By: Heidi Juarez – Director of Customer Success at MasterStream, Inc.
When I joined the team at MasterStream 7 years ago, I knew nothing about the telecom industry, but I was looking for a career change. I had a family to support, and so I said what the heck! I jumped right in, applied my strong work ethic, and was determined to succeed.
I was fortunate enough to have a couple of women make a significant influence in my personal and my professional life, beginning with my mother. I learned a great deal about responsibility at a very young age – as the oldest of four kids in four separate schools, I helped my single, full-time working mom with the kids so that she could finish school.
I met my second big influencer at eighteen. She gave me my first job in property management and so much more. During the first two months of knowing her, I gave birth to – and then buried – my newborn child. Losing a child is the most difficult experience of my life. I promised myself that night that I would conquer anything thrown my way, as nothing could be more challenging than holding my baby girl as she took her last breath.
That second influencer of mine, during this time of sorrow and confusion, took me under her wing and began to mentor me. This quickly grew into a lifelong friendship. She saw something in me that, at that time, I was not able to see. She pushed me to be better, to go outside of my comfort zone, and most of all she taught me to not be afraid to take risks. She showed me that I didn’t need to know everything there was to know about a job in order to get the job. These lessons are imprinted in my being through years of practice.
There’s no way to prepare yourself to bury a child. In fact, up to 80% of marriages end in divorce after they experience the loss of a child. My husband and I sought help to avoid becoming a statistic. There have been a lot of tears through the years, a lot of anger and confusion; there has also been a lot of love, understanding, and patience. Neither one of us could control losing our child, but we were in total control of OUR outcome together. What a joyous day when we are united in Heaven with our precious girl and our other children.
As time went on, my goals in life became clear. I wanted to be a mom and a wife. I wanted to be the best employee I could be. I wanted to make a difference in another woman’s life like I had experienced.
Four years ago, I hired a young woman. Very timid, yet I could see myself in her. I was inspired to push her to be better, to be fearless! I wanted her to know that she could speak her mind, that she shouldn’t be afraid of voices louder than hers. I pushed her to hold her head up high, to be confident even when she didn’t feel confident, and to always speak the truth.
I believe honesty nurtures relationships – with friends, coworkers, and customers. Getting involved with WiC is a great investment of my time. Initially, my professional goals were all customer-related; my personal goals revolved around providing for my household. After spending time with some of these ladies, I have quickly learned that they will feed my spirit and elevate my career to the next level. WiC helps me realize my personal and professional goals; the key is balance.
If you are willing, there is so much to learn. It’s a question of how badly you want to succeed and advance your career. To have a circle of women who can relate to you on any level, who understand the importance of hard work, honesty, and work/life balance is everything. When you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, you’ll find your mentality changes. Your dreams are bigger and your goals are endless…
*Always remember that the person you’re investing your time in wouldn’t shine as bright without you.