5 Things I’ve Learned From Working at a Women-Owned Company
Over 7 months ago, I walked into QCSS Inc. to interview for an internship position.
Over 2 months ago, I accepted my position as the marketing coordinator at the company.
To this day, I still remember one thing that stood out to me at the interview. I was sitting at the head of the large table in the conference room. We were talking about who I was and what I thought about marketing. Then we started talking at QCSS and the type of company that it is.
That’s when our CEO, Cathy Karabetsos, said “we’re women-owned,” and it really stood out to me.
It’s not every day that you get to interview at a company that is women-owned and hearing her say this really inspired me.
Throughout my months at this company, I have learned a lot more about marketing. I have also learned a lot about the culture. These are the 5 things that I have learned from working at a women-owned company:
1. Don’t sell yourself short
There used to be days when I didn’t feel that I could complete a task because I wasn’t qualified enough.
One day I was at work, reading a viral LinkedIn article. Somebody commented on the article mentioning how the person who wrote the article was only in their twenties and they didn’t have any experience in the marketing field.
That person was completely discrediting everything that this man had put work and time into.
Now every time I get a notification on LinkedIn, I get nervous that it is going to be someone commenting on my article about how unqualified I am.
I remain motivated and confident knowing that I have an entire team of women and men behind me, supporting my work.
Working at a women-owned company has taught me that I have to stop selling myself short. It has taught me that I have to be confident in my own work, regardless of what people say about it.
Some women in business sell themselves short because they have other people telling them they can’t be successful because of their gender. It’s important to understand that there are also a lot of other people who want to see them become successful regardless of their gender.
2. Constantly challenge yourself
There is always going to be fear when being challenged to do something that you’ve never done before.
I learned this quickly when I started interning at QCSS.
A lot of other interns do not have the ability to run social media accounts, discuss partnerships, listen in on phone calls or develop relationships with clients. They are usually given the work that nobody else wants to do.
For me it was the opposite, I was given all the work that I wanted to do and I was challenged to take on a larger role.
I think a huge reason that I was given so much room for personal and professional growth is because of the people at this company who believe in me.
Working at a women-owned company with people who truly believe in the work that I am producing has taught me that I am only going to grow if I challenge myself.
Sending out my first couple of tweets on the company Twitter was scary. Opening up an Instagram page for a call center had its challenges. I never thought that I would be able to grow either accounts, but I have and I wouldn’t have been able to unless it was for the women who supported me and challenged me.
Women who own businesses understand that there will be challenges but they have to overcome them together which is exactly what I have learned from working at this company.
3. How to nurture relationships
At QCSS, we have a lot of partnerships and relationships that we maintain with other people and companies.
I have learned so much through these relationships that we have formed.
Working at a women-owned company has taught me that we have to nurture relationships in order for them to grow.
It has also taught me that not all relationships are going to be easy and that they take work.
We love supporting all businesses and through this company, I have learned what it takes to see success in partnerships.
Relationships are also important inside of the company. I learned to respect others ideas and the time that they devote to help me succeed.
The employees at this company work so hard every single day.
There has never been a day when I walked into work and thought that somebody didn’t care about the success of this company. I walk out of work even more motivated than I walk into work because of the environment and culture.
Women in business realize how important relationships are and I think a lot of that has to do with how we nurture relationships, with our family and friends, outside of work too.
4. Never be afraid to have a voice
I think that this is one of the most important things that I learned from working at a women-owned company.
I now know that I should not sit around and wait for someone to tell me what to do, even though throughout our school years we are told exactly the opposite.
In school, we are told when we can go to the bathroom. We have to raise our hand and be called on in order to speak. We are given assignments about specific topics. We are asked to write or speak about things that we don’t have a passion for. We are even told when we may or may not go to the bathroom.
It is easy to lose our voices when growing up in a society where everybody is always trying to take them away.
Women in business must have a voice in order to be successful.
There is no time to raise our hands and wait to be called on when we see a solution to a problem quicker than somebody else. We must take initiative which is something that I learned from working at QCSS.
I am learning to get my voice back and I do not think I would be as proactive about it if I was not a part of a women-owned company, where I feel so confident.
5. Find what works
At QCSS, I am highly encouraged to try new things and to step out of my comfort zone. I take risks and sometimes I fail but other times I am wildly successful. Through these experiences, I have started to grow and learn new strategies.
I am learning that my talent and qualities stand out in some projects more than others.
Every single person at this company has something they are extremely successful at. We put all our talents together to create this unbelievable team.
A dream team.
Working at a women-owned company has helped me realize that we all need one another. Without one person, the team would fall apart.
If one person messes up, we all mess up but if one person succeeds, we all succeed. That is something that you do not get to see at every company.
I think that having women owners has helped the culture develop into what it is today. Nobody gets blamed for losing a sale because we all could have done something differently to help us land it.
This women-owned company has taught me how to “find what works.” I have learned that I can’t succeed at everything and that I need to build a team or have one that is going to fill in the gaps that I can’t fill myself.
The best thing that I have learned from working at a women-owned company is that being successful has nothing to do with gender.
I absolutely think that I could have learned these things at a company owned by men but working at a women-owned company has helped me realize that I should not allow anything or anybody to hold me back.
At this company, I have both men and women that I can look up to and learn from. For that, I’m grateful.
QCSS is a women-owned business and officially certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
QCSS would not be the business that it is today without our two outstanding women founders. The certification continues to motivate QCSS as a company to have persistence, remain optimistic, embrace change, overcome obstacles, conquer fears, remain powerful and develop a strong sense of self.
Find out more about our executive team here.
Learn more about our WBENC Certification here.
Written by: Amy Schiller