Have you ever had a moment in your career that changed everything? Maybe it was a certain meeting, a big win, a devastating loss. These defining moments can change our trajectory, transform our attitude, and help us work smarter and feel happier.
Eileen O’Mara has had several of these “aha!” experiences...and they led her on a path to becoming Salesforce’s AVP of Mid-Market and General Business Sales in Europe and emerging markets. O’Mara joined Salesforce three years ago, and since then has been taking the company by storm...while still finding time to ski the French alps, get lost in a great book, and be a hands-on mom for two active little boys.
Here, Salesforce’s Woman of the Month shares three major moments that made a difference in her career and her life, and the important lessons we all can learn from.
The moment when...you find your voice
Like many of us, when I was younger I was much less confident in my abilities and the way I was perceived. I remember the first time I had the courage to speak up: I was 25 years old and the only woman in the boardroom. The agenda turned to our upcoming sales strategy, and although I knew what would drive success, I was paralyzed and couldn’t speak! I became so frustrated with myself that I finally stood up and asked to run through the approaches I believed would benefit the business. The response was overwhelmingly positive, and I was delighted. That was my turning point; it gave me the confidence to participate actively and know that my contributions matter. I encourage everyone to speak up and lean in all the time--we owe that to ourselves and those around us.
The moment when...you learn to love feedback
I discovered years ago that finding mentors and seeking guidance is hugely important when it comes growing in your career. Now, I often ask people who know me well to provide honest feedback, which I then build into my development plan. Although asking for candid feedback can be intimidating at first, listening to it and acting on it will only make you a better professional and a better person.
The moment when...you give up on perfection
It’s impossible to get everything right at work and at home, much less both! As a working mother, I’ve always been concerned about what kind of role model I am for my sons, and how my career impacts them. As they have grown older, I’ve realized that being there all the time doesn’t matter as much as being 100% present in the time you do have. My advice to everyone would be: don’t worry so much about being perfect! If you try your best, you’ll have no regrets and can always be proud of yourself...and over time things will work out. They always do!
The Salesforce Woman of the Month campaign turns the spotlight on the amazing women who help make Salesforce the World’s Most Innovative Company (according to Forbes) and one of Fortune Magazine’s Best Companies to Work For. Honorees are nominated by fellow employees and selected by a dedicated committee that works to ensure a variety of roles and regions are honored.
Stay tuned for more career tips and tools for success from our next Salesforce Woman of the Month, coming your way in April.
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