Hi, Fabulous Working Females!
If you’ve made it this far and are reading this post, thank you for your time and interest in Fabulous Working Females! I am so excited to start this journey with you all and hope the content to come will be as beneficial and motivating for you as it is for me.
WHO AM I?
For those of you who don’t know me my name is Kerry Adams, and I am 27 years old. I was born and raised in Verplanck, NY and currently live in Hoboken, New Jersey. I work in New York City for a large corporation (when there isn’t a pandemic-WFH for now!). As I begin this journey with creating Fabulous Working Females, I think it is important for my readers to learn about my personal and professional experience, and why I was inspired to start this page.
I began in my professional career just one month after graduating from college, and worked at my first company for a year and 8 months. I worked an entry level position, and boy did I learn a whole lot about the corporate world! Given this was my first ever real professional corporate job, I struggled in the beginning as do we all.
To learn how the working environment operates, as I’m sure you all did or continue to do, can be tricky. The do’s, the don’ts, the politics of it all. What I’ve realized along my career journey is that your etiquette, professional relationships, in addition to the way you carry yourself is JUST as important and crucial to your career as it is to perform well in your day to day job.
When I was about a year in my first role, I was in a place where I had started to excel in my position and was ready for the next step. This is when my ambition and eager towards my career really set in. I started to have conversations with co-workers who were in the position I was working towards moving up in. I started to shadow them to learn the role, and ask for their insight on what to do if I wanted to get promoted. That's the thing, no one tells you how to navigate succeeding in your career. You have to go and look for it yourself.
Anyway, I LOVED this company. I had amazing friends, incredible managers, and was in a great working environment. Long story short, I put my best effort into working towards a promotion at this company. I pitched for a promotion about 3 or 4 times, and did not get the position. At the time I beat myself up and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong, but looking back it just wasn’t my time. At this point, I felt unsure of what to do next. I loved where I was working, but I started to realize the position I was working towards may not be a good fit for me. Not every position is meant for everyone.
I was conflicted. I loved the company, but it just wasn’t happening. I was so stressed, what should I do? I worked so hard for this, I was so close.
I wanted to make more money, desperately. But, even more so, I was ready for the next step in my career. What I did next was the road less traveled by, the pill hard to swallow, and let me repeat this 1,000 times…. THE BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE IN MY CAREER.
I MADE A LATERAL MOVE:
That’s right, a year and 8 months in at a company I loved, working with people I loved, and in the midst of working towards a promotion...the higher salary I could see within reach... I made a lateral move.
I was offered another entry-level position at another company, same industry, but a different side of the business. As excited as I was for a new journey, at the time I questioned my decision. I felt like I was starting over. I was learning something completely new when I had gained all of this knowledge prior, and was still making the same amount of money. Was I making the right decision?
Fast forward, and I can confidently tell you that the best thing I ever did in my career was take this role. Not only did I gain amazing coworkers turned friends, but I learned SO much in my time there. I leveraged my new skills and knowledge to grow in my new role. I brought value and insight from my previous role, and made valuable connections. At the time I felt behind others my age to be in my second entry-level position at 25 years old. But, in reality, this actually helped me immensely and is what set me apart from others in the long run. I would not be where I am today without having making this lateral move. To put it simply, I became more marketable.
In typical Kerry fashion, I started pitching for a promotion at this company just 3 months into this role (LOL). Hey, I worked my a** off, and most importantly I believed in myself. I networked, just as hard as I worked. I made sure to have at least one or two, (sometimes three), one-on-one meetings a day with a higher up. I can't express how important it is to network, and how valuable it can be. Everyone you meet knows something that you don't.
I was at this company for exactly a year. I loved it so much. I was also fortunate enough to have the BEST boss in the world, who supported and believed in me. My boss at this company is someone who I will admire and look up to forever, and it was extremely hard to make the decision to leave. I was very much so qualified and again, inches away from a promotion. At this point, I had gone up for about 10 promotions. Each interview process would take at least 4 weeks, multiple rounds, it was exhausting. There were times I would make the top two, so close I could swear it was mine, but it just wasn't my time. If you’ve ever pitched for a promotion and did not receive it, you know that even the first time is discouraging. No exaggeration, I probably went up for over 15 promotions and was beat out each time.
*Let me note: I totally jumped the gun looking back that I started pitching while only 3 months into a new role. But hey, I truly believed in my potential.
Let me just give you a quick glimpse of my mindset here: I was now just over 25 years old. I am not going to lie, at this point I needed to make more money. I was financially independent and supporting myself. Over 2 and a half years in an entry level position (which is NORMAL, fabulous females shouldn’t compare themselves to others), having pitched over a dozen times for a promotion I was SO close…but no cigar.
