How I Came To Be A Leader
Here I am at 24 years old. This was my employee ID for Acxiom, a Fortune 500 company. I was at Acxiom when they were building AbiliTec, which is the largest database on all consumer’s information. Literally everything.
Anyway, I want to share my story on how I came to be part of this company’s success and entered the biggest challenge of being a leader.
I had moved back to Chicago after a year in Huntington Beach, CA. I was a single parent and my son was 3 years old. Since I needed a job ASAP, I decided to find a temp admin job to help me financially until I could find a permanent full-time Administrative position. I had been an Office Administrator/Manager prior to moving to Huntington Beach.
I started at Buckley Dement as a temporary admin assistant. Within six months, I was promoted to the Human Resources Generalist for the company because the HR Director was retiring. I took over the largest office in the building. Yes, even bigger than the CEOs because the HR office had to have a big closet for all the employees records. No, they were not crazy in promoting me. I had started my admin career in the HR Dept of Illinois Bell which became Ameritech which then became AT&T. Couple that with my hard work, determination to succeed and my aptitude for learning quickly I was promoted. The leaders of that company saw in me what I honestly didn’t even see in myself at that time.
Buckley Dement was then bought by Acxiom and I had to transition the entire staff of 600+ employees into the new company. Everyone had to read Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson because we were about to go through serious changes that included massive layoffs. This experience taught me that change is the only thing constant in our world.
It’s important to also note, that I had many many haters in the company because who was I at 24 years old to be running the HR department? Not only that but I was a woman, not just any woman but a Hispanic one to boot. And yes I know, I looked like a baby compared to everyone else.
Women were the worst towards me. Literally hated me and would go out of their way to get me fired. All of their attempts back fired every single time. I once wore a skirt that they reported me on because the employee handbook dress code said you couldn’t wear a skirt shorter than 4 inches above the knee. The woman legit came to my office with a ruler.
Of course, all of these attempts got me down. I would literally get on my knees and pray because of the constant attacks. But I kept going, why? Because nothing mattered more to me than providing for my son.
What these haters didn’t realize is that I had the power to get them fired. I had the knowledge of who was going to be laid off before anyone else in the company did even before the CEO when Acxiom came in and restructured everything. I had to decide who was more effective at their jobs and cull a list together for who would be transitioning and who would be getting laid off based on the data. I can honestly say, I was always ? professional and objective despite the haters.
What I accomplished with the merger of these two companies was astounding. I then became the Train-the-Trainer at Acxiom’s Headquarters in Chicago leading all new hire orientations, firing and layoffs coupled with strategic planning and allocation of human resources. The rest as they say is history.
Why am I sharing this story? Because I feel a calling to lead and empower others to success. It’s been with me since a very young age and that desire has never fully gone away. I have had many opportunities to sharpen the leadership qualities within me and of course learn how to become a better leader.
I have poured myself into the voiceover industry from day one. The knowledge and experience I’ve accumulated over the last 16+ years I know can and has helped a lot of people.
As many know, I decided to take 2020 as a year to only focus on my career and I have undoubtedly have had the most successful year in my career but that is true of every year of my business. I have seen growth every year since I began my career in voiceover.
When I teach a class or do a presentation it is always with ALL of my experience not only as a voice actor but with my business mindset and growth of leading a massive company along with the experience of helping other businesses as well. I still have a business mentor that I meet with and am always learning how to be a better leader and coach.
What I realized this year as I spent daily countless hours inside my vocal booth by myself recording all day, is that doing only voiceover does not make me happy. I miss the human interaction and the ability to use my knowledge and resources in empowering others to success. This is why I am going to be pivoting in 2021 and entering into a more consistent role of being a voiceover coach and recording less. While I have been a leader and have done coaching in the past with other voiceover training companies and voiceover talents in their businesses, I am now fully doing this solely with my brand, Winning In VoiceOver.
I have resisted this because when I look at the numbers, it doesn’t make sense to do this at all. I absolutely am making more money being a full-time voice actor then if I were to coach one-on-one for 8 hours a day. However, I’m at a place in my life where I don’t use my mind to make decisions but rather my heart because I know that is what will ultimately lead me to enjoying my best life. So I’m done resisting and I am embracing my calling more fully in 2021 and beyond.
My Winning In VoiceOver website will have everything that I believe is important for anyone to succeed in their voiceover business for every level. So stay tuned for this exciting new chapter in my voiceover career!