Success on and off the field-Carleigh's Story

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Many of us may be in a male dominated field. I take that as a challenge. My father told me since as long as I can remember I can do anything the boys can do. And I can do it better.

Carleigh knows how to get down to business in the office so she can experience all the awesome adventures life has to offer. 

What success means to me...

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m from Kinnelon, NJ and now live in San Francisco. Majored in Finance, minored in Anthropology at American University. I've been an Executive Recruiter/Management Consultant for almost 2 years. I love Barry’s Bootcamp, Soul Cycle, a 90 minute soccer game or anything high intensity! Starting to love Yoga more + Pilates, listening to my body :) Safe to say I get bored easily and like to switch up my workouts.

Favorite Podcast: Lewis Howes The School of Greatness as a podcast

Gifts you use in and outside of the workplace - relationship building & being a good listener. When you remember the details of people’s conversations and can relay back information they told you that’s when you start to build a strong foundation for your relationships. Be invested in the people you surround yourself with whether its professional or personal. Being selfless only helps you in the long run. Gift of giving! I volunteer for a national foundation and local charity organizations in San Francisco.

What are you doing now?

I am an Associate at SPMB Executive Search. We place VP and C-level Executives in high growth tech startups across the country. We act as consultants to our clients building out their teams and transforming their organizations. I personally find, source and interview executives while maintain a high touch client relationship.

 I’ve only had 2 post collegiate jobs in my adult life. The first was a Portfolio Management Analyst for a boutique wealth management firm. I quickly understood the value of client relationship management and the importance of carrying yourself as a professional. I’ve taken those soft skills to my current job and continue to work on building strong relationships both internally and externally. Being honest, straightforward and resilient is key to my industry. I get rejected on almost an hourly basis at my job but having thick skin and not letting what you can’t control knock you down has helped me stay successful. Lastly, being a constant student of your craft is incredibly important. Always be learning and hungry to learn more. Intellectual curiosity is a driving force in technology!

What does success mean to you professionally?

Professional success to me means being a leader and becoming a mentor. I want my managers to rely on me, trust me and know that I can lead my colleagues to success. Becoming a mentor is a personal goal of mine. Though I haven’t had many years of professional experience I have more than the individuals under me. I take a particular interest in helping young women navigate the workplace especially because we work in a male-dominated field. Women are afraid to speak up, often timid to have a seat at the tableMy first job, I was just getting my feet wet and understanding how to really be a value-add in the workplace. I didn’t feel overly valued as an Analyst, it was a long rise to the top. Now, I make an impact with every interaction I have on both the client and candidate side, driving business decisions and making judgement calls on a daily basis. 

My advice? Be fearless and don’t be afraid of failure because you will fail. I’ve failed and fallen on my face time and time again and I know it will continue to happen. But I won’t make the same mistakes twice. I will continue to push myself out of my comfort zone and I encourage you to do the same!
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How have you brought innovation to your industry/current profession?

Though I’m one of the younger people on my team, I strive to be a leader and a mentor. When the going gets tough we bury our heads in work and forget to pat ourselves on the back or lift each other up. I began “Motivational Monday” on my team and every Monday at 9 AM, 5 of us gather in a room and 1 person on a rotating basis is in charge of bringing a quote or short motivational video to the group. We discuss our weekly goals and how we are going to achieve them. When we’re finished we print out the quote and stick it on a cork board. We’re starting to fill it up fast and its a great reminder to keep pushing through because the reward tastes sweet.

Did you have any obstacles along the way to your current role/profession, how did you overcome them?

There are so many instances in my day-to-day that I cannot control. Working in a people business, humans are unpredictable! One minute a search can be near close, the next it falls apart because your top candidate gets cold feet. The biggest obstacle is letting go of the things you can’t control and focusing on the things you can. As long as I can push myself everyday and finish the work day knowing I tried my best I can overcome some major obstacles. It takes practice!

How has health and fitness brought you success in the workplace?

I live my life through a fitness lense. If I’m not eating well or exercising I’m less productive at work. I have to plan out my schedule each week of what my workouts are and what I will be eating for my meals. Though I ebb and flow between meal prepping every week, I make sure I am getting both a yoga session in and a few weight lifting and cardio sessions in, too. It is a release for me, especially when work gets you down. When I’m on a fitness regime I have more energy in the workplace and am more motivated overall. Its not for everyone but the more intense my workouts the more productive I am at my desk!

What is your best advice for someone who is unsatisfied in their job or their overall career industry? 

I recently went to a conference that an incredibly successful venture capitalist spoke at and he had 3 pieces of advice for anyone in their twenties: 1) find a mentor 2) be a life-long learner 3) write down plans. I really took this to heart! If you are unhappy or unsatisfied in your job, seek out these 3 things. Are you getting them in your current role? Are you being challenged? Are you seeking a mentor to help you navigate this tough time? It is up to you to succeed, no one is going to do it for you. Wallowing in your sorrows gets you nowhere so take action and write down what you want. Find a mentor to help you get there. Challenge yourself to always be learning at your job. Ask for more work. And ask again for more opportunity.

I was unhappy at my first job. It wasn’t for me and I was completely unmotivated by the work. I was lucky enough to seek out a good friend and she helped me write down everything that I wanted out of my next role. Though every day isn’t glamorous where I am today, I am challenged and learning something new each day. I’ve confided in colleagues to help mentor me through different aspects of my life, both personal and professional. I continue to search for a female mentor to be my go-to woman in my industry.

What role does validation and recognition play in your career path? Does it give you motivation to keep going?

100%. I don’t need recognition but having validation that the work you are doing is making an impact motivates the hell out of me. When you know you’re doing something right, keep doing it. When I recognize my colleagues and even mentees are learning and growing that is plenty of validation for me. I love to see others succeed, it only makes the team better. They are my true motivation.

How do you make time for it all? What does balance mean to you?

Some weeks, I don’t :). Others I PLAN PLAN PLAN. I never used to be a planner. I was more of a “let’s wing it” kind of girl. Its only been in the last year or two that I have better balanced it all. I write down my weeks and my goals. I force myself to bed even when I want to watch oneeee more episode of that stupid show. I balance work and play but as always, one can outweigh the other at times. When you’re not too busy at work, have some fun! Go out if you want to. Eat a cupcake if you ran those 6 miles. Just don’t eat 3 :). Have a balance. I am sometimes too hard on myself but knowing that each week is a new one to reset, I can balance personal life, work, family and friends over time.

Why is it so important for women to have professional goals?

It is important for anyone to have professional goals, not just women. But as women we have been told for decades we need to choose a family or work and we can’t have both. Times have changed and it is becoming more apparent but there is so much work to be done. Personal and professional goals/life are blurred. And that’s ok. Many of us may be in a male dominated field but you know what? I take that as a challenge. My father told me since as long as I can remember I can do anything the boys can do. And I can do it better. When women set goals we can make shit happen and more importantly when we ban together we’re unstoppable!

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