Moms Get Promotions Too
My entire life I was conditioned to work hard and not depend on anyone. Odd, I know. But, that's how I was raised and I'm not mad about it. It gave me the mindset that if I work hard, it'll pay off - ten-fold, and it has. I knew going to college was the right choice, I knew that I loved speaking (shocking) and people (most days) - so, I majored in Communications and had zero clue what I was going to do with it; but, theories on people, interpersonal communication and speech made it worthwhile.
Fast forward to graduation in 2005, when the economy tanked and I needed a job. I was fortunate enough to have an internship at a TV station in Orlando. I knew I needed to make a power move and ask the general manager for a job. I mean, why not? They were able to see my hard work and dedication, it was basically a 9 week interview. So, I went into his office (with the most amazing boss on the planet) and flat out said -"I've shown you every reason why you should hire me; so, when should I start?" He was taken back and was in shock. I think he knew I was a badass and was determined to be successful. That's when my life in sales began.
From that moment on, I was focused and driven, to not let anything stand in my way, not my gender, not my age - nothing. After about three years at the TV station, I wanted more. I knew there was more out there. So, I did the normal young person thing...quit my job and moved to New York City. I had no plan, barely any money - but knew, this was the right choice. Three months after living in NYC, I was hired at a company that was new-ish this was a complete career change for me. I ventured into the world of Programmatic (if that makes zero sense to you, click here) This is where my career life changed. I started at "the bottom" and slowly made my way up, from planner, to brand relations to senior brand relations, this was not the top - but higher within the organization than when I started. I became the ultimate sponge and learned as much as humanly possible about this entire industry, made connections, learned who does what, why and where. I knew that this was a stepping stone to a lucrative career in a thriving industry.
With some ups and down and business plans changing, I (we) moved to Atlanta. Mind you, Roberto was on this ride with me. From the beginning of our relationship, I made it clear that I wanted to be a career woman and needed his full support, he obliged (sweetly) and here we are (7 years together and 5 years of marriage). After moving to Atlanta (which I was still with the NYC based company), I wanted out. Things were going in a not-so-great direction and I knew it was time to leave before we were swallowed up. From the connections I made, I was poached and started a new position with a data only focused company (which is a small segment within Programmatic). This job, I loved! The energy of a start-up, the wild west, the get shit done mentality...was awesome.
I started in one position and then within a year was promoted to a new position. One that was so fun and fit entirely what I wanted at the present time. Another year passed and my company was acquired by my current company (Oracle); with the acquisition it led to some stress and anxiety, but I made sure that my boss knew what I wanted. What did I have to lose? After a few offers presented to me - I knew going the direct sales route was the most suited for me and my goals. I accepted. After hitting my numbers quarter after quarter, I started poking at my boss and saying "it's time for a promotion", "I need a raise and here's why". He never disagreed; but as you can imagine being within a large corporation they find ways to delay the process.
Fast forward to the day I told my boss I was pregnant. This is when I was like "well, let's kiss this (future) raise and promotion good bye." Which was the worst mindset and one that I've since removed from my brain.
Let me give you some rationale on why I originally thought this way. I was always the "yes" girl. Sure, you need me in Arizona tomorrow to stand in for a conference? Yes, I'll be there. Oh, you need me to jump on a plane and present to XYZ person? Yes, I'll be there. There was very little I said "NO" to professionally. I knew that having a baby I would have to create new boundaries and have to say "NO" more often. I wasn't upset about it. But, have being the yes girl for over 10 years made me worried, that saying "NO" would lead to disposable. Well, I was wrong. So, don't think that way. EVER.
I come back from maternity leave after being out for 12 weeks, I review my numbers, see what happened while I was gone and what needs to be done to propel my business further. Six months after being back, proving myself again - that, although I say "NO" a lot more, condense my work trips, work at weird hours, have mom brain, I'm still the same badass, get shit done faster woman than ever imagined. That point, when I had done that (in my mind), I get a phone call from my boss and it went a little like this "you have time to talk?" "Um...yes? Is everything OK?" He goes "oh yes, just want to let you know, you've been promoted and all of your hard work has been noted, beyond appreciated and we want to personally thank you for everything you've done for our company." I was shocked. I paused and said "does this come with a pay increase?" he laughed and said "absolutely." Then I replied "well, then I will gladly accept and appreciate you giving me a call to inform me of said promotion."
Looking back at all of this, I wouldn't change anything. Women work hard and mom's work even harder. I 100% believe that women have 2 jobs when having kids - its not easy, your career life changes; but hard work, is hard work. So, just because you're a mom doesn't mean you can't get promoted; you just have to find a creative way to get it all done in a shorter amount of time. To all working mom's you got this. Ask for that promotion, ask for that raise; you sure as hell deserve it.