By now I hope you have all heard the news!!
I joined the Purity of Elements team as their Director of Product Education and I could not be more excited!!!
We had a lot of fun last week as I took over their social sites and I look forward to posting more!
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I just wanted to take a quick moment (or dare I say #POEment) to express how grateful I am for this opportunity. And I hope this resonates with my mom friends who are working so hard to find that balance...something I struggled with from the day my first son was born.
Four years. FOUR YEARS. That's how long I've been trying to pair my corporate marketing experience with my desire to get involved in broadcasting.
I want to be that engaged mom who is there for drop offs and pick ups, while being able to keep my life beyond mom intact; to have something to "go back to" as my children age out of the young years.
I want to be the class mom and the mystery reader (note to self, don't forget to send email to teacher about being the mystery reader...).
I want to sign up for healthy snack day and chaperone the field trips. I want all of that.... without people criticizing me for whining about how I want it all or forcing me to decide between work and family and balance.
While still earning an income that is inline with my qualifications, even though my "qualifications" aren't always going to be available eight hours a day, five days a week.
And folks. I think I found just that.
But first, let's talk about timing...
I first heard from the Purity of Elements team when I was 36 weeks pregnant- probably not the ideal situation for anyone looking to serve as a sophisticated brand ambassador for a skincare line. We had a conference call with the entire corporate team which was just a bit nerve-wracking! But my deep desire for this role kept my nerves at bay as I answered the questions with enthusiasm and authenticity.
The next step, an in-person meeting in the city.
I was swollen and in full waddle mode. But I pulled myself together, found the most flattering maternity shirt one could find that late in the game (Thank you Isabella Oliver!), squeezed my feet into my heals and trudged myself and my belly into New York City.
Lunch was delightful and productive. I was confident. And now....the waiting game...
We went on to have our beautiful baby boy, settle in as a family, and find our rhythm as a five-some before POE and I connected to pick up where we left off. We continued our conversations and got to know each other as best we could virtually but eventually it was time for me to officially meet the team at their offices in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
By far the boldest thing I have ever done as a mom.... I said YES. Not a gleeful, enthusiastic, yippie "yes". An assertive "yes".
I cradled the phone in my neck as I cradled my three week old in my arms and boldy agreed to travel to the other side of the country to pursue my dream job.
I didn't recognize this version of me. I was confident that I would be really great in the role that had since expanded beyond QVC spokesperson and into the realms of social marketing. I knew I could offer so much to this company and, most importantly, this company could offer so much to ME.
And as my heart & soul struggled with my decision to travel so far from my new little man, and as the hormones surged and the anxiety grew, I fought back that fear and packed my pump.
I couldn't help but think about Sheryl Sandberg's "Lean In" movement and how, ironically, I actually have a general disliking for the concept. In full transparency, I haven't read the book (because, you know, mom of three kids four and under) so perhaps there is more to this simple catchphrase that so easily sums up such an emotionally and physically complex scenario, but I wondered if maybe my ability to say "Yes" was based on the fact that this dream job was so inline with my passions, beliefs and corporate experience and that this role offered the schedule and flexibility that a parent to young children really needs- maybe saying "yes" didn't actually mean I had to "lean in" too far?
I had already been sold on the skincare line- it's lovely and feminine and delicate and, most of all, effective. But this isn't a sales pitch. This isn't "Kate the spokesperson", this is Kate the PERSON...the mom, the wife, the woman constantly at odds with what she wants and what she needs when she wants it when she needs it...
What really made me fall head over heels in LOVE with this company was this....
As we worked to coordinate itineraries and travel dates, at the beginning of every phone conversation, the team at Purity of Elements made it very clear that getting back to my baby was a priority. They even invited me to bring the little guy along and promised that he wouldn't be an inconvenience and that there would be plenty of people willing to help and privacy for nursing. Ok, and wait for this...they went one step further even offering accommodations for my ENTIRE FAMILY- husband and three kiddos- if it made me feel more comfortable.
IMAGINE THAT! A company wanting to accommodate a serious candidate as they considered them for a role within their company.
Ok, ok, I realize that this is a very unique situation and I guess we can't expect that every company would be willing to do this. We were very far along in conversations and we were also working with a production and air-date calendar that we had very little control over.
But I was BLOWN away by their hospitality and willingness to accommodate my very real mom-of-a-newborn needs- especially in this era of "bounce back mom bods" and comical family leave benefits and corporate expectations from parents who just welcomed a baby into this world and all of the crazy CRAZY demands a new family must undergo while they struggle and balance the mind-bleep that is being a parent....and how we don't support moms and how a mother's mental health is undervalued and how sometimes even embracing the privilege of being a parent, working or otherwise, comes with an undercurrent of oppressive subjection that no one will ever understand until they are in it.... (whew, let me tuck that heat away for another post because CLEARLY there's a lot to discuss here).
Ultimately, I decided to go solo. For one, my little guy had not received all of his vaccinations so flying was discouraged and my husband, although eager to go and happy to help, worried that he might get a little stir crazy with two toddlers and an infant in a new place, far from our familiar playgrounds and activities.
While being away from the family was incredibly difficult, I stayed focused on the task at hand- learning about the brand and the expectations, taking in the Santa Fe culture and scenery, and contemplating about my future with this company.
All of our conversations and trainings went well and now it was time to sign on.
The deal maker, as I sputtered out something along the lines of "under promise over deliver", "balancing the kiddos", "want to contribute but want to be honest about my life stage".... The response...and I am paraphrasing...do what you can and if there is a day when the kids just aren't having it, we will reschedule.
Oh my goodness...a brand that doesn't just talk about "restoring balance" but ACTUALLY BELIEVES IT and UNDERSTANDS IT???
|My 2.5 month old sitting in on a conference call #workinglunch...get it! Ha!|
I also want to be clear about having put in the hours. This wasn't just a random job interview. This was an opportunity that arose after FOUR years of putting in the unpaid hours, establishing a reputation, and demonstrating a strong and reliable work ethic. It is the culmination of nearly a decade working in corporate sales and marketing (and while I didn't always LOVE those jobs, not a day goes by that I don't realize how much I learned in those jobs- and if I could tag all of you who influenced me, I would!). It's about having shown a trustworthiness that a company must see before agreeing to pay for hours worked remotely from your home on the opposite side of the country.
And because of their faith in me and their approach to a healthy life balance, I pledge to do my best!! And if you missed it in an earlier post- tapping into my intenSati approach- I'm doing my best and, as moms, we must acknowledge that our best is enough!
Thank you, Purity of Elements for this amazing opportunity. And to my moms who totally get it, stay positive, stay driven, stay balanced.
I just want to add a small disclaimer because I realize that very few of us have an opportunity to take time and carve out a niche to establish and reflect on who we want to be because we are too busy being who we HAVE to be- a breadwinner, a homemaker, a caregiver, or any number of things we need to be before we can be the person we want to be. But I offer this post up and hope that this content can be shared so that it can join the conversation that is so desperately needed to drive change in the life/balance arena. #family #balance #life