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  • Writer's pictureOsnat Benari

Owning your Career and Starting from Scratch with Eugina Jordan

Eugina calls herself a “Russian bulldozer” and laughs out loud. She is a bundle of love, inspiration, and creativity (check out our Zoom meeting picture below!). If you need a pep talk on “not hearing no for an answer,” she’s your girl!

Eugina has many amazing stories of her change, development, and her owning her future. This one was my favorite.

“I was an EA with very little impact and no growth opportunity, but one day an opportunity opened in my workplace. I created my own spark. I went to the hiring manager and offered myself for the role.”

Wait! How?

"At the age of 37, newly single, with a new mortgage, & a 2-year old son counting on me to provide for him, I realized that as an EA, I had little opportunity to advance. On a mid-winter afternoon in 2007, I marched into my CEO’s office determined to ask for his support.

Thoughts raced through my head. I had heard about an entry-level marketing job that sounded like an opportunity for career growth. I had been considering my options carefully & going back to school was not financially viable in my present circumstances, but this job…this job felt like something to help me grow. I knew that given the chance; I would succeed. All I needed was a chance to prove myself. All I needed was a “yes” from my boss, the CEO.

But I am his EA, I support the whole executive team.

Will he let me go?

Anxiety roiled in the pit of my stomach as I walked into his office. I remember the way the sunlight streamed through the window across his desk like it was yesterday. His answer had the power to be life-changing.

I took a deep breath, and with no preamble, before I could change my mind, I told him, “There is an opening in the marketing department, and I want a transfer.”

He studied me for what felt like an eternity, then he smiled, and said, “I would miss you, but I cannot be selfish and stop your growth.”

I didn’t even realize I was holding my breath until I felt it whoosh out of me at his answer.

And just like that, with one simple “yes,” I got my biggest career break."

Many are looking for opportunities outside of their workplace when they seek a promotion, but you moved up in your existing organization. How did you go about it?

“I had an excellent personal relationship with my then manager. To this day, we exchange Christmas Cards, and he knew I had extra motivation, a fire in my belly to do more than what my then role was all about.

I pitched myself but also focused on what was suitable for the company, not just myself. I was known for building excellent internal relationships, being very organized, and being a quick learner. This meant the company needed to take a chance on me, but I had shown my skills in the past, transferable skills. I reminded them of those in the conversation and included my love for the company and my wish to stay and grow with it. My then-boss was highly supportive. Having an internal supporter and a team that will root for your success is critical in making career advancement in the company you work for”.


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