Many of us have grown up seeing our parents work the same career most of our lives. Their ways of life have made us view career changes negatively as “job hopping,” or that it is a “turn off” to employers. Students even see this in college with the negativity one might find if they change their major. Times have changed, however, and the work-force is evolving. It’s okay to seek better opportunities instead of waiting numerous years to possibly work up the ladder in a company. My sister LaShae is the perfect example of this, and I’d like to share her story to encourage you to pursue the career you actually want.
LaShae Torres is a twenty-nine year old career-driven woman and mother. She is an inspiration to me and to all young women. I believe she is a trailblazer, paving the path for the people in her life, especially her daughter. Torres attended Bowling Green State University. She was the Director of Resources and Development at United Way of Greater Lima but recently has started a new journey accepting a position as Marketing and Communication Coordinator of Lima Memorial Hospital. Her hard work and determination does not go unnoticed, as Torres was selected as one of the top 50 most inspirational #BE50STRONG female leaders for the company 50 Strong, along with previously being named the Allen County Emerging Young Professional of the Year. I sat down to ask my sister some questions about her career change, and how she can motivate others to do the same.
Where did you begin your career journey and how have you gotten to where you are currently?
LT: I started my career with an internship in politics, which allowed me to learn the art of fundraising. I’ve been able to reach my current position through hard work and dedication, following up with people, keeping deadlines and sharing my passion with others.
What motivates you?
LT: Two things mainly: my daughter and my family. They motivate and inspire me to be the best version of myself daily.
What are some challenges you have faced as a female professional?
LT: Unfortunately, we still live in a male-dominated world. This has forced me to educate myself on issues more than the average person. There are moments where we as women are talked down to, and this is exceptionally challenging as a female professional. I have to carry myself to a much higher standard because I am a female so that my gender can never be used against me.
What have you learned among your employment changes?
LT: I’ve learned to adapt quickly to change because you often aren’t in control of the changes. If you learn to accept changes as challenges to overcome, it will cause you less stress.
How do you know when it’s time for a new opportunity?
LT: I believe when you lose your passion for what you’re doing, you become less effective, and it may be time for something new. Very recently, an opportunity presented itself to me to embark on a new career path in a new industry. As scary as it was, I had to say yes. Sometimes, you don’t always know it’s time to move on until it’s staring at you in the face. It’s in that moment that you have to face your fears and accept it because you never want to ask yourself “what if” I had taken that job offer, “what if” I volunteered for that group or “what if” I applied for that job.
What has been the rewarding and most challenging part of these changes?
LT: The most rewarding part of my changes has been the people I’ve gotten the opportunity to meet. I have had the privilege over my career to work with people who want to impact change and that is a very humbling experience. The challenging part is leaving the exceptional people I have met along the course.
What advice would you give for college women thinking about their future careers?
LT: I would say to keep your options open. Sometimes there is a bigger plan for yourself than you are even capable of seeing. Be kind, be humble and most importantly, be passionate. If you can focus on those three things, the world is in your hands! Don’t be intimidated, be educated. Learn more, research more, ask more questions and never be afraid to take chances.