Caitlin was the first gal I met when I moved to Utah a few years ago, and we often joke that we share a brain. We were bridesmaids for each other after not being friends for long because we really were destined to be BFFs! She is one of the most driven gals I know and never settles for less than she deserves and always encourages me to do the same. I’m so excited to share her with you today!
She also runs this adorably charming blog, The Fisherman’s Wife, so be sure to check it out!
Tell us a bit about yourself/your career
I’m a California native and graduate of California State University, Chico. Currently, I’m the Senior PR and Social Media Manager at a full-service advertising, marketing and public relations firm. I’ve worked primary in a communications/media relations/social media capacity my whole career.
My first internship was just out of college at a global PR agency in their their Sacramento office. I had the ultimate intern experience and had to dress as the California Raisin for a blogger conference–it was a crazy few days, but it’s honestly the best story to tell!
After that internship, I worked in San Francisco for almost 3 years at a mid-size PR agency in the tech world. I consider this to be the job I “grew up” at, as most of my professional expectations and habits were formed and solidified there. It was a truly remarkable agency with more female mentors than I can count, and I consider myself extremely lucky to have learned from some of the best in the industry.
When I moved to Salt Lake City, I struggled a bit to find my place in such a startlingly different work culture, but after a few years I found my groove.
I’m married to a darling guy who is fluent in Korean. He is extremely supportive of my career.
How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?
But seriously, I don’t know how people survive without a tribe. I have several friends from college, as well as leading ladies I’ve met throughout my career, that are my biggest cheerleaders. We’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other, navigating workplace politics via group text, and grabbing lunch to commiserate and console.
It’s been so interesting, especially with my friends from college, to move through each career phase together. Our conversations have changed so much from those first days as entry-level coordinators, to managers and coaches, to department directors. But they’ve always been there for sanity checks, celebratory dinners, and support through moments of paralyzing fear, doubt and disappointment.
If you could change anything about being a woman in the workplace, what would it be?
I think we need to talk about money with each other more. I’m on a personal mission to remove the taboo of talking about our salaries. I see that as just another barrier that holds women back. If my BFF graduated college the same year I did, and is making 20k more than me, I want to know about it.
I want us to empower each other to ask for more; whether that’s raises, promotions, or flexible schedules. Part of the reason the wage gap exists is because we’re not negotiating. Let’s be loud and proud about our salaries so we can inspire confidence in our sisters and work together to close the wage gap by all asking to be paid what we’re worth.
What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: your career aspirations?
This probably isn’t worth crying over.
Along those lines, I would invite early career women to be kind in their self-talk, and take care of themselves. If you’re burnt out and sobbing the bathroom all the time, you’re not living your best life. You can’t perform at your peak in such a state of negativity. Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are competent, professional, and an absolute joy to be around. Self-acceptance and love will get you through the darkest of your professional days.
What’s your career-related mantra?
“I’m not gonna take that on.”
While that may seem counter intuitive for someone trying to scale the corporate ladder, I recently read an article about how the smartest and most successful people in the workplace are the best prioritizers. They know what projects will get them ahead, and they zero in and excel at those. It’s not about breadth, it’s about depth.