I reached my breaking point. I was defeated, frustrated, exhausted, broke, and ready to give-up. I worked so hard. I was burnt out. I would go to work, work overtime, network, create pitches, come home and work on side projects. I was resilient, but at one point I really just didn't know how to move forward in my career.
At my lowest point, an opportunity out of thin air presented itself. A recruiter reached out to me about a position at another company in another part of the industry. I wasn't sure if this is what I wanted, but figured I'd look into it as things weren't working out for me in the direction I thought I was going. I went through a few rounds of interviews, realized this position would be something that I would be good at, and I was offered a position at this (yes, third) company. Except this time, with a salary increase of over 50%.
It was hard for me to leave a company and boss I really loved working with, and even harder to feel like I never accomplished that goal of what I had worked so hard for. But, this role was a great career move, and ultimately an opportunity I couldn’t refuse.
What is it that they say? Slow and steady wins the race? It’s crazy, just when I was ready to throw in the towel-my hard work was finally paying off.
THIRD TIME'S THE CHARM?:
So, I took that role and hit the ground running. I stopped getting comfortable, I stopped waiting for a promotion, and decided I was going to brand myself by learning the industry in and out. I knew my value. I knew the knowledge I held. I was ready to learn more.
The second I started working at this third company it was like a 180 the way others acknowledged my value. I took all the networking skills I learned previously, all the knowledge I had acquired, and presented new ideas. I got in front of management immediately, I spoke up. Even when others don't believe in you...if you never stop believing in yourself, I promise there will be a time where it all comes to fruition.
In just three months in being at this company I was assigned to help spearhead a large project by one of the vice presidents. I helped build a new team and workflow. I received a "Going the Extra Mile" award. I became a mentor to college students from my alma-mater, and was asked to join a “winning women” mentorship program for high school students. In just three months, I went from crying almost every night and feeling ready to give up, to all of this.
By making a hard decision to take a risk and go a different route, I ended up not only making significantly more money, but started to be recognized for all I knew I was capable of. I was so inspired and my passion grew even further to expand my knowledge. I started Graduate School on the side to further my skill set and pursue my masters in my field. Everything was going so great! So, you're probably thinking that's the end of the story.
Think again! LOL. I really thought I was going to stay at this company for the long run, I had accomplished so much in such a short time. Again, I loved this company-loved the people I worked with. But, after exactly a year in….
Bet you couldn’t guess where this was going (LOL)! Yep, a recruiter reached out to me out of the blue from another company. At this point I wasn't looking or pitching for a promotion at all, but this role sounded perfect for me. A role where I could apply all of the knowledge I acquired in all three of these roles and bring into one. Truly, my dream role. I went in for five rounds of interviews, the process took over a month and half, and after meeting with more people and learning more about the role, I had never wanted something more. When I was offered the position, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life.
Not always what you want to hear, but the longer process in making lateral moves truly all ended up paying off both literally and figuratively. Not only have I learned more than I ever could have with being in different areas in my industry, I also ended up doubling my salary in the long run opposed to getting that initial promotion I had never gotten.
I love my job. I am doing what I am passionate about and most importantly, what I am best at. I love the people, the opportunities, the culture-everything. It really is crazy how life works. When I look back, if I weren't rejected so many times and actually did get those promotions, I would not be in the position I am today. Everything truly played out exactly how it was supposed to.
Most importantly, what I gained from those experiences was something worth more than any promotion that had passed me by. I learned what it was like to struggle, to work endless hours, to want something so badly. I earned passion, learning opportunities, endless relationships, insight. I learned multiple sides of the business, making myself more valuable and marketable which is something you don’t realize while you’re doing it. Most importantly, I figured out what I like doing, what I’m good at, and that’s something I wouldn’t have known if I didn’t go through this journey.
The hard times built character, and instilled work ethic. The rewarding times became even sweeter. I can’t tell you how many times I cried, the sleepless nights, the feeling of doubting yourself. But I never gave up.
I promise you, everything will happen when it is right for you.
The Beginning of Fabulous Working Females!
SO! That leads me to this blog. Now that you know a little bit about me, you can understand where my true passion for working comes from. I am still learning, and always will be. I am by no means declaring myself an expert. In fact, the only reason I learned so much is by struggling and making mistakes. By being knocked down, but getting back up and trying again.
The purpose of this page is to simply motivate and shine light on what it means to be fabulous and hard working as a female. To recognize others and their journey's, to motivate other's when they want to give up, to grow a community of women. My journey should not be your own, and your own should not be someone else’s. Your journey will be your own, and it will be inspiring.
Success doesn’t come easily, but I believe if you work hard, stay true to yourself, and never give up you can do anything you put your mind to. Always remember that.
Now, let’s get down to business.