What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three

(JS) “My undergraduate degree is in Marketing but I’m one of those people who I think, through trial and error, goes through their lives trying to figure out what they’re going to do. So I got that degree…and I thought, ‘Okay now what do I want to do?’ …So I took a couple of Education classes, but I thought, ‘This is dumb.’  So I went and got my MBA instead…I literally would go 4 nights a week and work fulltime, and spend my entire weekend writing papers. And after, I went into retail at a local chain. At 19, I was managing 20 people. Then I went from there to a battery salesperson. Hated that, and then went to a manufacturing company, and was their inventory control manager. Then I started taking these accounting courses, which is how I became an accountant. … So I took my accounting courses and really fought to get an accounting job, because I thought I needed to make that transition. And all these jobs lasted about a year…So I then went to work for a glass manufacturing company as an Accounts Payable clerk knowing that was a means to an end and I’d be able to get somewhere from there. And at that same time took courses to pass the CPA exam. In the meantime I also knew that the path to get certified was you had to go to a public accounting firm. So I knew someone at a public accounting firm in Fresno…I proceeded to call him every month and ask him if he had a job for me. When he finally did, I quit work at this terrible glass manufacturing plant and went to work at this public accounting firm, passed the CPA exam, and then went to work for a first tier firm…I continued to work my way up. Then I decided it was time for me not to be in Fresno anymore…So I went in and talked to the head of the office and said, ‘You know I need to be someplace else other than here. What about one of these national office opportunities?’ I had not been there very long… a couple of years. He said, ‘I’m not sure that’s appropriate. Usually those people are at a much higher level, much more experienced.’ But then I found out a woman in the San Francisco office needed to [move to Fresno] because her husband is going to go into dental practice with his father, so she took my job and I took hers in San Francisco….So I worked in that office for almost 5 years. Golden Gate University was right across the street…I got an MS in Taxation…I moved down to the San Jose office to do international work….and I got bored with San Francisco and San Jose. I thought, I’m not going to live my whole life here, in California. So I set up a bunch of interviews, and went to Manhattan and went to every major firm that was not mine, and literally went in and talked to [a Big Four accounting firm], was there for probably a half an hour, talked to this guy who was a partner in the firm and got hired…After two years I went to work as the Director of International Tax for a small regional firm that gave me a boat load of money and a big title. I hadn’t been there 10 months when a headhunter called me with a job at [major telecommunications company]… So I went out and interviewed with them, and got the job in International Tax Policy… I was the person who was going down to Washington as the tax expert to talk to Hill staff. Within 6 weeks I had legislation actually written for me, which was nice. I did that for 2 and a half years when things started to compress at [major telecommunications company], there was an opportunity for me to move down to Washington and actually be the lobbyist rather than the person who came in. You know I’ve been in the President’s Executive room. I lobbied the IRS, I lobbied the U.S. Treasury, I lobbied the House and the Senate, the Joint Committee on Taxation. I went to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. I would make 4 or 5 trips to Paris a year. I even presented. It was really great but you know I hit this point where I realized I just didn’t want to be in Washington D.C. anymore… After a while you really tire of being around people in DC… Anyway I just decided that I don’t want to do this anymore…So after coming out here on vacations, I had two job offers. Of course, it’s unbelievably beautiful down here on the Pacific Ocean. So I decided to take this one and here I am.”


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About the Author

Marcia ReynoldsIn addition to coaching leaders in global companies, Dr. Marcia Reynolds travels the world speaking and teaching classes in advanced coaching skills, leadership and emotional intelligence. She is the author of 3 books and has been quoted in major online and print publications in the US and Europe.

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