Kate Byrnes, Regional Director of Talener Chicago & DC, sat down with our team to reflect on how her career has taken shape over the last few years. Byrnes, a 2013 Colgate University graduate has made her mark on Talener, taking on every challenge presented to her as an opportunity.
How did you hear about Talener?
When I graduated from Colgate, I already had a strong relationship with Talener. Austin Douglas (also a Talener Regional Director and Colgate grad) reached out to me to tell me about his experience. His enthusiasm for what he was doing as a Relationship Manager was infectious and took me down the path of interviewing for the company.
What attracted you to the position?
It was more than the position itself that attracted me to Talener. It was clear that everyone was highly-motivated and worked with such optimism. Everyone had goals that benefitted themselves, their colleagues, and the organization.
Talk to us about your first job title – and the evolution of your role
Four and a half years ago, I started as an entry-level Relationship Manager (like most people at the organization!). Since then, I have been promoted five times and am currently the Regional Director of the DC Metro & Chicago regions. My movement through the organization is not unique; Alicia Scully (also a Colgate grad!) started the same day as me and we were both promoted to Regional Directors on the same day. There is a sense of accomplishment and pride starting at the beginning and now overseeing two regions and more than two dozen team members.
Did you expect to be where you are today? Very few people stay at their first company out-of-college for this long.
Yes and no. At each new level, I experienced new challenges and obstacles that I had never faced before. But at every turn, I knew that I was supported and that each challenge was presented to me because someone believed in my abilities. I made the decision to move to Washington DC in 2015 to help launch a new office. This gave me the opportunity to expand my responsibilities, both at a local and national level. I was able to see a huge potential for myself to affect individuals on a greater scale.
What are you most excited about in your new role?
I can’t wait to impact individuals beyond our DC market. I’ll be able to continue to foster client and candidate relationships in a different geography. It’s a great learning opportunity. Plus, I can influence internal growth expansion and development.
What is one thing you enjoy about coming to work every day?
I get to help individuals navigate through the same learning curves that I once went through. It’s not only inspiring to see their transformation, but something that I love to be a part of.
What advice do you have for someone just starting out in an entry-level job?
In sales, or in any job, I always tell people to take everything day-by-day, step-by-step. Don’t discredit the small wins. Most of us who start our professional lives have little to no practical experience doing what we’re hired to do. It’s imperative to be patient with your own learning curve and not to be afraid of making mistakes. The only way to grow is by putting yourself into as many situations as possible to succeed. Success doesn’t happen if you aren’t willing to try.