The Postive Force

Keely is a corporate communications manager in Maine. We were so happy to hear her story and how she is impacting the lives of countless others. We are proud to have her in Ameliora as she begins this new chapter of her professional career. Read more below about Keely below and be inspired by her determination to help others #AchieveMore

What is your personal definition of success?

To me, success is all about perseverance. Working through the hard stuff, dealing with it, and coming out the other side. Granted, you may come out a little banged up, but you’re out. Whether it’s at work, athletically, or something family related- things happen to us that sometimes seem impossible to deal with. But we surprise ourselves, and we get through it.

Perseverance is a learned trait. And you only know you have it once you’ve had to dig down deep and channel your inner gritty and scrappy self. There’s a quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, I love that goes: “The women I love and admire for their strength and grace did not get that way because shit worked out. They got that way because shit went wrong, and they handled it. They handled it a thousand different ways on a thousand different days, but they handled it. Those women are my superheroes.”

What was your first job and what did you learn from it?

My first job was at the golf course in my hometown. I was 15 and I can’t really tell you what my exact title was, but my duties included gassing up carts, picking up the trash and watering plants at each hole, picking up the balls from the driving range, working the snack bar, divot mix, etc. One day, the cart with this thing on the front (I honestly don’t know the technical term) that gathered all the range balls was broken. So, I had to use these clunky, archaic contraptions that scooped up the range balls one-by-one. ONE-BY-ONE! The week it was broken, a job that would usually take 20 minutes, took two to three hours. After the fifth straight day of doing this, I noticed some of my guy friends were on the ninth hole near the range. So, I said, “hey guys, want to see how many of these range balls we can pick up the fastest? Winner gets a free burger and soda.” Although I wasn’t aware of it at the time, as I look back now, I learned that delegation and incentives are paramount to teamwork. You can do it by yourself, sure. But you also need to know how and when to work smarter, not harder.

What is something you wish you had known when you were beginning your career?

Oh, so many things. If I could go back and give my 22-year-old self some pieces of advice, I’d start with sitting her down, giving her a nice cup of tea, and I’d tell her to calm down.…seriously, just take a breather, sis. You can take all the assessments and personality tests, but it’s OKAY to not know what you want to do right now. I also wish I had known to ask the question about the opportunity to make an impact in an organization. Early in my career, I was a part of a company that prioritized teams and was comprised of small teams - which forced employees to wear a lot of different hats. It allowed me to be a decision-maker at a young age and exposed me to a lot of “big ticket” projects. I was managing and leading projects that, at a larger corporation with a higher level of bureaucracy, I may not have had the chance to do so. While those experiences were invaluable, I didn’t realize it was such an uncommon scenario. To those starting out their career, ask questions about team size and whether projects you’d be a part of are new or ongoing- however you can gauge the level of impact you would have.

How did you know when you had found your ideal career path?

Ideation sessions, brainstorming, collaborating with cross-functional people to solve business problems. Identifying creative solutions and showing/learning the art of what’s possible. These are all parts of my career that energize me. When these things are present and there’s opportunity to harness my creativity, that’s when I’m firing on all cylinders.

What is your view on failure?

The word “failure” has never really been a part of my vocabulary. I am certainly my own toughest critic. So, it’s surprising as I reflect on this question, I realize that I’ve never thought of my mishaps as failures. I’ve positioned those mishaps as learning opportunities. Which isn’t novel, but I’ve learned a lot more about what I want to do by doing things I didn’t like. To me, those instances of “wow, I never want to do this again” have been more valuable in the trajectory of my career.

What does the term ‘job satisfaction’ mean to you?

When I’m not longing for something else. With social media and the tendency to constantly compare ourselves to others, there’s this “grass is greener” epidemic. This person’s life looks better, this person’s job looks more glamorous, and so on and so forth. When I’m excited to wake up, eager to make things happen, proactive with communication, and generating ideas for projects or initiatives- that’s when I know I’m doing the right thing and I’m in a good place.



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