Looking back at my career with Sodexo, it has been a long journey. As I reflect, I realize that I haven’t always viewed it as a career. It was a job — a good job, but nonetheless a job.
Several years into my position at Sodexo, I saw Lorna Donatone, Chief Operating Officer and Education Market President, talk about a pivotal moment in her life when she was asked to lead WiNG, Sodexo’s Employee Network Group for women. She was unsure about getting involved when she was asked, “If not you, then who?” She said that she realized at that moment that whatever the initial fear may be, sometimes you have to raise your hand and take a risk. Right then and there I knew I had to do something different for myself, for my career and for Sodexo.
Shortly thereafter I was asked to attend a PANG (Pan Asian Network Group) meeting for the Mid-Atlantic Region and I had the opportunity to meet the Chair, Jeff Harrison. Following that conversation, I knew that for me, this was my moment.
I asked Jeff if there was anything I could do to help. It turned out that he needed someone to chair a training project. Though I was very excited, scared, nervous and confident all at the same time, and I knew I had no idea what I was doing, or what I was going to do, I accepted.
I look back at those moments which morphed my “job” into to my career, and I am so thankful to the PANG Network group for kick starting my new direction. For me, joining an employee network group like PANG was my first step in the right direction. It became a place to meet people, network, ask for and give advice – from this moment, my career “journey” had truly begun.
Kristine Martin is co-chair for WiNG’s mid-atlantic region and a senior contract analyst for supply management.