GET Talks: Owning your Career in Times of Change

Recently, HelloFresh’s Gender Equality Team (GET) hosted a panel discussion with four senior women leaders within HelloFresh on how to own your career in times of change. 

We were joined by Annie Meininghaus (VP Consumer Product), Candy Lee (CMO Canada), Renata Cabral-Neuf (Associate Director Indirect Procurement) and Katharina Buttenberg (SVP Global Brand) with moderation by Freya Steffen (International Director of Employee Experience). 

Over one hour, the panellists all shared their journey for how they got to where they are today, how being a woman shaped their experiences and their guidance to others in developing their careers. We shared some of the key takeaways below:

Stay curious, stay open minded and don’t be afraid of a bit of risk taking

A consistent theme of the debate was curiosity. This was something Annie Meininghaus had embraced herself throughout her career, transitioning from a marketing role to technology later in her career. 

Annie grew up a self-described “geek” who loved video games from the age of seven. A career in technology isn’t something she’d ever considered but through staying curious at work and developing relationships with leaders in other teams, she eventually made the switch into a role which she is passionate about from both a professional and personal perspective. 

“Being open curious and able to experiment at the beginning of your career is something I would absolutely recommend”
Annie Meininghaus, VP Consumer Product

Candy Lee said that in order to know if you love doing something we should listen to our bodies. Our bodies will naturally tell us if we feel drained or energised by a meeting or a project and ‘following your gut’ can often be the best way to tell whether we are on the right path.

But what about if we feel a change is needed? A little bit of managed risk is no bad thing the panel agreed. Women typically are more risk averse than men. Men are also more likely to apply for jobs where they don’t meet every requirement than women. But this aversion to risk is unfounded. When we push ourselves a little and take a step into the unknown we often grow faster, learn about ourselves and succeed quicker. 

The Gender Equality Team (GET) is one of our four Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s), next to FreshPride, LiMES (Leveraging Inclusivity For Minority Employee Success) and FreshParents.

But what about imposter syndrome?

The downside of stepping out of your comfort zone is imposter syndrome. Again, it is something more commonly experienced by women. It’s something Katharina Buttenberg certainly felt and joked about the fact she completed a PhD in branding to working in a brand role. 

There is no easy-fix for imposter syndrome but perhaps the best advice came from Renata Cabral-Neuf who told the panel the moment she stated being herself at work, rather than looking to imitate other people’s styles and approach, was when she started to deliver the best results and start owning her career. 

We should our encourages ourselves to think big

Promotions are often difficult things to discuss at work but being open and transparent with managers about our ambitions is vital according to the panel. 

Annie explained that wanting a promotion should never come as a surprise to your manager. Instead, we should ensure we are always having open dialogues throughout the year with managers about progression and finding opportunities to illustrate our success. 

Katharina reminded us of the importance of feedback. She described it as an important part of career growth and rather than being afraid of it, we should learn to embrace it and let it fuel us in bettering ourselves and shifting perceptions.  

“Talk to yourself like you would speak to your best friend”
– Candy Lee, CMO Canada 

Finally, Candy reminded us of something very important – being kind to ourselves. Often at work we have a tendency to be our own worst critic and obsess over the things that didn’t go right. 

So the next time you are being hard on yourself, just think, would I speak to my best friend this way? If the answer is no, then change your thought process and show yourself some compassion and appreciation. 

The world of work can be a difficult place to navigate. At HelloFresh we are committed to supporting all of our employees, sharing learnings and overcoming challenges together. We are very grateful to our talented panellists for joining us. 

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