I have had a variety of roles at 3m, from production employee to HR business partner and now chief diversity officer. My career has crossed various industries as well as most of the corporate support functions, like finance, R&D, etc. While I worked full-time across multiple businesses, locations and job functions, I earned both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees.
While 3M offers many opportunities, I realized that it was up to me to determine my future and find the support that I needed to build my career. There were two pieces of advice I received during my career that helped me to continue to grow and develop. First, the most challenging people or situations create the greatest opportunity for growth, and second, don’t just point out issues, become part of the solution.
Throughout my career I have always looked for ways to be part of the solution. For instance, as an inventory analyst, I realized that the inventory issues were largely due to reporting errors, so I developed training for employees to increase reporting accuracy. As a result, I was selected as a production supervisor.
In this role, I volunteered to train supervisors in other locations, which led to a position as a training specialist. As a training specialist responsible for organizational development in 15 manufacturing sites across the U.S. and Canada, I asked to participate on the design team for a new manufacturing facility. I believe in continually looking for ways to challenge myself and contribute to the success of the company.
3M’s collaborative culture is a large part of my success as well. I had the opportunity to lead a virtual cross country team to support the integration of three newly acquired businesses. I worked to leverage the strengths of the entire team by sharing leadership with each team member. I purposefully engage people with diverse backgrounds to gain different perspectives. These diverse connections have led to opportunities to lead global design efforts to support our global HR model.
I continually seek out stretch opportunities. In each new role, I make connections with other leaders for coaching and insights. As a result, I have had the opportunity to design new organizations, processes and tools which contribute to my growth and to the success of 3M globally. I encourage you to identify issues, create solutions and reach out to others to build your expertise while supporting business success.