I Wouldn’t Change a Thing
I never dreamed of working in the staffing industry. There was no carefully plotted career path, no graduate program, no grand design. I wasn’t aware there was a “staffing industry” until I started as a temp at Kelly. However unconventional my path, I genuinely feel the staffing industry found me as much as I found it. The opportunity to contribute in the workforce solutions space has given me so much. I help people connect with work in ways that change lives; it’s an incredible privilege.
My journey wasn’t easy having lost my father when I was very young, which shattered our family structure. At 18, I was a divorced, single mother with two children and no family network. I was told I wouldn’t amount to anything and that my children wouldn’t succeed either. Those harsh words lit a fire in me—I controlled my destiny and quitting wasn’t an option. I worked three jobs to support us. A year later, I worked as a commission-only sales rep, selling artwork from the trunk of my car. Although it wasn’t the most appealing job, I had a simple mission: sell, because food and shelter depended on it. It wasn’t easy, but that job taught me fundamental life skills. The next four years, I learned about people— emotional intelligence, listening, relationship building, and understanding what value means to your customer.
As my life evolved, I remarried and worked as a general manager in the restaurant industry. Empowered by a supportive and stable family unit, I searched for a career that recognized the importance of work/life balance. I started a temporary role with Kelly, with the intention of moving to permanent employment with the customer. Working for Kelly was not my long-term plan. Almost immediately after starting, I developed a passion for the workforce solutions business. I fell in love with helping people connect with work and connecting employers with talent. I’d found my niche.
Now my life journey, defined by many challenges, seems purposeful— it prepared me to be who I am today. All those real world “jobs of necessity” provided me the business administration education I wasn’t afforded when I was younger.
The passion to succeed, the leadership and sales skills, and a solid understanding of business and operational excellence have given me the ability to make a difference. I began this journey 21 years ago as an entry-level temp and have risen to a senior executive at Kelly, leading 1,200 employees across the globe and placing more than 250,000 temporary employees on assignments annually.
The challenges I’ve faced have taught me empathy, humility, courage, perseverance, and much more. As a happily married mother and grandmother, my path to leadership may not have been easy, but I wouldn’t change a thing.