While it’s been a combination of exposure, repetition and persistence that has helped her succeed, Jennifer Vaughan has some great advice for people just beginning their path with TMP. “If you are just getting started, find out what needs to be done and do it.” Jennifer began her path after her company was acquired by TMP. So while she may have gotten a non-traditional start with TMP, Jennifer has had her career grow in unexpected and wonderful ways. She began as an Account Supervisor, and then moved to a product marketing manager. “In many cases early in my career, people moved up or left. So I was promoted to fill those roles. … But because TMP is TMP, you can't be in a role and not learn something new.”
Her next step actually took a bit of travel – she had to decide if she wanted to move from Dallas to Chicago. “I had gotten exposure to the Chicago office as a Product Marketing Manager, and through conversations with the RVP and SVP, we explored the possibility of me moving.” The move turned out to be for the better and she became an Account Director in a new office. “My biggest learning experience was probably the Account Director role in Chicago. The size and scope of the clients was much larger than what I had been working with in Dallas at the time. Plus, with in-office exposure to so many of our SMEs, it was sort of like being at TMP University. I really learned so much from that role and experience.”While Jennifer learned a lot in Chicago, the city of Dallas eventually called her back. “When the Vice President of Client Strategy role opened in Dallas – and because I’m from there – TMP offered me the opportunity to ‘go home,’ so to speak.” Back in Dallas, and throughout her career, there were several pitches that Jennifer participated in. All of the work involved in attracting new clients was another great learning experience for her.
“I was fortunate to be involved in many pitches over the years. In fact, one of the projects that still makes me proud when I think about it was the pitch – and win – of a big-fish client that everyone wanted. We had a great team that collaborated to win the account, worked quickly to generate revenue through project and product sales, and ultimately moved them to retainer. Pitches, in general, have helped me to understand the sales process and the amount of work that goes on before a company ever becomes a client. It’s also been in those pitches that I’ve seen the best of TMP – I’ve always been delighted by the ideas generated and shared. I’ve even been able to repurpose and reuse them in so many conversations.”
The people are what make TMP a great place to work, and they are the reason that after 20 years, I can’t imagine working anywhere else. – Jennifer Vaughan, TMPer since 2001
With all the knowledge Jennifer had gathered, she took a leap towards something unknown for her current role. “The trigger for me becoming the VP of Digital Strategy was I truly wanted to try something new. I wanted a change from account service and had always been interested in the sales process. This role has been a perfect fit for my skills and passion. Now I like to think of my role as a chameleon. I can become whatever is needed for a given client situation – healthcare expert, solution specialist, brand evangelist, on-boarding contact, I do it all. With sales, my role changes often and from pitch to pitch. I’m able to draw on my experience to become the gap-filler for whichever component might be missing.” Her role now shows that people can find the formula for the best career. “True happiness comes from finding a role that brings together doing what you love and making an impact for the company.” While she spends her days changing and making new connections, one thing has stayed consistent through her career – the great people at TMP. “The people are what make TMP a great place to work, and they are the reason that after 20 years, I can’t imagine working anywhere else. There have been so many people who have been impactful in my journey, whether they knew it or not.” There was one person, in particular, who helped Jennifer along her path. “Neal Litow had a tremendous impact on my career. He guided me through learning to be an AD in a large office with large clients, then helped me switch back to managing a smaller office. Those were very formative years for me at TMP and Neal had the perfect balance of patience and push that led to so many great opportunities. And on top of all that, we had a great time.”
At this point in her career, Jennifer has some advice for those thinking about their own path - take your time. “Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Advancement could come in the form of a lateral move that has great learning opportunities and exposure. And no matter where you are in your career, remember to ‘raise your hand,’ so to speak. Invite yourself to meetings, and figure out how to help. Do your work and do it well, but always work to explore other areas and learn about how they might be a fit for you on your career path.”