Make Room for Something New


“You have to let go of something to make room for something new.”

Author Cynthia Oredugba (pictured, right) shared this and more at a Women of AT&T Southern California fundraiser for scholarships.

Led by chapter president Georgia Zachary (pictured, left), the event was held this weekend at Marmi at The Point in El Segundo, Calif.

How did I find myself there?

For the last year I’ve led the DIRECTV Women’s Leadership Exchange – an employee resource group for professional development, networking, mentoring and community service.

DIRECTV was acquired by AT&T this summer, creating the world’s largest pay TV provider and a video distribution leader across TV, mobile and broadband.

Among other things, our employee resource groups are coming together. This is how I found myself listening to Cynthia Oredugba talk about change.

“You can’t get better by staying the same,” was another truth she shared that struck a chord.

It reminded me of the DIRECTV Leadership Development Program I attended two years ago.

At the end of a life-changing week, I realized I’d only thought I had a big dream for myself in becoming VP of Corporate Communications.

Coming out of the program, I was energized by the idea of pivoting and stretching into a new area – whether that was investor relations, operations, marketing or something else entirely.

But it wasn’t until the transformative coming together of AT&T and DIRECTV that an opportunity would arise.

Three weeks ago, I moved into a marketing role. It centers on the customer experience, consumer research and the vision for the future of the marketing organization.

This speaks to the opportunities that come from change. And from being part of a newly combined company. And among leaders with a commitment to talent mobility as a way for people to grow and contribute.

It also allows me to explore for the first time my full spectrum of the high-scoring artistic, social end enterprising parts of the Strong Interest Inventory. This career assessment tool links personal interests with a variety of career fields.

I’ve long seen Human Resources, Corporate Communications and Marketing along a related spectrum of careers that blend the qualitative and the quantitative, design and data, and people and products.

Having spent many years in Corporate Communications and HR leadership roles, I’m thrilled to have an opportunity in Marketing.

And now the hard work begins. Applying previous knowledge to new situations. Addressing new business challenges. Adapting to new norms.

It’s a good thing I love learning. Because there’s going to be a lot of it in the near future. And we all need to be constant learners, whether or not we’re changing jobs, functions or companies.

Thankfully I work with a lot of great people who are more than willing to answer questions and share insights.

As I dive into the new role, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the many parallels between what I used to do and what I do now.

And that’s been the best learning of all. You don’t have to let go of something you’ve loved as you move into something new.

You just have to let it evolve into a new state. It’s about combining what you’ve done with a commitment to lifelong learning to inform what you do today – and tomorrow.

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Caroline Leach

Hi, I'm Caroline Leach. I help people and organizations tell their stories. I'm a Marketing VP at AT&T, a former Communications VP at DIRECTV and an alum of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. This blog, How to Build Your Career through Social Media, shows you how to build your personal brand, advance your career and embrace your future. It helps you promote your employer and your network too. Opinions expressed in this blog are my own. Your comments are welcomed and encouraged. I'd love to hear from you!

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