After starting my career in another field and leaving to go back to business school, I began working in retail for CVS/pharmacy. In my opinion, a career in retail is fantastic because it blends the science of sales data with the art and psychology of understanding shoppers’ needs.
At CVS/pharmacy, 80 percent of our customers are women, and we are putting programs in place to make them feel special. Not only do we anticipate what women seek when shopping in a CVS/pharmacy store, but we also understand what a typical day is like for them. As part of my everyday work, I concentrate on how to make CVS/ pharmacy an easy place for women to satisfy not only their family’s needs, but also their own personal needs. I take great pride in helping to take care of these women. I really do empathize with the busy lives they lead. I am one of them.
My parents instilled a very strong work ethic in me. I believe that high achievement opens many doors and gives women more options. My mother taught me that women need to be independent, and this has fueled my desire to have a fulfilling career. And my father has always reminded me that we will not wish we had worked an extra day when we are on our deathbed. This advice has led me to embrace the gift of having a great husband and four children. I am proud of the balance I have achieved in my career and personal life, and I try very hard to leave work at the office when I am with my family.
So if I were giving advice to women starting out their careers, I would tell them to find results-oriented positions so that their value to the organization is crystal clear. I would tell them to find mentors inside and out. Careers get a lot more interesting as you rise in an organization, so don’t give up too early. Find a partner in life who is really willing to partner. Do what you love. Live a whole, happy life.