Wednesday, June 17, 2015

parting wisdom: top five lessons from spanx

I wasn't planning to write about my last day at spanx... but it seemed disingenuine not to mention this big life change I'm making. my first job after business school was an international account associate at spanx and today is my last day in the spanx world. while it will be hard, I am happy to say that after two and half years and 7 countries later - I've learned several big lessons and made insane memories at spanx.

some lessons have been learned from first hand experience, others passed on from our rockstar speaker CEO.

1. people and cultures around the world are similar but also more different than you realizeas I embarked on my first truly international role, I naively assumed that the majority of cultures were just like mine. I mean, we are all people - motivated by the same things, right? wrong. if you are traveling somewhere international, do some research on local religion, currency, and current politics.

2. no one knows how to do your job better than you: this one came from our CEO during a quarterly meeting. just read it again and let it sit with you for a minute. I'm not saying you're the best at your job or that you're irreplaceable (I learned better than that in my college internship at coca-cola, everyone is replaceable... don't worry, this is not a negative thing). I'm saying that in this moment, in your current role, no one knows it better than you. to me, it's so freeing yet also motivating. dig in, learn your role - and speak up.

3. let go of the life you've planned - in order to have the life waiting for you: pretty self explanatory. after a BBA and MBA in marketing, I am still not working in a true marketing field and that is okay. in fact, I'm quite confident it's worked out this way for a reason. know when to persevere and when to move on. the desire to give up will be most strong when you are just about to succeed.

4. speak your dreams, the doors will open: it's the dream building that's the hard work. if you can determine what you want, and tell others, it will happen. those who stumble have a hard time articulating the end goal. people want to help people - so determine what you want and be vocal.

5. if you want to go fast, go alone. if you want to go far, go together: this is a friendly reminder that two brains are better than one and that you can't do it alone. you will gain increased buy-in when you go the journey as a team.

6. bonus! step outside of your comfort zone: everyone says this, but what does it mean? to me, it meant taking an international job fresh out of b-school. I'd traveled all over europe and brazil, but they were organized study abroad trips. this position required me to travel all over southeast asia alone. was I comfortable with that? yes, but not completely. be true to yourself but stretch your limits and you will inherently grow.

a few of my favorite spanx memories over the years...

 "welcome tea" at the hong kong kowloon shangri-la

 the famous chicken rice at chatterbox singapore

 petronas towers in kuala lumpur, malaysia

 rice art for deepvali in malaysia

associate training in manila, philippines

 filipino mango

the annual paris lingerie show

 spanx store grand opening celebration at northpark mall, dallas - in the same mall I worked at after college with nordstrom

successful press event in jakarta, indonesia

sydney opera house, australia

 sydney harbor

 icebergs, bondi beach

 choreographed water show at the burj khalifa, dubai

 shopping and meeting the team in dubai

first and probably only time to ride a camel

 VIP event in dubai

desert safari, dubai


  1. "Speak Your Dreams and Doors Will Open" is great advice. I have been considering new opportunities and I realized that people can't help you achieve your goals if they don't know what you want. I also love your photos from your international assignments - what an exciting experience!

  2. sometimes knowing what you want is the hardest part, let alone being able to articulate it to others!