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May 11, 2015

DIY Career Path

by wictseblog

by Valerie Carrillo

It’s hard to grow your career and expand your abilities in the midst of your daily grind. So, we’ve asked three WICT leaders at Scripps Networks what they’ve done to put themselves on the right path and what you can do to avoid pitfalls and give yourself that extra edge.

Scripps Networks Interactive User Experience Manager Knoxville, Tennessee

Kristi Harper
Scripps Networks Interactive
User Experience Manager
Knoxville, Tennessee

Heather Jagels Scripps Networks Interactive VP Creative Content & Media (HGTV, DIY & GAC) Knoxville, Tennessee

Heather Jagels
Scripps Networks Interactive
VP Creative Content & Media (HGTV, DIY & GAC)
Knoxville, Tennessee

Scripps Networks Interactive Manager of Media Strategies for Home Category (HGTV, DIY and GAC) Knoxville, Tennessee

Sarah Cheatham
Scripps Networks Interactive
Manager of Media Strategies for Home Category (HGTV, DIY and GAC)
Knoxville, Tennessee


Briefly describe the career path you took to your current position.

HEATHER: My career path started in strategy and planning, but I always knew that I wanted to be a writer producer. Got a job as an associate producer at HGTV and essentially worked my way up through the system.  I have had pretty much every job you could have in creative services.

SARAH: I wanted to work at Scripps Networks Interactive as soon as I learned about it in my first communications course as a freshman at UT.  After two years in local television I transition to Scripps and began working in the traffic department.  Then, I moved onto promotion scheduling for Fine Living, which led me to my current position on the Home Category Media Strategies team.

KRISTI: I looked for opportunities to learn about technology, wrote a blog, and went back to school.

Tell us one of the best steps you ever made and why.

HEATHER: The best steps that I ever made were taking chances in my job. I started at HGTV and then went to DIY, which turned into one of the smartest things I ever did.  To work on the smaller brand really gives you a lot of opportunity to do a lot of things.

SARAH: Changing my major from pre-med to communications.  I really started to enjoy college after I was in classes that were interesting.

KRISTI: Learning about the people is vital. It is important to know your team members communication style. Appreciate what they have to offer, the differences, learn from them and keep an open mind.

Did you ever have any missteps? If so, tell us how you recovered.

HEATHER: A constant learning thing for me is when to speak and when not to speak. That was definitely a misstep early in my career; but as I have grown, I have learned when the right time is to say certain things.

KRISTI: The hardest thing to do is to look within and view yourself how others perceive you. Acceptance of oneself, both strengths and weaknesses, is key.

What’s the biggest sign someone is on the right path in this industry?

HEATHER:  You’re on the right path if you’re growing and if you’re learning. The minute you start feeling like you’re stuck, it’s time to start looking around. And it’s your responsibility to look around and see what’s going to really fulfill you.

SARAH: If you are so involved with your work that you lose track of time, you’re most likely in the right place.

KRISTI: You love what you do!

How do you know you’re on the wrong path?

HEATHER: When someone is on the wrong path, it’s very telling. If you can look at yourself and figure out where you need to be, that’s your greatest asset. If you can’t, you’re in the wrong spot.

SARAH: If you’re a clock-watcher, then the job isn’t for you.  I first heard of this idea early in my career and it has proven true at every job I’ve had.

KRISTI: If you are always looking for something else.

What is the best advice you can give to an emerging leader looking to change their current career path?

HEATHER: Someone once said, you should always do what you want in a job and not look for a title in a job. It’s the meat of what you do that will make you happy. Seek that out. You’re going to do something for the rest of your life- you might as well enjoy your work.

SARAH: Patience with persistence.  Don’t be afraid to take lateral moves and don’t think less of them either.  Set short-term and long-term goals, but don’t get discouraged when a short-term goal seems like it is turning into long term.

KRISTI: Research the alternative career path, meet with individuals in the field and ask questions. Get a feel for the culture. Go with your instincts and follow your heart.

WICT’s theme this year is “Connecting”.  How has “connecting” helped you in your career path?  And what advice do you have for other leaders looking to incorporate it into their career approach.

HEATHER: Connecting is at the nucleus of how I like to operate as a leader. If you can’t connect, that is definitely something that you should work on to carry you on to the next level.

SARAH: You can’t wait until the job is posted to start your application process!  I’ve networked for months and sometimes years to get some of the positions on my resume.

KRISTI: It is always good to stay connected. I’ve learned a lot from the leaders within my organization, especially from the team members in my current role. Learning in the

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