A friend of mine recently offered this LinkedIn summary advice: "Don't start with the present and then go Tarantino-ing into the past." This is fitting advice for life in general.
Early in my career, while interviewing at Citigroup for an administrative role, the HR Director asked if I would consider joining her team instead. When I admitted that I had no HR experience, she replied, "Great. No bad habits." That interview kicked off a career in Human Resources at Fortune 100 companies that spanned six years.
In 2008, after being affected by a mass layoff, I freelanced as a Social Media Consultant, created a humor and pop culture blog, and spent time volunteering. In an unusual twist, Apple invited me to interview for a sales role at their newest retail store in Greenwich, CT. During several rounds of interviews, I was candid about my limited Apple knowledge. The reply was always the same: "Apple, we can teach. We can't teach personality."
Apple moves fast. Multi-tasking was a requirement. I thrived on that. Most of what I know about hustle, precision, compassion, empathy, patience and teamwork, I learned during my two years at Apple. I entered that phase of my career as a "normal" person and emerged a "nerd." I have no regrets.
While my early career focused on people, it evolved to include operational efficiency and a look into how developing technologies can shape how a company does business. That evolution led to a managerial position at a cosmetics company's New York City headquarters which afforded me the opportunity to further hone my leadership skills, ultimately leading to a role at the Red Cross where I was a director of a regional branch of an international entity.
The main theme of my professional life has been stepping outside of my comfort zone -- not once or twice -- but throughout my career. I have recently made a transition into an exciting corporate sales role and I can't wait to see what comes next!
How's that for not Tarantino-ing?