Written By Women of Martech Member: Jodi Susman
I have been meditating for the past few years and recently decided to take my practice further by enrolling in a meditation enrichment course from Chopra.
Within the first two months of the course, I was tasked with finding the silence and learning to be still with my thoughts. This allowed me to go deeper and think about answering the tough questions. What brings me joy? What is my purpose? How can I be my best self? Am I in the right work environment to bring out the best in me?
I have always been someone who pays attention to the signs around me. Often they are subtle, but I take these cues very seriously. Recently, several signs were telling me it was time to make a change in my professional life. I told my husband and daughters I was going to start putting feelers out into the universe for a position with a company that aligned with my values and enabled me to put my energy into doing some good for the world and cultivating positive change.
Simultaneously, I received an inbound opportunity via LinkedIn about a Marketing Executive position at a company whose mission resonated with me. I decided to go for it, and I put all my energy into pursuing this opportunity. It started with the internal recruiting rounds to truly understand the role and company and was followed by meetings with each stakeholder (COO, CEO, CRO, etc.) and an interview with a panel of direct reports who manage different groups at the company. Afterwards, I met with some of the team members in person, culminating with a two-part, 60-minute presentation to a panel of critical stakeholders across four different time zones. First, I talked about my experience building strategies to acquire global customers. During the second part, I got to talk about what I would do for them.
When the day came for my presentation, I found a note on my desk with wishes of good luck from my 13-year-old, which gave me a big confidence boost. My 15-year old couldn’t wait to hear how it went, and both kids showered me with “good luck” texts and hugs leading up to my interview and after it was completed.
“Mom, we are so proud of you!”
“Whatever happens, you did your best!”
“The rest is really out of your hands!”
The presentation was challenging. I had to think about myself as a leader inside their company and answer some tough questions. It required me to do some soul searching. How often do you think of how you would answer questions like, “What is your leadership style?” It’s easy to become so focused that you never look up to really evaluate, how am I inspiring others, what is my leadership approach, and how is my style fostering a positive work environment? But a bit of self-reflection and introspection can go a long way.
After the presentation, I felt re-energized.
After 30 candidates, I was one of the two finalists. The process dragged on. I was feeling hesitant. Did I want to end up in a company that was on the fence about me?
Fast forward a few weeks, I learned I did not get that job. I was disappointed. I felt like I had connected with the team, given it my all, and was ready for a new challenge in my professional career.
I asked my oldest if I let her down, and she said, “Mom, I’m so proud of you for going for it. You always tell me it’s about how you bounce back.” I talked to my youngest, who said the universe has other plans for me. “Mom, you are showing us that sometimes it’s okay to fall. You have to get back up and keep moving.” Teaching resilience to our kids is one of the most important lessons I could offer as a Mom. In this pandemic, and with so many other ups and downs, the ability to try new things and sometimes learn that they may not go your way is okay and part of life.
I am glad I went all-in and got to meet new people. The experience helped give me clarity, both about what I want in my career and what I want for myself. I am grateful for that opportunity. I am lucky to have a supportive husband and daughters who lifted me up when I was down and made me smile.
I have since moved on, and I am beyond thrilled to share that I started a CMO position at an energy-efficiency company where I will focus on building the brand's story and its impact on carbon footprint reduction. I set my intention to be part of a company making a difference and to join a team that shares my values of respect and work/life balance.
While it may sound anecdotal, the truth is: when something is right, you feel it. When I met the executive team in person, I knew it was the right fit for me. The leadership and team at this company made me immediately feel welcomed. When sharing ideas, I felt I could easily build and connect with the other executives and loved their humility, passion, drive, and style. Even my earliest interactions with them made me feel as though it was “we” and not “I.”
I cannot wait to dig in with this fantastic team. I have had the pleasure of meeting folks across the company and I feel very fortunate to be part of such a smart and thoughtful team. I am so incredibly excited to share that my role will not only challenge me and leverage my marketing and leadership skills, but also make an impact on the environment.
So here is my lesson and challenge to all Women of Martech members… Celebrate your wins and embrace your losses. Whether the hard lessons of falling by getting up stronger with your head held high. As Nelson Mandela said: “Do not judge me by my success. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
Written By Women of Martech Member: Jodi Susman