Career Notes 3.19.23
Ep 141 | 3.19.23

Kathleen Smith: Translating the cyber world. [CMO]


Kathleen Smith: My name is Kathleen Smith and I am the Chief Outreach Officer of ClearedJobs.Net, and I'm also an Aquarius.

Kathleen Smith: I remember very clearly sitting in my parents' bedroom and looking at my dad's shoes and looking down at them and going, I'm supposed to fill those, and he was a dentist and also what is affectionately referred to as a slum landlord. And he did tell me later on I didn't have to become a dentist and I didn't have to be a slum landlord, but I did have to be successful and I did have to go to college. I actually had to go to graduate school when I was in high school, I was basically told that they would pay for all the education as long as I didn't get married until I was at least 30. So there was some pretty strong guidelines as to being successful, being driven, um, and excelling.

Kathleen Smith: I'd always been interested in science. My mother was fabulous in actually enrolling me in things that were called the Youth Science Institute when I was like 10, even though I was supposed to be 14 when I was, uh, enrolled in that. I found sort of my early calling as being an ambassador or a translator. I've always looked at a hard business or a hard technical science problem and someone's like, I don't understand and then I turn around and I say, well, it's like this and I usually have pretty luck with people understanding what I'm conveying to them.

Kathleen Smith: So I went on to be more of a hard science, hard math and high school and, um, college and people are like, what's a blonde, blue-eyed woman who's supposed to be a surfer, being sort of a biochemist and law student? I actually was in the legal department of a large hospital supply company that was actually making prosthetics and I was writing some of the first, um, informed patient consent marketing brochures so that people who knew that what they were getting implanted into them sort of you know, what would happen. I just sort of realized that, you know, this translator role, this explaining two sides really helped. But it was really hard to get a job in that. So I got a job being, um, insurance sales person.

Kathleen Smith: I put together a program at the right age of 24 on how to increase revenue and it was successful. And then they fired me because they said, oh, we need to create a new strategy. And so I went and worked with another insurance company and did the same thing and made them more money, but it wasn't feeding my soul. Doing the translator role, I wanted to get into international marketing and I was going on to get my degree on that. But then it was recession time, I was hit again. I found my calling in nonprofit fundraising and did you know in between then I did have to do a lot of Banana Republic stints . And, you know, barista stints and things like that. We all have to do that at least once or twice or four times during our careers. And I had a really great time working in the nonprofit community. But it does burn you out, it does burn your soul. Uh, I knew that I wanted to raise money for the environment, but I had to cut my teeth on health profits and um, healthcare nonprofits. And so several of us ended up having PTS after working there. I'm very proud that, um, all of the phenomenal marketing professionals I worked with there are now part of my team at ClearJobs.Net. Uh, it was great to see some great talent and I wanted to make sure they had a supportive environment.

Kathleen Smith: My normal day is usually thinking out 6 months to 12 months, but of course the pandemic sort of through a fly in that ointment. So I'm back to planning, what do we do for the next 6 to 18 months? I have a phenomenal team that, I'll, I'll have an idea and they're like, okay, we'll take it. Which before it used to be, I have a really great idea and now I have to work 12 hours into the night and figure out how to put it together and the graphics and everything and now it's, it's nice to have other marketing professionals say, it's a really great idea, however, it's not gonna fly, uh, we're not going to get the Goodyear blimp. I am a big proponent of making sure team has leadership, not that I am a dictator, it's more of like, let's, let's make sure that we're going in the right direction. I also mentor a lot of people in the community, which a lot of people say they mentor and I give them credit, but to truly mentor you have to be mentoring one or two people at a time, and you really have to give them their focus.

Kathleen Smith: I am always fascinated that having, you know, there's so many of us who have a career and we can honestly say it doesn't stir our soul and. I tell people, you know, cybersecurity is so phenomenal in the sense that you can tinker around with it and find out what really you're passionate about, before even taking on career. You can find different things to break and put back together, there are so many different facets of cybersecurity and so, my advice, what are you passionate about? Find out what you're passionate about. It might be policy, it might be healthcare regulations, it may be, um, privacy issues, but be passionate about it. Our life is too short to not be passionate about what you're doing.

Kathleen Smith: I would love to be remembered, but I know that we are all just a blink in everyone's eye, so I know people won't remember me. Um, I know a few people will say thank you for the things that I've done to help them move on in their career, and then they'll forget about me. It's fine, I'm fine with that. I know I've made an impact. If it was different, I would just like to people to remember that I helped them when they needed to be helped, and I provided a clear voice for people who didn't have a voice.