My dad probably has the biggest impact on my career and in my life. He was a hard-working man who never gives up. He's no longer here, but his ethic stayed with me.
Love the answers shared and the personal stories behind them!
For me, similar to others, difficult to pin down to just one - so I'll cheat a little and say family.
My wife - for inspiring me every day to be a little bit better every day.
My parents - for pushing, supporting, and encouraging me to see that I could become a better version of myself than if they hadn't. Will always remember a piece of advice from my dad when I was young, "don't do the same as me, do better".
Process Architect, Ceridian
Who has the biggest impact on my career? When I was young and lost my mother at 20, on her funeral I met a person that offered me an opportunity to start in IT, that person believed in me and changed my career in a complete different direction. Thanks Mister X
It all started when I worked for a credit union in 2013, it really set my professional foundation for my career. I have had a few jobs since then and I hadn't quite found anyone that could compete with my credit union experience. Then, a couple years ago I started working with a new manager in the education industry and she has allowed me to flourish in a way that I hadn't experienced for a while. I am quite grateful for my current manager and giving me the autonomy to do things the way I see best for my role and the organization. And before all of this experience, I must give recognition to my mother for instilling a hard work ethic when I was growing up!
Education Service Center Region 13
Grants and Contracts Project Coordinator
I have been at my current company for 12 years. After my first year, I was selected to start a new group within the company. My new boss in this group was amazing. While I had come into the group with team skills, she helped me develop amazing leadership skills that I still use to this day. Whereas when I started with the company, I was boxed into one role, her tutelage helped me grow my career in ways I couldn't have imagined. I have managed teams of more than 20 people, kept up team morale during numerous org changes and became a technology leader. As a direct result of working with her, I have won several prestigious company awards. I cannot thank her enough! 😊
I would say this is a large group of people in my life - I think everyone at some point impacts a person's life - good or bad. We learn from each of those people and shift who we want or don't want to be. From a growth standpoint, my parents, fiance, friends, colleagues, mentor, and manager have greatly impacted my career and who I am today!
Thanks for sharing this Sherry. Such a beautiful tribute to your dad.
As others have said, it is difficult to narrow down. I try to see what impact anyone can have on my career. Whether it be a manager providing me with a groundbreaking opportunity, to someone I am training providing me with constructive feedback that helps me to adjust and better myself along the way. I would say the most recent impacts would be my 2 previous and current managers. They have all provided me with great opportunities for growth and encourage me to push my limits and get outside of my comfort zone. They are my cheering section, but are not above being honest and open with their feedback on how I can improve or what I need to work on developing.
A previous Manager of mine. A good manager who is a leader can truly impact your life. When a manager puts you first over everything to FOCUS on building you up and growing you as an individual, you start to believe "skies the limit."
Biggest impact on my career is my son , me, then my direct supervisor and leadership. As a single parent, my son dictates my entire life - where we live, schools he will attend that will challenge him and meet his needs and whether I take on an in person position that will work around my personal life, working remote and/or how much travel I'm willing to do each month. Then I'm a big impact on my career. It's my willingness to learn more about the company, furthering my position based on interests and compensation. Finally it's my supervisor and leadership team - whether they are engaged and supportive in helping me better myself professionally, sees and utilizes ALL of my talents and skills and willing to push me outside my comfort zone to learn new skills or advance in my position.
Coincidently this has been such a relevant question for my life recently. I've reflected on how blessed I've been to have such supportive managers/supervisors even as a cashier, waitress, working for AOL having a changing schedule ever semester in college to getting my degree and into my career working for doctors' private offices, hospitals and even medical groups/health systems; even when I was pregnant and had my son throwing me into single parenting full time while juggling a full time job, my supervisors as the time where thoughtful, supportive and still saw the drive in me to become more. I enjoyed waking up to go to work. I've loved the positions and jobs I've had.
I've come to realize I was a bit spoiled, extremely lucky, to have found and had such amazing supervisors who easily saw the best in me and challenged me to aim for more not just for me, but for my son.
I was just going to skip this because my answer will not be popular.. but I'm sure people can relate. I'll bring it back around in the end if you stick with me
My Father: for trying to pass down his insecurities, gaslighting me at every turn, discouraging me from trying anything as I may fail, ghosting me for months if I made a mistake, etc.
My Grandfather: for telling me I should get "hopeless" tattooed on my forehead, just before he passed away.
My teachers: for telling me my negative attitude and questioning of rules would land me in jail someday.
My first manager: for telling me I would probably never move past waiting tables and I should take it more seriously.
I may sound like I'm attempting to garner a victim label but I ask for no sympathy. We all have struggles and mine were not as bad as many people I know. The point is these are the people that had the biggest influence on my career. I'm learning to turn this anger and disappointment into fuel. It sounds cliche, but I now set out each day to prove to myself that they were all full of it and simply saw me as a depressed weak target to offload their insecurities onto.
