Along his path, tenacity, empathy and partnering with others have helped Fred Pratt not only succeed, but build a large, supportive network. His path began as an Account Director. That was when he first began learning about the products and services TMP offers and using that knowledge to grow professionally. It’s something he’s continued to do throughout his career. “Being a sponge when it comes to our products and services was vital in getting to the role I’m in today. Not only learning about them, but using them, testing them, and asking lots and lots of questions about them. That has given me a very good understanding so that I can take that knowledge and help solve our customers’ challenges and educate them. I took every chance I could to get in front of customers, prospects, and TMP employees to listen and learn from them.”
As he built his knowledge, he began to build his career as well. “Each time I moved forward, it was because I wanted an opportunity to positively impact the business, have a larger scope of responsibility, and grow personally.” Moving from Account Director to Chief Client Officer indeed widened the scope of his work. But it was when he became the Managing Chief Client Officer of the Philadelphia office that his skills were really put to the test. His challenge was to not just grow on his own, but to achieve efficiency and profitability for an entire office.
“My first real office leadership role was as Vice President General Manager of Philadelphia. I had to strategically look at all facets of the business – people, products, process, customers, etc. – while also managing day-to-day operations and financials. It was truly like running your own business. Also, I got to manage all different types of people at different career stages. Getting the chance to build the team and the business was super challenging.” But Fred not only rose to the challenge, he used his position to help others. “I’m still proud of the work I did there because it was an experience that not only contributed to the success of our business, but created lifelong friends and co-workers that I’ve seen grow in their careers.”
Take extra time to help others that are just starting out. – Fred Pratt, TMPer since 1998
While he tackled a big challenge, this was hardly the end for Fred. His next step took him to become a Vice President of Client Strategy and then the Vice President of Digital Platform Sales. “Vice President of Digital Platform Sales was the most influential role to me because it was a stretch in my skill set and not something I was comfortable with. I had never managed an outside sales team.” With each move, he continued to build up his skills and give others room to grow. And that’s still one of his goals today in his role in Enterprise Sales.
Throughout his career, it’s been the support of others that has helped him move forward. “The informal network of TMP peers I’ve collaborated with over the years has definitely helped support me. They span across departments, states, and even countries. I call them the TMP GO-TO-Peers.” And this is why he’s still driving to help his coworkers today. “Day to day, I try to help co-workers get things done and learn. It’s kind of like an informal mentorship where I openly share my experiences, information, materials, etc. so that people can grow and learn.”
His advice for someone just starting out? “Give yourself a break. It takes a long time to connect the dots on everything we do.” But for someone that’s a little further in their career? It all comes back to your fellow employees and understanding the business. “Take extra time to help others that are just starting out. They will become your GO-TO network if you go out of your way to help them. My other advice? Always understand how your role fits into the bigger picture of TMP and how we serve our customers.”