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2017-10-04 12:01职场英语 浏览:

  一位前台接待是否有可能坐上公司CEO宝座?Hill Holliday广告公司CEO凯伦•卡普兰就成就了这样一段传奇。前不久,她向《财富》讲述了自己出乎意料的职业道路,上世纪80年代广告人的实际处境,以及她得到的最好建议。

  Karen Kaplan didn’t even want to work in advertising when she applied for her first job at the Boston-based ad firm Hill Holliday. At the age of 22, Kaplan walked into the company’s office for an interview to be a receptionist. She was looking for a low-commitment job that would help pay the bills while she saved money for law school and studied for the LSAT. Some 32 years later, Kaplan hasn’t left Hill Holliday. Now, after having 16 different jobs at the firm, she’s the company’s chief executive.

  在向波士顿广告公司Hill Holliday申请第一份工作时,凯伦•卡普兰甚至都没有想过投身广告业。当时22岁的卡普兰来公司面试的职位是前台。当时,她正在攒钱攻读法学院,而且正忙着法学院入学考试,所以她希望找一份能帮助支付账单的低投入工作。而32年后,卡普兰并没有离开Hill Holliday。她在Hill Holliday先后担任过16个不同的岗位,现任公司首席执行官。

  The receptionist turned CEO talked to Fortune about her unpredictable career path, what it was like to work in advertising in the 1980s, and the best advice she ever had.


  (Edited for length and clarity)


  Fortune: When did you realize that you might want to work in advertising?


  Karen Kaplan:When I got off the elevator for my first interview at Hill Holliday, I really liked the vibe and the energy. I was previously told by the recruiter that the then-CEO that I was interviewing with had already rejected 40 candidates. I wasn’t all in, but I wanted to see if I could get it. The 20 minutes that I sat in reception waiting for that interview became really really important to the rest of my career. It was a vibe and an energy that was magnetic and then when I got into his office for the interview, I really wanted the job.

  凯伦•卡普兰:第一次去Hill Holliday面试的时候,我一走出电梯,便喜欢上了那里的氛围和活力。之前,招聘人员告诉我,即将对我进行面试的时任CEO已经否定了40位候选人。我并没有为面试投入全部精力,但我也想看看自己能否得到认可。在前台等待面试的20分钟,对我之后的职业生涯有着非常重要的意义。我感觉到一种极具吸引力的氛围和活力,当我走进他的办公室接受面试的时候,我真的很想得到那份工作。


  Did you take your receptionist job seriously?


  One of the things the then-CEO said to me changed my life and my career ambitions. When I got the job, he looked at me and said, “Congratulations, you are now the face and the voice of Hill Holliday.” The face and the voice of the company should be the CEO, so I remember thinking in that moment that I was going to be the CEO of the reception desk. I was going to be the best damned receptionist in history and that’s how I approached the job. I took it really seriously. I didn’t just bide my time out there. I took it very seriously and I paid attention. It was the perfect perch to study people and get to know everybody and figure things out.

  时任CEO对我说过的一件事,改变了我的一生和职业理想。得到工作之后,他看着我说:“恭喜你,你现在就是Hill Holliday的形象代言人了。”公司的形象代言人应该是CEO,所以当时我想,我将是前台的CEO。我将成为史上最优秀的前台,这就是我当时对这份工作的看法。我非常认真地对待这份工作。我没有消磨时间,而是非常认真地对待它,并注意观察。在这个位置上,可以很好地研究形形色色的人,了解所有人,可以想清楚很多事情。

  What was it like working in advertising in the 1980s?


  The world in the 1980s for working women, particularly in advertising, was not far evolved from what you see in Mad Men, which was set in the 1960s. I always say we made a lot more progress in the last 20 or 30 years. When my kids were babies in the 1990s, women in the workplace kind of hid their kids. If you had kids, people would assume you couldn’t travel, without having any idea what your partner situation was. A woman with kids could be considered an excuse for not being given a job, promotion or assignment. Now, there is this transparency and celebration of women that I’ve never seen before. Women are in the social consciousness and are front and center now.

  上世纪80年代,对于职场女性的处境来说,尤其是广告行业,和以60年代为背景的《广告狂人》(Mad Men)相比没有太大变化。我经常说在过去二三十年间,我们有了更多进步。上世纪90年代,我的孩子们年幼的时候,职场女性经常会隐瞒有孩子的事实。如果你有孩子,人们就断定你无法出差,而没有考虑你的配偶是否可以照看孩子。公司会以有孩子为理由,拒绝为女性提供工作、升职或任务。如今,有关性别的透明度和社会对女性的颂扬,是我前所未见的。女性具有了社会意识,并且成为社会的中坚力量。

  What is one example of working in the Mad Men-era of advertising?


  One of our executive creative directors didn’t just have a bar in his office. His office was a bar. It was a U-Shaped bar, beautiful mahogany, and he would sit behind the bar on the bar stool and write his copy. After I worked as a receptionist, I was a project manager, and I had an old-school Rolodex with the numbers of all the bartenders at all the bars around us because I would have to go find the writers to get their copy.


  Were you surprised when you became CEO?


  It wasn’t like I started in 1982 as a receptionist and decided I was going to be CEO of this company some day. I never planned on spending my entire career here. I went to four different undergraduate schools in four years. I was the last person to spend her entire career at one company. If you ask my mother or my husband, they always said I would be running the company some day. They meant it.


  What type of leader are you?


  Great leaders are more impressed with what they don’t know than what they know. I think a lot of leaders are know-it-alls. The moment you think you know everything, you are dead. I am very curious. I can always do better and get better and I embrace change and I feel like everyone brings a different perspective and everyone sees the world differently. If you are not open to that, you might as well call it a day. Because I basically had every job at Hill Holliday, I respect that great ideas can come from everywhere and anyone.

  相对于已知的事情,伟大的领导者会更关注未知的事情。我认为,许多领导者会自认为无所不知。如果你有这样的想法,那你注定会失败。我有强烈的好奇心。我总能做得更好和变得更好,我勇于改变,我感觉每个人都能带来不同的视角,因为每个人会从不同的角度看待这个世界。如果你不能以开放的心态面对不同的观念,不如就此打住。我几乎从事过Hill Holliday的每一份工作,所以我认为,任何地方和任何人都能产生优秀的创意。

  What do you look for when hiring new employees?


  One of my hallmarks is to give someone a job that they think is beyond their capability and then to believe in them. Because you believe in them, they believe in themselves. I was really the beneficiary of that. I was given things to do that I had no experience of background doing, but I was given the opportunity to grow.


  What is the worse advice you ever had?


  The worst career advice I ever had was to conform and not celebrate my differences. For me, I always wanted to highlight what makes me different and accentuate my personal differences. Being a woman, I never wanted to dress like a man or blend in. Today, in 2014, I am often the only woman in a meeting with lots of men. Personal differences should be accentuated.


  What is the best?


  My sister and I would always run home with some accomplishment like a good report card or some sport award and my father would say, “You know Karen, a pat on the back is just six inches from a kick in the but.” I didn’t understand what he was trying to tell me. At the end of the day, that was the reminder that you should never become too impressed with yourself or get too accustomed to success. For me it is about humility and not taking yourself so seriously.