What I’ve learned: Be brave, follow your passion, weigh your options – and then follow your gut

First, I want to thank Profiles in Diversity Journal for recognizing me as a part of Women Worth Watching in Leadership. I am honored and grateful. A little bit about me, I am the daughter of an amazing mother and father who instilled in their four children the importance of education and hard work. My parents raised us all to believe we could do anything we wanted to do in life – but it takes hard work and dedication. My parents also encouraged me to be well-rounded – to try new things and to never give up. They instilled that ‘family comes first’ and I know that having a supportive family allows me to soar to even greater heights in my career and in everything that I do.

I do believe that opportunity is where luck meets preparation and it is important to always do your best in all aspects of your life. There are a few key tenets that have guided my career. First, follow what you are passionate about – the kind of work that will light your inner spark. Second, take risks and get out of your comfort zone. Raise your hand for the challenging assignment – you will not regret it. Third, take personal ownership of the management and trajectory of your career – while you will have leaders, partners, mentors and sponsors to guide your path, you are in the driver’s seat of your career. Fourth, know yourself well. Recognize your strengths then surround yourself with those who complement your skills and offer a different perspective. And fifth, “make a list of pros, make a list of cons, throw the list out and go with your gut.” I was given this advice by an early boss and mentor while making a career choice. I used it then, and again many times in life, and never once has it failed me.

I know that balancing a career and a family is hard work, but it is also a lot of fun. Some days will be all about work, others more about family. Every day I make the best decision I can for that day, and I try to have fun along the way.

While I am proud of the achievements in my career, I constantly feel as though I am just getting started. Overcoming harsh challenges, executing remarkable campaigns, and making a true impact in the industry, keeps me energized every day. And my daughter and husband are the lights of my life and I am grateful for all that they do to allow me to do what I love.