“I just knew I wanted to make a difference somehow, but I couldn’t identify exactly how,” says Amazon.com recruiter Jessica Salo, of her decision to apply to the Hadassah Leadership Fellows Program (HLF). The HLF is a two-year fellowship program designed to inspire and cultivate future leaders who want to affect change on global scale. Now in her second year of the program, Salo says has discovered a passion for “finding areas in my life where I can directly influence change.”
As of right now, Jessica is influencing change in her role at Amazon. “Being part of this program has pushed me out of my comfort zone,” the self-proclaimed introvert says. “When I was in Israel [during the first year of the program] I was challenged to share my thoughts and feelings in front of all of these incredibly smart women, and that can be intimidating. But I did it, and I came out stronger and more confident as a result.”
Now she’s applying that confidence and those leadership skills to her role at Amazon, where she mentors new female employees who are new to the company. Salo recently shared with me some of the lessons she’s learned from Hadassah, which she now passes on to the women she mentors. The following lesson are not exclusive to women, however. Share these tips with your own employees and prepare them for success in their careers.
- Find a mentor. “Find a mentor and continue to find mentors throughout your professional career. Find someone who’s been successful and seek out their advice and guidance. Ask questions, and be genuinely open about what they have to say. And take every meeting with them assuming you’re going to learn something new and valuable every time.”
- Find a cause about you’re passionate. “I truly believe in this idea, especially since I began working with Hadassah. I know finding a passion will fuel you, whether it be in your work or your personal life, if you make time for causes you care about, you’ll grow personally and professionally. Any time you can identify an area where you can be an advocate for change, you start to realize you’re a person who can get things done.”
- Take criticism seriously but not personally. “Hilary Clinton said that, and I think it’s the best advice I’ve ever heard. A huge part of growth is being open about your mistakes and failures. Sometime when we receive criticism, we take it personally, but if you can view it as an opportunity to grow, it will make taking criticism much easier.”