Being a lifelong learner, Lindsey Peterson has always chased the dream of finding the right balance between her passion and her day job. Not an easy feat when your passions range from sustainability to talent development to change management.
“I went back and forth once when I worked in organic personal care deciding if I wanted to make a career out of it. The answer was no – at the time I just wanted to make a side hustle of balms and skin care products for myself,” says Lindsey.
That was five years ago. Now Lindsey has found herself in an enviable position – she can do her day job and all the things she’s passionate about.
As a Recruitment Coordinator in APAC at Salesforce, Lindsey gets to help people go for their dream job, and as the Global Growth Chair for Earthforce – one of Salesforce’s 12 Equality groups – she drives professional growth and promotes sustainability to the 9,000 Earthforce members.
As someone who knows her core values inside out, Lindsey is not one to settle. In fact, she’s already had her dream job three times – all in different industries.
“You can call me lucky or you can call me ambitious – I’m constantly going for it,” says Lindsey. “I’m a firm believer that you can learn how to do anything.”
Here’s how this career reinventor is living out her passions and loving her day job.
Q: What pushed you to apply for a job at Salesforce?
I had been in the higher education industry for the past four years – and while I loved doing it, it didn’t offer me the mobility I really wanted for my career. So, I shifted my focus to the tech industry because it’s a huge emerging field with a lot of opportunity. I also wanted to work for a values based organisation and Salesforce was this beacon – a tech company doing amazing things and for the good of other people.
I saw Salesforce had all these employee-led Equality groups, including Earthforce, which was a huge attraction because on top of my day job I got to promote sustainability.
Q: How did you get involved in Earthforce?
I joined as soon as I started at Salesforce. And then three months later I was co-leading our local Sydney Hub and getting involved in the community, planning panels and volunteer opportunities. And as luck would have it, an opening in the global leadership team came up and now, a year later, I get to create amazing things on a global level.
Q: Sustainability and climate change are clear passions of yours, what was the moment that turned awareness into a passion?
I used to work for a locally made organic personal care company back in Michigan – it was my gateway into sustainable living. I was practicing a non-toxic lifestyle for over eight years in my personal life and it evolved into a curiosity about where my waste was going and where things came from outside of my skincare. It wasn’t so much that my awareness turned into passion, but rather my passion became my practice and my practice became my habit.
Q: What exciting things are you working on now for Earthforce?
We are building out our Earthforce programming for remote employees – called Earthforce@Home. We’ll be tapping into our other Equality groups that have worked this out and tailoring it to our sustainability vision.
Now that most people are working from home, it’s a vital time to be able to provide them the resources they need and a break in the day to do something that truly lights them up. We get the opportunity to reimagine what it looks like to spread the word about sustainability at home in a time that the earth requires our utmost attention – which is fantastic.
Q: How can we all be more sustainable during these times and make a positive impact?
As of a couple months ago, I hadn’t used a takeaway coffee cup in nearly two years – and I drink a lot of coffee! While we can’t use our own reusable coffee mugs right now, make yourself a cup at home and go for a walk. Other sustainable living habits you can practice include buying local and bulk food from your co-op with zero waste, reducing or eliminating single use plastics, purchasing second-hand furniture, buying more sustainable fabrics like linen and cotton, making your own cleaning products, the list goes on. You just need to be willing to make a change.
Q: You’ve mentioned talent development and sustainability as passions that have crossed into your Salesforce world – what about your passion for change management?
I got approached by our Internal Careers team to come and join a six-month stretch project to help employees find their next role at Salesforce. I love the challenge of encouraging people to try something new! I even completed my Masters in change management. It’s a topic that will never go out of style.
Q. You’ve only been at Salesforce for a year – you’ve achieved a lot? Any secret?
You’ve got to hustle! Salesforce is the type of organisation that allows you to be the architect of your own career. If you’re a champion for yourself and you know how to network, be creative and ask the right people the right questions – there’s a lot of opportunity to be had.
Q: Previous to Salesforce, you’ve been an Assistant Manager and Sales Representative to a University Relations Manager. What skills have been the most transferable?
My organisation and people skills definitely contribute to every job I’ve had. Talking to people, figuring out what they need and how to help them will never go out of style. Being able to adapt quickly and manage large volume or strategic projects across various stakeholders has come in handy in the different projects I work on now.
Q. How has it felt changing careers and industries?
Scary! You have to be prepared to climb the ladder again. Failure is helpful and rejection is too – I’ve been rejected countless times. But I’ve learnt failing is really important because it builds your character and it builds your resilience.
If you are looking to change careers, or looking for a new role because of the current climate, show your transferable skills. Showcase your value-add and promote what sets you apart from everyone else – and become a master of that trait or skill.
Q: You’ve mentioned networking as a key factor to your success, do you have any tips on how to network successfully?
There are two different ways to network when you’re already in a business. First, find out who the key decision makers are and who has those connections to build your network up.
Second, network outside your work and speak to people by joining groups that you’re interested in. It’s up to you where you then take it. Whether you call someone that you connected with online because you want them to come on a panel, or you saw there’s a role at their company and you want to know more about it. Having that referral and connection makes you that much more noticeable.
Q: What’s been your favourite moment while working at Salesforce?
Going to San Francisco for the Global Equality Leadership Summit in February. It was an incredible opportunity to connect with all of the Equality groups and leaders from around the world to come together and share best practice, brainstorm ideas and professional development.
Standing on the top floor of the Salesforce Tower, I felt like I was a part of something so much bigger.
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