort on being bitter, angry and hateful towards one another or trying to find fault in one another. I continue to strive to be like these four women, who impacted my career and my life, each and every day and I know that they are also aware of just how much they mean to me as that is important too. We should all remember to let those around you know just how much they mean to you because you never know when it might be too late.
The Executive Director at my last place of work. 8 years ago I was contemplating a career change and didn't know what direction to take. I'd been let go from my previous employer and was feeling bruised. 🤕 I applied for a job managing volunteers at a small non-profit I'd been volunteering with. Between the two interviews, the Board replaced the Executive Director! 😲 The incoming ED looked at my resume and the job, and asked me how I felt about taking on all people, ie. managing HR as well as volunteers. I said I was willing to give it a go. 😁 👍️
That started my HR career path. I learned on the job, did part-time study at my local university 👩🎓 and after four years I moved to my current role as HR manager in a much bigger non-profit. 💪 I love the work and the ongoing learning, and none of it would have happened had it not been for that ED giving me a chance! 😀
Who has had the biggest impact on my career? I never thought about it this way, but probably my wife. I was married for 20 of my 24 years while serving in the military which meant moving every 4 or 5 years. Each one of those assignments resulted in a job change and eventually a promotion. If it wasn't for my wife's support and encouragement, I could not have made those moves and my career most likely would have stagnated.
Who has had the biggest impact on my career and why?
I appreciate all of the responses to this question. Primarily, because so many of these answers point to people outside of our professional lives having the biggest impact on our careers. I'm still fairly early in my career and I'm truly grateful to have a manager who believes in my potential and challenges me to actualize that potential.
When I think of the biggest impact on my career and why. I think of my college friend Wayne Drummer, who transitioned on my 22nd birthday. Wayne and I were only friends for a short period of time, yet he had a profound impact on my life. At the time, I was a 22 year old father, who was unemployed, uneducated, and facing criminal charges. I had no clear direction for my life. Wayne saw potential in me that I failed to see in myself. He encouraged me to be optimistic about my future despite my present adversity and strive for greatness.
Devasted and determined after the passing of my friend. I made a bold personal declaration to pursue my destiny and make a positive impact on my sphere of influence. 10 years later, I've earned two college degrees, received prestigious awards and national recognition for my work, and ultimately found a vision for my life.
Wayne impact on my life has allowed me to make an impact on the lives of so many others. Thanks Wayne!
A little bit of tech and a little bit of human touch.
I would say my mentors, and I have had several throughout my life and professional career. I was able to listen and learn from individuals who had been in their careers for many years, made mistakes, learned from them, taught others, and me, and were humble enough to take accountability and move forward. This was a very attractive trait as I advanced in my own career, realizing that I needed to own up to my failures and assumptions and teach others in my field what I have learned along the way in order to help them grow themselves and hopefully continue to transform whatever industry they are in a positive way.
My elementary school librarian, Mrs. McCann. She encouraged my love of reading, learning, and teaching. I was so inspired by her library that I wanted to build my own. When I was seven, I created and pasted card pockets in the back of all my books and create a little catalog in a spiral notebook. I would loan the books out to my friends and family, and I even charged a late fee. (I cringe looking back on the late fees, but the only person who had to pay was my Mamaw. I believe it was her quiet way of giving me candy change!).
After I finished my bachelor's in sociology, I earned my master's in library science, and I'm a librarian today. If it hadn't been for her support and nurturing, I doubt I would've had the experiences that led me down this path.
I would say my father, he passed away 8 years ago. I didn't choose to go to college right out of high school (he would have paid then), I was anxious to be a part of the workforce. I later worked with my father at 2 companies, he did not hire me for either role. In fact I was working at each role for over a month before he found out. And to maintain professionalism, and avoiding nepotism, I called him "Mr. Barnes" while all my co-workers called him by his first name. That would have just been too weird. Dad was ecstatic to see me get my AA and BS degrees with honors, as he was initially a teacher (along with Mom), so grades were very important. Unfortunately Dad passed just over 8 years ago with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma and was not able to see me graduate with my Masters in Business Intelligence, with a perfect 4.0 GPA. I know he would have been proud as he never got a chance to get his Masters. In every career decision I make, I say to myself, WWDD (What would Daddy do)? I have worked hard throughout my career, and had setbacks like everyone. But I can honestly say that I am passionate about my job, have a wonderful boss (that is a true leader), and great co-workers. Dad has always been my mentor, and even though he cannot respond during our discussions, I know what he would says. I love you Dad!
Project Analyst | Core Quality Services (QMS Transformation)
My mother and wife have had the biggest impact in my career. Before I got married, my mother taught me the importance of saving and being responsible in all aspects of life (job, marriage, education etc). She encouraged me even when I thought my goals might be far fetched. She sadly passed away a few years after I got married and was not able to see me achieve my dreams. My wife, has always believed in me and pushed me to achieve the unachievable. After my mum passed, I lost the enthusiasm to do anything but I am so grateful for my wife's support. She helped me get back on my feet, supported and encouraged me to get back to my dreams and I achieved it (well, now I have bigger goals lol).
First is my grandmother who is always kind and compassionate to everyone around her. She spreads positivity wherever she is and never complains about anything in her life :) She taught me that A small act of kindness can have a huge impact on someone's life.
Second, is my elementary school teacher who taught me the language 'Sanskrit'. He came back to school to teach in such a short period even after suffering a severe injury due to which he went through plastic surgery. Dedication, sincerity, and hard work are the things I learned from him.