Kellie McGinnis is no stranger to career evolution. Not only has she watched the industry change, but her own role at TMP has transformed significantly. “There has been rapid change and growth in our industry over the past 30 years. As it's shifted, I’ve seen different ways I could advance, too.” All her career moves have taken initiative, curiosity and a willingness to try something new, but each move allowed her to learn new skills and aspects of TMP’s business.
“Back in the day, I worked on the America Online (AOL) account. It was just as they got started in the mid-80s and I worked with them through their merger with Time Warner in 2001. This was the start of our lives becoming digital. It was a wild and crazy time. Change was a constant. Their growth was phenomenal, and our industry growth was, too. Plus, we produced some really cool work.”
There are a few roles that stood out for her. “One of my most influential roles was working in Creative Operations. Creative is at the core of all we do. It’s the strategy in motion. The creative team’s job is incredibly hard, but they make it look so easy.” One of the biggest changes for her was when she moved into a managerial role. “The jump to a managerial role connected all the pieces of the business for me. Great people and products combined with excellent client delivery all add up to business growth and financial success for TMP.”
While many of her roles were traditional advances in account service, there were still challenges along the way. “A big part of ‘natural progression’ is taking on additional work and responsibilities. I ‘threw my hat into the ring,’ so to speak. When I saw a need, I volunteered to take it on. Most of the learning and training that got me here was on-the-job. I also had some great mentors along the way.”
In fact, Kellie’s current role was one helped by a manager. “My latest move from Client Strategy to my current role was supported by senior management here in the office and at the Corporate level. I had expressed interest in using my client strategy background in creative operations – but needed deeper understanding of some of our business operations and tools to get there. I was then given the chance to learn what I needed so that I would be ready to move when the opportunity became available.” Today, she’s making an impact as a Vice President of Creative Operations in DC. “My job now is to instill confidence in others and to make sure that there is always a solution.”
A big part of 'natural progression' is taking on additional work and responsibilities. – Kellie McGinnis, TMPer since 1982
“Throughout my career I made a plan. I set out to understand all parts of our business, and how my experience might translate or what I might need to get there. Then, I narrowed things down by overlaying things like geography – would that path require relocation and was I willing to move? – And more.” As someone used to creating their own path, Kellie has great advice for how others can do the same. “Be curious and ask questions. But make sure to put a plan in place. Where do you want to be next year? In five years? Make that plan today. And remember that we are a global organization. Find mentors outside of your own geography and office. Find out who can help you learn and grow.”