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Women leaders in security recognized

Joan Goodchild | May 7, 2013
Thoughts and reflections from the 2012 EWF Women of Influence winners

What valuable advice have you received along the way in your career?

I was very fortunate to work for a wonderful mentor right out of college who really inspired me. He demonstrated his belief in me by giving me a lot of responsibility right off the bat. There were other senior managers who thought I would fail and there was a lot of pressure. Nonetheless, he set high expectations that I was determined to live up to, and I credit a lot of my determination and drive to what I learned in that first real professional role.

When he moved on to a new role just a year later, I was devastated and he saw that. He told me that in my career, nothing would stay the same; change was inevitable. And those who found a way to embrace change-- to thrive on it --were the successful people. I dried my tears and found a way to be successful in his absence. From then on I've often been the one to force the change myself when Im not satisfied.

So the advice is to embrace change; dont be afraid of it. If you can, control it and make it work for you. Look for the opportunities change brings and latch on.

What has your personal mission been in your career?

To do everything to the utmost of my ability, to improve what I see around me, and to implement ideas --not just talk about them.

Have your accomplishments lived up to your expectations for yourself?

I had no idea I would end up where I am. Sometimes I look around and I am amazed at where I live, the people I work with and the life I lead. I couldn't have pictured something this far from where I started. When walking around Google, or meeting friends who hold C-level roles in global companies at the EWF conference, I sometimes have the urge to pinch myself to see if I'm dreaming.

I am very proud of my accomplishments and the work I've put in to get here, but it wasn't a plan I created early on that I'm following in a dedicated fashion. I just do my current job as well as I can. I follow my heart and as opportunities arise that excite and challenge me I grab them with both hands and hang on for dear life. My husband often jokes that Im the kind of person who jumps in with two feet before having any idea how deep the water is. Sometimes I have found myself in over my head without any clue how to proceed, but somehow I always manage. When I take on too much, I back off something less critical for a little while until I'm back in my comfort zone --then it's full steam ahead again.


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