This is the second of a three-part series profiling Gevity staff at different stages of their careers.
I am a consulting manager at Gevity. I also play the cello and piano, love fitness and nutrition, and am passionate about empowering and coaching people to push harder and think bigger.
I started at Gevity in May 2010 (then Global Village Consulting) as a junior consultant, focused on project management and business analysis. Right before I graduated from the University of Waterloo, a colleague of mine introduce me to Leon Salvail, Gevity’s CEO. I thought we were meeting each other for coffee, but it quickly turned into an interview and I was being asked questions about object-oriented design and functional point analysis. Let’s just say I thought I completely bombed that interview. Two weeks later, I received an email from Leon with an offer letter. I started a few weeks later!
In those days, Gevity was a small company with fewer than 15 employees. When I received the offer letter, I was a little bit concerned about how small the company was. However, I also saw this as an opportunity to wear multiple hats and do many things beyond my job description, and this was why I decided to accept Gevity’s offer.
Gevity has now expanded to 100+ full-time staff and 70 to 150 active (contract) associates, and it’s been so exciting to be part of a company that is growing and changing so quickly. With all the rapid expansion we have had, there have been a number of changes to our management team and processes. New divisions have been formed as well, and for some, all that change may seem scary, but it’s been great seeing Gevity adapt to it all.
In my current role, my responsibilities are to support the Canada East division with recruitment and staff engagement (division meetings, staff events, proposal response submission, business development) and to work on client engagements. I am also a leadership coach and am currently piloting a Leadership Development Program for six staff across Gevity. I am coaching these staff on their purpose and values and to help them get more connected with who they are, so that they can be stronger and more effective leaders.
I’d say the path to where I am today was paved with a LOT of professional development. I remember there was one year I was travelling so much for work and used my flights to read more than 50 books. I’ve also taken various courses and completed a number of certifications that have been useful on the projects I’ve been on (e.g., Project Management Professional, Certified Business Analysis Professional, Lean Six Sigma, ITIL). Having amazing mentors inside and outside of work has also helped me to get to where I am today, but it’s also mostly because I continue to question and understand what it is I love to do, and then find opportunities to do those things at Gevity.
It’s not without its challenges, like any job. Keeping up with my Gevity responsibilities while being on two projects has been a challenge; however, it has been getting better as I learn to delegate certain tasks and to mentor individuals to complete them so that it is a learning opportunity for them as well. Additionally, I’m learning to ask for help when I need to.
Gevity has supported me substantially through this process over the last eight years. Gevity encourages people to share their ideas and solutions, and if you can make a case for them, they may get implemented. Since I’ve discovered my passion for leadership coaching, I put together a business case to pilot an initiative with a handful of staff at Gevity. A number of people at Gevity pushed me to complete the business case and present it to the management team. It was approved and now I am close to completing my pilot. It’s amazing to think that this all started because I had an idea and I pushed it forward – and others also saw the value of it.
I have HUGE dreams and ambitions and I’m sure Gevity will continue to support me in these goals as they have done to date. In addition to building the Canada East Division, my goal is to spend more time focusing on people and culture across Gevity globally. I’ve already starting doing this for Canada East and would love to have more of an impact company-wide.
I get out of bed every day because I feel responsible as a leader to make a positive impact on this world – whether at work or outside of work. I value the projects that I work on and truly see the positive impacts to our healthcare system. Additionally, it’s easy to come to work when you know you are heading into the office to see your work buddies!
My advice for others who are interested in building a career in healthcare IT or consulting is to always look within and figure out for yourself what excites you and gets you out of bed in the morning. Once you find that, have an open conversation with your manager, because there is likely a way to harness your passion and excitement and channel it into something that would also benefit your employer. People will always have grand ideas about what you should do with your professional career, and that’s because they care about you and see your potential, but you need to determine this for yourself.
You should also increase your knowledge of healthcare IT – read the news, go online, and see what is happening. Network, network, network! I was hired at Gevity through a referral and have met so many of my mentors and friends in the industry through having conversations at networking events/conferences and direct messaging people through LinkedIn.