You recently launched a new podcast, the Upgraded Career. What inspired you to put this out into the world?
Well, for me, this podcast has actually been 15 years in the making. When I was in college I had an idea for a blog to talk about living life and succeeding in the world. And then, when I got into the corporate world, I was like, “boy, I have so many stories about working in HR and helping people navigate the corporate world.”
So, after several years of procrastination and self-doubt I tried writing a blog. I wrote like two posts and I realized, “You know what? I really don't like writing all that much!” LOL. It's really not my medium. Then, when someone suggested that I should try a podcast, I thought that was a great idea and way more aligned with the way I naturally communicate. And that was five years ago!
Now, I’m finally putting this out into the world. From my background in corporate hr, I was privy to the behind-the-scenes conversations of who is going to get the promotion or raise, and who wasn't, in addition to much more. I learned from witnessing hundreds of conversations that what allows you to succeed at the next level wasn't doing your job really well, it was all this other insider-information that people didn't have access to. I wanted to make sure people had access and were able to learn how to upgrade their own careers. And so that was why I decided to finally put this out.
What has been the hardest part of creating and launching something?
The hardest part of creating something from scratch, that you've never done before, is really being willing to be a beginner. Accepting that you’re going to suck at it for a while and that you're going to make mistakes. At the end of the day, you have to get out there, take action, experiment with it, and see what works best for you. Is not always fun, but it's a necessary part of the process.
So often people don't talk about the fears of putting themselves out there. What was one of your fears with launching something so vulnerable?
Well, I personally had a lot of imposter syndrome and self-doubt from comparing myself to others. I mean, as I shared, it took me five years to finally get up the gumption and put this out there.
Even though I've been thinking about it for so long and knew that I could provide value, I didn't want to just add to the noise out there. I knew that if I was going to do something, I wanted to do it with excellence.
I really struggled sometimes thinking, “Is this any good? Is anyone going to care? Are people going to listen?”
But, I knew that wasn’t a helpful voice in my head and I wanted to show that I could move past it to show up and be visible in the same ways I teach my clients.
What kinds of topics do you plan to talk about on the podcast and who is the ideal listener?
We’re going to discuss everything related to upgrading your career and succeeding in the corporate world. Topics like: setting effective goals that you can actually achieve, how to not only survive but thrive during an economic downturn and recession, setting boundaries, how to say no, how to build a network in genuine and authentic ways. Basically, anyone who’s interested in learning these tools to upgrade their career should definitely tune in and listen.
What do you hope people will be able to take away from the podcast?
I think the biggest thing that I hope people take away from this podcast is that they're not alone in trying to navigate this wild corporate world, as a woman or someone in a marginalized community. And there are some things that we are able to do individually that we control, that we can take a hold of and do in order to upgrade our own careers and our lives. But also, we're gonna talk about, you know, getting ourselves into positions of power and influence so that we can start tearing down the systemic barriers that hold us back from succeeding in the world in the way that we want.
Tell me about a recent client success story that would be a great feature for the podcast.
One of my absolute favorite clients works in the venture capitalist industry in California, has lots of great experience, is highly educated. I mean she has a PhD, right! But she was getting passed up for promotions and she suspected it was due to her lack of visibility and ability to communicate her value really well to the people who made those types of decisions. She also has a boss that is probably a little bit more focused on amplifying himself than on supporting her in her own growth. So she's got a couple of things working against her.
After a few months of working together on really authentically and strategically building relationships, using her voice, and getting her work more visibility, she started to get recognition from her manager on the effort she was putting forward, the amount of speaking-up she was doing, and the value that she was adding to the team. She, very righty, got her promotion in December after a few months of working together! But, as a result of her gaining visibility and speaking on a panel, she’s also received interest from other firms about potential career opportunities. We continue to work together today, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for her.
There is an abundance of podcasts on the market these days when it comes to careers. What do you hope is unique about yours?
Well, first of all, because everyone has a unique voice, every podcast is going to be unique. Right? So you are definitely going to hear my unique voice coming through. I do not script my episodes and I do very little editing because I want them to be as natural as possible. So you will hear me flub my words, I’m sure you’ll hear me make up words, because it’s going to be truly my voice and my personality coming through. I’m not going to hold anything back.
I will be pulling back the curtain and share the secrets I’ve accumulated over the years working in HR, the real stories about the clients I have worked with, and the voices of others who also have valuable stories, insights, and secrets to share about navigating the same things you are probably going through now.
Don’t get me wrong I love listening to podcasts and hearing really well known people from really big named companies. But, sometimes you also just want to know that you’re hearing from real people who are going through some of the same things you are, so you can feel a little less alone.
How has your business changed or grown since joining the Fink Development Collective?
Over the last two year, I’ve been trying new things in my business and honing in on where I can bring the most value to others. I’ve realized where I thrive the most is helping women get to and succeed at a new Director, VP, or Head of Department-level. Helping them polish their positioning, upgrade their leadership skills, and create the life and career on their own terms without burning themselves out.
So, that’s really how my business has grown, the most. Gaining clarity to focus on the individuals where I know I can bring real transformation and impact.
I’ve also being leaning into my natural love and talent for speaking, and have been adding keynotes, workshops, training, and obviously this podcast, to find other ways to get these valuables messages and secrets into the ears of more people.
One of our core values at Fink Development is continuous growth. What's one area where you're hoping to develop personally or professionally this year?
Oh, wow, yeah! That’s a big one for me. I want to grow by educating myself in the personal finance space, as well as in my own health journey.
I've been reading lots of books and listening to lots of podcasts on personal finance and I've been really enjoying that. I'm also working with a dietician to help me dial in my nutrition in order to support good energy and sleep, which we all know is critical to being able to show up in our best way.
I've even added dance into my routine. Every week I'm doing a Dance Video Divas dance class on Monday nights at the ninth Street Dance Studio in Durham. It’s intimidating, but so much fun! It's a group of us women in sweatpants, rocking out to Lady Gaga, and having a good time.
On the professional side, getting this podcast out there to as many people as possible. Really learning how to systematize this whole process. And, getting out in front of more people live, whether virtual or in-person.
So I would say, I'm really in my own upgraded season right now, upgrading my life and business all around.
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