I have made various leaps during my career. Some weren’t as comfortable as others, but I always trusted my gut. For example, early in my career, I wanted to get into marketing, but was in a sales role and couldn’t find the right opening. So I created an opportunity. I sent a blind resume with a creative twist (I included a cover of the publication I wanted to work for from the year I was born—my way of saying, “I’ve been a lifelong fan.”). They brought me in to meet with them because they liked my authenticity. And they found me a job—not in marketing at first, but it eventually got me where I wanted to be.
Later, after being in a traditional media/marketing position for several years, I knew I needed more digital experience. So I left my comfortable position to take one very unfamiliar to me with an online brand. It was challenging, but I learned a lot and kept reminding myself that I was there to learn. Since they didn’t hire me for my online experience—they hired me for other assets—I had to keep learning out of my comfort zone, but also contributing where I knew I could.
Forging a career path is not always easy, but you can create your own opportunities to keep thriving. Always ask for more work. It doesn’t show that you are not busy. It shows that you want to learn—something every boss wants to see!
I strongly believe anyone can learn anything—any work-related task. You just need a strong foundation of communication (both written and verbal), along with presentation and interpersonal skills. You can’t go anywhere without them!
On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
You have to be continually evolving, in order to best understand the changing media and marketing landscape, stay on the pulse, and, in turn, educate your clients.
On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
There wasn’t one person in business per se, but my parents both always told me I could do anything I wanted to do. They also taught me to be independent and, most of all, to have integrity. Once you’ve lost it, you can’t get it back.
On Facing Challenges
My biggest challenge probably came when I had my first child. I had finished my MBA and reached a certain level in my career, and I thought, “How do I handle both?” The answer is different for everyone, and I’m still figuring it out!
Jennifer’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
There isn’t always a direct path to success. Be open to doing different things and wearing different hats—you never know where it will take you.