By: Shannon Melba, Austin, TX
Picture this. You’re an administrative assistant working for an architectural group in Texas, but you’ve long wanted a position where you can share with the world the great work that your team does. So, while your colleague is on maternity leave, you take on her Conference and Communications Coordinator role in addition to your existing duties—it’s a perfect fit! Then your firm is acquired by Stantec. How do you convince your new employer—and yourself—that you can now sell Stantec? Well, that’s exactly what I set out to do…
SHW Group was acquired by Stantec shortly after I began my new duties. It was a crazy time: balancing the two roles while my office transitioned to Stantec. Along with conference planning, I was transferring our employees’ information and registering people for training. What a whirlwind. Busy, yes, but I had a taste of marketing and communications—and was now hooked.
I spoke at length with former SHW marketing manager Kimberly Bow about my career aspirations at Stantec. Confident in my abilities, she strongly urged me to market myself to our new colleagues just as I had with her several months prior. So I called the vice president of regional marketing, Kim Austin. I asked her whether I could stay with Marketing and PR & Communications once my colleague returned from leave. She encouraged me and said she was sure they’d eventually find a position that suited my strengths and interests.
Meanwhile, I worked hard as part of the team, helping wherever I was needed. Even after my colleague returned from maternity leave, I sought whatever work Kim and Michelle Matera, director of marketing for the South, could send my way. Over time, I honed my skills and proved my passion. I had to market myself and prove to the marketing team that I had the creative ability to promote our Company the way I wanted to and the way they wanted me to.
My strategy paid off. About three months after SHW was acquired, a communications coordinator role opened up. Michelle asked me whether I was interested. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity. Two weeks after I’d taken on my role full time, I underwent my first Career Development and Performance Review (CDPR).
I didn’t yet know everything that was expected of me in my role, but after completing my CDPR with Michelle’s detailed input and guidance, I felt more equipped. She regularly lets me know that she’s here to support my growth and success however she can and that she can help me plan the direction my role will take.
What advice would I give others contemplating a similar change? Take stock of what you like to do, what you’re passionate about – either at work or at home. That’s where you should start. We have so many different career options and areas of specialty housed under one roof at Stantec – you just might find something related to your passion. I know I did!
To start designing your own #MyStantecStory like Shannon did, visit our careers page.