Your Career Is a Journey—Enjoy the Unexpected Turns along the Way

The best career advice I can give is to pursue opportunities and embrace taking risks. Professional success lies in the ability to think big picture and the willingness to operate outside your comfort zone. That might mean making a lateral move, learning new skills, forming new relationships, or taking a step back in your career journey. But it is just that—a journey. And I believe in embracing opportunities and being open to change, re-invention, and innovation.

I’ve been with Lincoln Financial Group for more than 40 years—but it hasn’t been a straight climb to the top. I started my career while in high school, hoping for an administrative position, but the only opportunity available was in building management. I worked nights, eventually being promoted to lead the entire night maintenance operation in Fort Wayne. This experience taught me that an opportunity may not seem to be a fit at first, but it really is about what you make of it.

After graduating college with a business degree, I saw an opportunity to pivot my career path. I had built a solid foundation in management and operations, and was ready for a new challenge—to learn the business and help lead change management. I was lucky to have very strong mentors who believed in me and fostered my development, eventually forming the basis of my leadership style.

Building upon on my personal philosophy of learning from every individual I work with, I transitioned into human resources. This experience brought about broad interactions with people and deepened my skills, giving me another perspective on the business world, and further developing my leadership skills.

This journey of change, seizing opportunities, learning new skills, building a strong team, and mentoring others continues today as I lead the digital transformation strategy for Lincoln’s private wealth management organization and its 9,000 financial advisors, and serve as executive co-sponsor of the Women’s Business Resource Group. Leveraging my experiences has afforded me the opportunity to grow personally and professionally, as well as contribute to Lincoln’s success.

Opportunities to grow, to learn, and continue to be challenged are important for career development, as well for as personal and professional fulfillment. Don’t be afraid to try new things or take an unexpected turn in your career journey. You never know what the future holds—opportunity awaits!