Educational background: Master of Arts, Postwar and Contemporary Art
Tell us more about yourself
I'm a writer and culture change consultant, currently working on a huge project to map the Workplace Genome, which show companies what it's truly like to work there.
What was your first job out of college and how did you land that position?
I was a marketing consultant for the Royal College of Art in London, teaching painters how to market their work. Best job ever, worst paid job ever. Got it through a mentor I met during my years studying contemporary art in London in the 90s.
What were the most valuable things you learned early in your career that you still use today?
Roam before you pave. It's ok to try lots of different things. There's a new word for that (look it up on TED.com) - multipotentialite.
Tell us a bit about your current position. What do your day-to-day responsibilities look like?
I help organizations understand their culture, and how to engage their users - both employees and customers. I travel and speak a lot, and spend most of my time in airports. Otherwise, I have clients all over the US so I'm fully mobile and conduct meetings and calls from wherever I am - but most happily from my tiny apartment with 2 kids and 3 cats in Washington DC.
What about your current position excites you the most?
I run my own business and I'm finally at the place where I am really truly doing big things and thinking big thoughts.
What's the biggest challenge you've faced in your career? How did you overcome it?
I was acqui-hired by a big firm and put in a business development role with no guidance. I overcame it by quickly realizing it wasn't the right fit (despite the big paycheck) and jumped ship.
Best moment of your career thus far?
Every book I publish (I'm on #3 so far) is a huge moment of pride, exhaustion, relief and excitement.
How did having a mentor help you in your career? Is there someone specific that you attribute to being a great mentor?
My most important mentor connected me into a professional association that basically gave me a market and audience and community that I've built my whole career around, up to the point (recently) that I finally outgrew it. I would have had a very different life without the little gesture of him paying for my membership.
What excites you the most about being a mentor?
I just want to have the opportunity to talk to awesome people who have drive and ambition. If I'm lucky, I can help them in their path.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Having created something big that actually makes work better, and two more books out, and enough stability to breathe for a bit.
Who is your career crush and why?
Elon Musk - for being unstoppable and proving everyone wrong over and over again.
Let's talk about you outside of your 9-5...What are your favorite hobbies?
I take care of 3 cats and many many fish. I have kids. I swim.