Emerging Leader Spotlight: Claudia Caryevschi

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Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence.

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Claudia Caryevschi, Lead D&I Program Consultant, Global Diversity & Inclusion with MetLife. Claudia has a passion for building inclusive workspaces, innovative employee engagement strategies, and advancing women’s leadership.

Claudia Caryevschi
Claudia Caryevschi

Favorite leadership quote:
“Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.” — Hillary Clinton

What is a professional accomplishment that you achieved in the past year that you are proud of?

Earlier this year, when I was brand new in my role, I was tasked with organizing the Global Women’s Leadership Forum, an annual internal business conference that brings together the top 100 most senior women at MetLife. It aims to strengthen the networks and leadership skills of women leaders in the company.

The conference was only eight weeks away, and my manager was traveling internationally on business for much of that time. I had to build trust and confidence, while motivating and influencing colleagues to get the job done. At the same time, I was working to familiarize myself with the company and culture.

It was a stretch and a challenge, but most of all, it was an incredible and exciting opportunity for me to gain credibility in my new position. So I dove in, faced the challenge head-on, and had a lot of fun in the process. The meeting ended up being a smashing success and I was able to build great relationships. This experience served as a reminder to step up when given the opportunity.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as a high potential emerging leader?

Not too long ago, I found I had grown complacent in my job. My responsibilities fell mostly in my comfort zone, and maybe even in my bored zone. In addition, I wasn’t finding meaning or purpose in my work. I like to think that I spend quite some time on self-inquiry and self-reflection, but I was astonished to discover I had ignored the warning signs for far too long. I wanted a job in which I could grow in my career, take on stretch assignments, and get out of my comfort zone. The time had come to be bold and fearless, quit my job, and look for the next opportunity.

I believe you should at times feel uncomfortable in your job – it means you’re being challenged, which is an opportunity for growth. I can’t stress enough the importance of taking risks. If you want to be a leader, you don’t have time to waste being complacent. You want to inspire and take charge. No leader ever got to where they are by operating entirely from within their comfort zone. Don’t be afraid, and see where things might lead you. You’ll come out the other side better and stronger, and might just be pleasantly surprised.

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?

I know it’s been said before, but I think the importance of networking is worth repeating. Throughout my career, I have been amazed by its power. I have switched jobs several times, but wouldn’t be where I am today without my network, and my mentors and sponsors who support me.

In talking to my peers, it seems that many avoid networking, because it makes them uncomfortable. After all, you need guts to approach people you don’t know. In my view, however, we put too much pressure on ourselves. Building strategic connections doesn’t need to be difficult. It can be spontaneous and informal, and can be as easy as meeting over coffee. You just have to do it.

All you need to make a good impression is a firm handshake and a short introduction about yourself — your elevator speech. This is crucial, as it sets the tone for your conversation. It also requires some self-reflection and strategic knowledge about your personal brand. How would you like your new acquaintance to view you, and how will you “hook” them?

Two excellent resources I can recommend with practical advice are Herminia Ibarra’s “How to Revive a Tired Network”, and Laura Katen’s article for The Muse, “Perfect Pitch – How to Nail your Elevator Speech”. I promise, taking the time to maintain and grow your network is always worth the effort.

Connect with Claudia Caryevschi on LinkedIn.

Jo Miller

A leading authority on women’s leadership, Jo Miller is a sought-after, dynamic, and engaging speaker, delivering more than 70 speaking presentations annually to audiences of up to 1,200 women. Her expertise lies in helping women lead, climb, and thrive in their corporate careers. Jo has traveled widely in Europe, North America, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East to deliver keynotes and teach workshops for women’s leadership conferences, women’s professional associations, and Fortune 1000 corporate women’s initiatives. Jo is founding editor of BeLeaderly.com. Learn more about her speaking engagements at www.JoMiller.net and follow @Jo_Miller on Twitter.

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