Everyone is on a journey. That journey will be different for every individual. Mine has been with the same great company for 28 years. Here are some personal truths that have helped me get to where I am today:
Find your passion and make a career out of it. It’s become cliché, but it’s true. It’s hard to be successful in all aspects of your life if you don’t love what you do. I’ve always loved retail and fashion and knew at a young age that it’s what I wanted to do. I realize it’s not always that easy for everyone, but passion is absolutely worth pursuing. It makes life more fun and fulfilling.
Be authentic. Authenticity builds trust and credibility, yet people often struggle to survive and thrive in a new culture and be true to themselves. I’ve been lucky enough to work for a company that celebrates differences. Find a company that does the same and have the courage to be you.
Connect your values. Two years after moving to Minneapolis from the east coast, I was still in culture shock and wasn’t sure I wanted to stay. Soon after, I took on a leadership role and became much more connected to Target’s vision. I quickly realized how important it was to work for a company whose vision and values aligned with my own. Here I am 28 years later. Do I agree with every little decision? No. But in the broader sense, I believe in Target’s vision, how it drives business and how it supports its team members and communities. It’s a big part of what’s kept me here.
Learn not to take criticism personally. This is hard, especially when you’re passionate about your work and ideas. You must be courageous. Put your ideas out there. Listen to feedback. Be open to learning. Ideas become stronger when others are contributing. Don’t focus on being wrong. Focus on how things could be better. Resiliency is an important leadership trait.
Find mentors and networks. Business is so complex, even more so for women. It’s important to have people who can help you see things you can’t, who have faced similar challenges, and who can guide you. At Target, we recently established the Women’s Business Council to do just that. Networks and mentorships are very important to help grow leaders and their careers.