I come from a long line of risk-takers, usually in the form of adventurers or inventors. People who traveled continents for no good reason other than they wanted to, people who created things just because they didn't like how the current version worked, people who took leaps into the great unknown purely on a feeling that things would work out just fine (and usually — inexplicably — they did).
I, on the other hand, am a fact-finder. A researcher. I like to know what I'm getting into, what the odds are, what the obstacles are, what the risks and rewards are. I like to be prepared. I make plans. I make lists. I make models, diagrams, schedules, theories and test runs. I take "calculated risks" that are less potential liability and more proper contingency preparation.
But all this really means is that in the end, when I do inevitably yield to my risk-taking genetics, I always do so with a fallback plan in place. (You should probably keep my address handy in case of the Zombie Apocalypse. I'm just saying.)
My current role is Product Manager at SalesLoft. I deeply love my job, my company and my coworkers.
This is my, oh, third or fourth career. My first career, I was a journalist. I was a damn good copy editor and page designer at several metropolitan newspapers, and I adored it. I reveled in the pace, the nightly rush to deadline and the newsroom camaraderie ... but we all know where that industry went.
My second and third careers, I was a graphic designer and marketer. I went from a small sign shop (Best Sign Group, now the leading firm in the area) to marketing manager at a healthcare linen company (in case you were wondering, no, there is no way to make hospital laundry sexy) and then marketing director at a video company. It was fun, but not quite what I was looking for.
Then I was offered a chance to work with SalesLoft as a Client Services Manager. A reason to interact with people all day, every day, and work with a passionate team? Of course I jumped at it! Thus began my next career in the burgeoning Client Success industry. And I did love it, and I learned a lot.
Then, in April, SalesLoft started seriously building out the product department. Instead of putting all of the pressure on a one-man team to do it all, we hired a product manager and then a new head of product to split things up. And then these kind people reached out to me and asked me to take all of that awesome client feedback, my technical background in Salesforce and my love of making lists, and join them on the product journey.
Of course, I said yes! So now I work in a pod of brilliant engineers, quality assurance, UI and UX, and I live at the intersection of what clients need, what stakeholders want, and what the engineers create. And it. Is. Amazing.