By Cathie Ericson
Hard work indeed pays off – and you can’t shirk that part – but hard work alone doesn’t mean doors will automatically open for you, says Lisa Goldkamp.
The key, she says, is to work smarter and draw on your own emotional intelligence.
“You can’t quietly sit there and expect everyone to recognize your role,” says Goldkamp. “You have to build relationships and be aware of your own personal brand, making sure that people know who you are, and that others are not getting credit for your hard work.”
Advancing Her Career Through Seizing Opportunities and Embracing Change
Goldkamp’s career path has been built on a successful tenure at two organizations. She began as an intern at a company that provided IT training to corporate employees, where she says she quickly learned that effective use of technology can impact your productivity and success.
It wasn’t long until the owner of the franchise saw her potential, and she advanced to managing a team of 15 in operations.
After honing her management skills, he subsequently asked her to step into an account executive role — although she had never considered sales, she took the chance and soon realized how much she loved consulting with clients.
Soon she decided she wanted to relocate to her hometown of St. Louis and leveraged relationships she had built to attain a job with a predecessor of her current company, WEX, which she ultimately joined through a series of mergers and acquisitions.
In fact, she credits her ability to thrive in the face of constant change as a key to her success. “I find that lots of people choose the path of fear during change, but I consider it an opportunity to grow my impact,” Goldkamp notes. “ I look at every change as a challenge to figure out what I can do to embrace new people and situations instead of being paralyzed. Disruption has brought my best breaks.”
Her first role at WEX was in consultative sales using technology to help prospective clients find solutions to complex problems, and over time she grew into a pre-Sales leadership role.
A recent promotion has opened the door to new opportunities, including extending her consultative sales leadership to an expanded team that is focused on bringing sales excellence to prospective and current partners. As a result, she has welcomed new talent to her team whom she can help develop and mentor. “I’m excited to have the chance to build an expanded managerial infrastructure and promote additional leaders.”
Goldkamp knows that she has been fortunate to have people who believed in her, who were willing to go to bat and champion her, and she looks forward to doing the same.
Emulating the Best Qualities Around Her
While she has worked with many individuals she considers to be role models, Goldkamp says she can’t help but look up to WEX CEO Melissa Smith for being both successful and down to earth. The first time they met, when WEX was acquiring her former company, Smith was pregnant with her first child and Goldkamp was pregnant with her second.
Over the years, Goldkamp has had more opportunities to interact with her at company events, and is always struck by how accessible she is. “As we all know, tech firms tend to be male dominated, and I really respect both her career path and who she is as a person.”
Among the qualities that Goldkamp herself aims to portray to others are a positive attitude, a strong work ethic and strong professional and personal relationships, all of which she believes have been crucial to her success. And she notes that you have to trust your coworkers and leaders in order to achieve a strong work/life balance.
Having had three kids in less than four years, that balance currently entails spending time with them whenever she can. She credits her husband, who has been home with the kids for the past five years, as greatly simplifying their life, given their busy schedule and her own travel needs.
Having a support system at work and at home is the key to achieving balance, she finds. “Over the years I have recognized that you can’t control everything or do it all yourself. Becoming a mother highlighted the need to prioritize and empower others since you can’t do it all alone.”