My Path Forward: Career Moves Don’t Have to be Linear
I’ve been a part of the Edgewell team (through various acquisitions, divestitures and spin-offs) for more than 25 years and have really enjoyed a career path that’s been anything but “textbook” or linear. Having grown through previous roles in Finance, Sales, Strategic Planning and General Management, I am now serving the company as Chief Human Resources Officer.
Along the way, some of the moves I made were lateral and others may have been viewed as backward steps, but I didn’t give that much thought at the time. To me, the journey was more important than the ultimate destination. With the cross-functional moves, I tried to enter each new role with a mindset of asking questions and listening to and learning from my teammates to get grounded and understand the situation through their eyes.
As I became more familiar and comfortable in the roles, I thought about the skills & knowledge I had acquired from my prior experiences and how they could help me to engage the team to set an ambition, shape a strategic agenda and do some great work, together! Our most recent work on the People Strategy for Edgewell is an example I’m very proud of. I believe it reflects an in depth understanding of the business and how the HR function can contribute towards improving company performance, in partnership with our people leaders.
We’re all wired differently in terms of career philosophy, but for me, a career is a long time, and my curiosity took me in different directions at a few key inflection points. I was fortunate to have bosses along the way who supported me and didn’t think my career aspirations were crazy. Years ago, I never envisioned landing in HR, but things have a way of working out and I feel like I’m now in a function where I can add a lot of value at this stage of my career.
I wouldn’t have been able to make the career moves I did without a culture that supports individual growth and active sponsorship from key leaders. Regardless of where you are coming from or where you’re headed, Edgewell believes that supporting teammate growth is part of our People First value and key to our success. It’s my job to lead the HR function in a way that’s laser focused on delivering a teammate experience that maximizes engagement and performance which ultimately enables business success. It’s also my job to ensure that our People leaders are working closely with their direct reports and having robust discussions about career development.
My own journey at Edgewell serves as just one example of how career-pathing can take shape if you advocate for yourself and are willing to make a few trade-offs (it’s not always about getting a more senior title with every move!) along the way. We have other stories like mine at EPC, where career paths have taken unexpected, yet welcome turns. The career path of one of my HR teammates, Eric Treschuk, comes to mind. Starting in the Air Force, Eric transitioned into Marketing and General Management for much of his career, then he made a career leap into Change Management a few years ago and now serves as the VP of People Strategy and Development, leading our Talent and Analytics and HR Systems teams while using his prior experiences to also lead major corporate transformation initiatives. He was able to take his learned skills and talents and merge them with his own personal goals and passions to form his own path - we know there’s tremendous value in that.
In addition to Edgewell people who are already forging their own unique careers, you might be wondering what else are we doing as an organization to support cross functional moves and growth from within? Well, we’re working hard to foster and enable this by creating a clear and transparent progression process. One example comes out of our Global Finance and IT departments where in partnership with HR, they’ve implemented a broad-scale functional program called “Career Voyage.” The program provides a standardized framework that delivers a deeper understanding of different roles and career opportunities within both departments. It also has given many of our teammates the opportunity to work on projects with teams in different regions that they might not interact with naturally. By breaking down exactly what each role does, how it operates and what functional skills and capabilities are needed to perform the job, our teammates can get a better understanding of their workspace and actively influence their career development and succession planning accordingly.
A primary goal at Edgewell is to make sure our people feel fulfilled in their careers and can apply their best talents in a way that is helpful to the business. We strive to make sure that our people are happy with their path forward, whether that means transitioning their talents to a cross-functional role or prioritizing promoting from within. All these paths allow for fresh perspectives to be brought to our work and ultimately contribute towards stronger team performance.
My own path and career changes were humbling and, at times, daunting, but along the way I learned the importance of supportive executives, managers, peers and direct reports in creating a foundation and open mindset from which I was able to succeed. It makes me very proud to be a part of an organization that fosters and protects a supportive culture, so I can pay it forward and be that support system for others’ careers.
At Edgewell our Purpose is to Make Useful Things Joyful. If we succeed in creating joyful careers for our teammates, I’m confident this will drive performance and be useful to the business!
It’s my hope that my path might inspire others to also take an unconventional leap, trust in their foundation and move forward, even if it’s not a straight path.
To find out more about our team and opportunities, check out https://edgewell.com/careers/