You get back what you put out into the world; if you let negativity get to you, you will beget more negativity. IF you want to see yourself truly thrive and grow, you MUST set negativity aside REGARDLESS of how much you inherited. Escape destructive cycles and fight to turn your life around, no one else will do it for you. YOU are your biggest career influence because only YOU have the power to make a difference. Encouragement is nice, recognition too, but they are vacuous at the end of the line as compared to your own internally generated drive and motivation.
So what now? you've settled your issues and will stop projecting negativity onto others, but how can you make things better? Find depressed unassuming coworkers. Find students that hide in the back with their heads down. Find them and talk to them, share with them this message, and be the person that starts to change their outside influences from negative to positive.
So I have two people that have had a big impact on my career.
The first is Martin Bragg. He was my manager of mine at a previous job. He never looked at me as just one of his employees, but as someone that has a skill set that can contribute to his team and help to make it stronger with my knowledge. He always asked for what I thought and even if it was wrong or not the best, would still encourage me to keep learning and improving myself and skillset. He never stood in my way of learning and growing professionally and always supported me in any way he could. I learned a lot under his guidance.
The second is Hartman Holliman. He was the director over Martin's team that I was a member of. Hartman always encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and try doing things I haven't done before. He was a major influence for me in my path within PMI. Because of him, I stepped up and started on a volunteer journey that I never would have done if it wasn't for him. He has mentored me in my PMI journey and I can never thank him enough for the support he has given me all along the way.
These two people will never know how much they have meant to me in my professional journey. Now that we do not work together anymore, I still consider them both close friends and great mentors in my career path. I owe a lot to both of them.
Jonathan Sanders, CSM
"Change is always scary because it is unknown, but facing the unknown is what makes us stronger."
While there have been many amazing leaders over the course of my career pushing me to be better and achieve more, my current boss has pushed me the hardest. She saw something in me I didn't believe was there. When she initiated my introduction to Smartsheet, it created a new mindset and career path that carried me through the pandemic and pushed me outside of my comfort zone. I never once thought I would be the one analyzing metrics and building dashboards/portals for the system or even guiding team members on building formulas.
There are 2 phrases posted to keep me focused on the destination and not what I'm caught up with at the moment.
When I get in the weeds of non-valued, trivial matters, I look into her office and see those.
What you meditate on, you empower!
Overachiever - Core Product Certified - Mobilizer - EAP
I LOVE THIS QUESTION!
My Business Teacher, Mr. Oliveto who I had as a teacher for three years during high school. They shaped my professional life in so many ways and genuinely lead me to where I am today.
I never would have never thought of taking a business class in high school or even going to compete locally/nationally at DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America), yet Mr. Oliveto definitely pushed me to step outside my comfort zone and shaped my personality (I was very shy and I became exceedingly extroverted).
This is how DECA was set up: (*for me in particular*, others submitted case studies and didn't have to present in front of a panel of judges... I didn't like the idea of writing a 30 page case study in high school at the time haha) imagine pitching an idea (that you came up with 20 minutes before presenting) to a panel of judges at the tender age of 16 year to maybe place top 3 and have a chance at ranking nationally in a specific business category? I certainly didn't. BUT I loved the thrill of coming up with solutions to complex problems on the fly.
During my Junior year (11th grade) I ended up placing 2nd in State within the Sports & Entertainment Marketing category and with that placement I was selected to compete nationally (at the time in Salt Lake City, Utah)! Unfortunately I was in the midst of my high soccer season and couldn't take the time away without jeopardizing my role on the team. It was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day Mr. Oliveto was extremely supportive and I was honestly thrilled to have even been selected to compete at a higher level. I knew if I went that that wouldn't have changed who I am today, I also was told by Mr. Oliveto something to the affect of "You have a life outside of DECA, go enjoy it." Always remembering to have a solid work/life balance is super important... even as a High School student.
My passion has and always will be for marketing and I attribute what I had learned from my teacher to compete, study the concentration in college, and now work in marketing.
Thank you so much Mr. Oliveto, I'll be forever in your debt.
The biggest impact on my career has been my foundation in retail/ customer service and the person who was most impactful was absolutely my supervisor at Nordstrom's Contact Center, Dana Endicott.
My perspective is that Dana, as a manager, was like a fairy godmother (if that fairy godmother were a Contact Center Supervisor at a company famous for their Customer Service and for their magical retail, shopping experiences).
I graduated into a rough job economy, especially for English teaching, so I used my experience in retail, and at Nordstrom, to become a Customer Service Specialist at Nordstrom's Contact Center in the Emerald City. I wouldn't be where I am today, with a career in inventory management, purchasing, and supplier relationship management, if not for Dana's support and kindness, belief in me, all those years ago.
I could really use a mentor at the early stage in my career--I didn't have the exposure yet to know a lot of things about building a career and being a customer service professional that I ended up working hard to achieve, under Dana's supervision/magical leadership. She taught me so much while also having her presence be like sunshine to everyone who works with her, as well as customers she'd connect with.
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