Beth is a BOSS and you guys are going to love her as much as I do! We went to school together and she has mastered grace under pressure, something that is so important as a working woman.
Tell us a little about yourself and your career
Hey! My name is Beth Grimmett and I have spent pretty much my entire life in Utah. I was born near Salt Lake City and graduated from high school in Utah County. I attended Brigham Young University in Provo where I met my husband – who was also studying Broadcast Journalism. We both managed to land jobs in Salt Lake City and soon found out we were expecting our first baby!
My job as a morning show producer had me working straight overnights and that didn’t change after baby came along. My husband dove right into “daddy-duty” and handled all the late-night feedings while I was at work. I worked my way up at that station and eventually became an Executive Producer over the morning show. Soon after that, we found out we were pregnant with our second child.
After baby #2 came along, life seemed to move at lightning speed. I was going into work at 3 AM which meant I had to be in bed by 7PM in order to get some semblance of sleep. My husband and I were like passing ships, mumbling a few words about how our days went over dinner then I would head off to bed while he cleaned up and got the kids ready for bedtime. At the same time, we watched as our oldest child started displaying behaviors and habits that needed more direct attention than what he was getting from his daycare at the time. It became obvious to my husband and I that we needed to make a change for our family. A new job opportunity came along for my husband which would allow me to stay at home with the children and we made the move.
The new job came with a physical move for our family – to Kansas City. It was the first time I would live outside of the state of Utah. I soon found myself in a new state with new responsibilities and I felt completely alone. I had never been a stay-at-home parent and never *wanted* to be one. The vision I had always had of my life included a career AND a family. It looked nothing like the life I was currently living. It took longer than I’d like to admit for me to adjust into my new role but looking back – I wouldn’t trade that time with my kids for ANYTHING. I gained balance and insight and a relationship with my children that I realize I didn’t have the capacity for before that time.
Our family dynamics recently changed AGAIN when my husband changed jobs AGAIN and we moved AGAIN. We currently live in Wichita, Kansas, and I’ve jumped back into producing. I’m currently churning out two newcasts a day at the CBS affiliate here and love being awake during the day!
How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?
I love the quote “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” I had an Executive Producer in Salt Lake City who understood this principle and never tried to blow out anyone else’s light. She hired me, fresh out of college, and taught me by example in everything she did. She would clap when she was excited about something, she would cry with me when I was frustrated, she would do a high kick in the air when our morning team accomplished something grand. She was supportive to the EXTREME. She truly understood that a leader is only as good as those they lead. She built up the people around her instead of being afraid that they would steal her spotlight. Even though neither of us work at that station anymore, she still celebrates my accomplishments and checks in with me periodically to see how I’m doing.
Another important principle I’m learning to apply is that there is no such thing as work-life balance. I know that sounds like a hot take, but what I mean is that the scale between work-life and home-life is never balanced. Sometimes the scale is going to lean more towards work and sometimes it will lean towards home-life.
My responsibility is to be aware of when that the scale needs to tip back to one direction or another. The General Manager at my first station introduced me to this idea when I went to her, as a new mom and at the end of my exhausted rope. She knew what I was feeling; she had been in my shoes. She was still in my shoes. She taught me that taking care of ME is just as important as taking care of those around me. She knew even though work is important – it’s not the most important. Thanks to her, I have a healthier relationship with work and happier relationships at home. If work is crazy for a couple of weeks, I schedule a mental health day. If my children have needed more of my attention for a while, I’m the first one to volunteer for the next weekend shift that needs to be covered. It’s not a constant state of balance, but more of an awareness of where I’m needed most.
What keeps you going as a working mom?
Chocolate and Diet Dr. Pepper
In all honesty – it’s important for me to be doing something that fulfills me. As a new mom, I felt selfish whenever I thought about what I wanted. I felt like my whole life needed to revolve around this tiny human. I’m learning that it’s important to have passion as a mom. Plus, I’m proud of the example it’s setting for my children. They’ve seen me as full-time mom, work-from-home mom, and work-at-the-office mom. And I hope I’ve been able to show them that you can find joy in whatever you do – you just have to look for it.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: career aspirations?
I would tell myself: You don’t have to try so hard or be so loud – at least not all of the time.
In Salt Lake City, I was 25-years-old and an Executive Producer. I found myself in meetings with other managers who had been in the news business for as long as I had been alive. I felt like I had to over exaggerate everything I did. I had to speak the loudest. I had to agree with the most people. I had to be in the room and I had to BE HEARD. Instead of earning the respect of people, I felt like I had to demand it.
I rose quickly to management because I worked hard and was valued, but then my insecurities would kick in. Thankfully, I had great mentors that valued me and taught me by example. They showed me that it was possible to be heard without having to yell or run over someone else.
What is your career-related mantra
“We must have the courage to be imperfect.”
I’m a bit of a perfectionist – so this is a concept I’m striving for and definitely not one that I’ve mastered. As women, we tend to put so much pressure on ourselves. We set unrealistic expectations – for ourselves and for others. But it is important for mercy to have a role in our lives. We need to allow opportunities for imperfections to teach us what we don’t know. We need to mess up, so we can show humility. That’s where the real learning happens.