Imagine you’re twenty-two years old, moving across the country all by yourself to start your career. You’re leaving the comfort of your tight-knit family, the brand you’ve built at your previous company, and all the places of sacred memories. Of course, you’re eager and ambitious but also, you’re scared. Scared to leave the ones you love the most, scared to start over all alone, and mostly scared to fail.
I know these feelings all too well because, well - it’s the start of my journey.
Moving to a new city is a rush of about million emotions. For me, it was my chance to be something BIG. To grow my career at a rapid speed and make an impact at my company. Well, let me tell you: it’s not as easy as just saying it. I started my new job, and I felt overwhelmed and underqualified. I felt that none of my answers or solutions were right. I felt like I didn’t belong.
I knew something was off. Then, I was introduced to NEW.
I attended my first event. Every single person I met there wanted to know about me. What I wanted to do, where I wanted to go, and most importantly: how could they help me get there. I knew this was a group I wanted to be involved with. I took a volunteer position, and I kept raising my hand for opportunities. After about a year, I was leading sponsorship for the Phoenix region. I was selling NEW’s mission and focusing on developing women in their careers. I knew then that this was my passion. I didn’t just want to do this as my ‘extracurricular.’ I wanted to do this as my job.
The universe works in strange ways. Shortly after I had this realization, my mentor had an opportunity. She had an opening on the Learning and Development team. I jumped at it. I would get to do what I loved every. Single. Day. It was tough to leave my first team, but I knew in the long run I had to do this. So I took the job. It was everything I wanted and more.
At the same time, my leadership with NEW kept growing. I took a co-chair position of membership and sponsorship. It was my first opportunity to leverage more of a strategic approach to my work. I led a small team. You know what they say, you learn by doing a job. And, my oh my, did I learn!
I dove into ideation, execution, leadership, accountability, time management; the list goes on and on. I look back and I know that I was not only developing NEW members, but I was also developing myself. Today? Well, today I took those leadership lessons with NEW and now lead our Learning team at PetSmart. Not many people can say they have their dream job at my age. None of which would be possible without the leadership experiences, exposure, and networking from NEW.
Not only did NEW help me realize my passion, but it helped me get to where I am today.
I couldn’t be more thankful for every single person (especially the PHX leadership team) who supported, empowered, and grew with me. I can’t wait to see the rest of my journey with NEW. It’s only just begun.