She Leads – With Ruth Greene
Senior Project Manager, Tech
What would you tell your younger self?
Be accurate and learn to pay attention to the details, they matter. Buy a house as young as possible! If you can afford an apartment, you can afford a house!
What was your major in college and how did you get to the position you are in today?
I majored in Social Science for undergrad and later Management (MA) for Masters. Many people think “Social Science?!” I always jokingly reply “its science; a soft science!” However, to be honest, it taught me an incredible amount about people and I learned what to look for and gained knowledge for my interpersonal and emotional intelligence. I could NOT be successful in my job today if I did not understand personal interactions, non-verbal cues, or personal motivations. As a project manager in a matrix organization, I have to use interpersonal skills to glean information from the team and motivate. The technical knowledge of Project Management and the technical knowledge of the project, is the EASY part. Motivating experts, decades my senior, who do not report to me? That is where interpersonal skills are required.
How do you balance your work and personal life? Often times one has more importance, and we’re curious to know how you’ve handled the balance.
Learn what you need to do and determine what else you can delegate. This may sound high maintenance, but I learned that if I wanted time with my husband, son, or friends, that I needed help. I recall being single, working full time and taking a full load of master level college course and I landed myself in the hospital from stress. So I looked at my life and decided what were things that I do that I could reduce stress, at the same time my sister in law was starting a cleaning company. I added the hours I spent cleaning, multiplied it by my hourly salary and learned, I was taking money away from myself. So I did a test, I took my massage budget and instead hired my sister in law. It. Was. Amazing. I could come home, study and not worry about mopping. Plus, I got to support small business/family. that was over 10 years ago and I’ve maintained the same thought process for life. I have a housekeeper, lawncare maintenance, and mobile car detailing. This didn’t happen all at once, just slowly as I learned that if I dedicated time to my job, I could advance at work and my salary and slowly shift to reduce personal stress. 16 years into my professional career, and I’ve learned how to work efficiently and relax during downtime. You have to find your stressors and work to reduce them. For me, it was having a clean environment! Others it may be fashion, meal prep, or beauty routine.
What is your favorite quote?
What advice do you want to give the next generation of women leaders?
Surround yourself with kind, motivating, and funny people!! Do not waste your time with negative gossip and people who use excuses for their situation. Keep going, even if you do not know what you are trying to achieve. Work every job you have like it is the most important job–dress for your next role, not your current role and ALWAYS seek out ways to add value. If you were asked to provide data, provide it and then determine if you can also analyze it to show trends. If you were asked to support an event, determine ways to be early, stay engaged, and be there late. Always, always, put in the time.
What’s your advice on mentoring?
Have as many mentors as possible; formal and informal, find the most successful person you know and ask them questions. Learn how why they do what they do. Meet their friends and network.