Emerging Leader Spotlight: Cara Wulf

Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what they’re doing to take the lead in their career. We invite them to share how they achieved their current position, what obstacles they’ve encountered on their climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising leader of influence.

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Cara Wulf, Associate with McCarter & English, LLP.

Emerging Leader Spotlight: Cara WulfFavorite Leadership Quote:

“What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” —Sheryl Sandberg, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

Favorite song that gets you motivated:

Although I can’t narrow it down to just one song, I do admit Lady Gaga does motivate me. Not only does she know her way around a hook, but her music helps me remember that sometimes, you just have to go for it – although, I’ll take a pass on wearing a dress made of meat.

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

Trust yourself, be confident in your abilities, and don’t let “Imposter Syndrome” hold you back.  If you’ve put in the time to prepare, don’t let self-doubt keep you from speaking up and showing people what you know.  You didn’t get where you are by accident – you worked hard for it, you deserve it, and you add value, so add it!

What key steps did you take to get to the role you are in today?

More than anything else, my willingness to take calculated risks and embrace change has allowed me to capitalize on career opportunities.  I grew up in Michigan, then moved to Tulsa, Oklahoma (where I knew no one) when I was offered a great job to start my legal career.  Then, when another career opportunity presented itself, I moved to Boston (where I, again, knew no one).  It wasn’t always easy, and there were bumps along the way, but I have never regretted taking the risks.  The risks paid off in a huge way, and I’m very happy with how my career has progressed.

What steps are you currently taking to develop yourself, professionally?

Early in my career, I realized that there’s more to being a lawyer than just having great legal skills.  Clients need more than sound legal advice in a vacuum, they need to know how to work within the law and realize the maximum benefit for their business.  Realizing I was lacking the tools to be able to serve my clients in this way, I went back to school to get my MBA.  I’m just over 85% done, and I expect to finish by next summer.  Working full time in a demanding field and pursuing a second graduate degree hasn’t been easy, but it’s already paid off!  When clients come to us with concerns, I can use my understanding of both law and business to help them reach a resolution that is both legally airtight and competitively advantageous.

What professional accomplishment or result have you achieved in the past year that you are proud of?

In the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to teach several seminars and workshops on nuances of Government contracting.  I have consistently given presentations throughout my career, but teaching has given me an opportunity to demonstrate the depth of my subject matter expertise.  It has also given me the opportunity to develop personally as well as professionally – when I was younger, I always considered myself to be shy, and I never particularly enjoyed public speaking.  Eventually, I realized that when I presented, I was trying to “perform” and wasn’t being myself.  By changing my approach and embracing my own style, I ended up having a lot more fun with it, and now I look forward to my opportunities to teach!

Stop by and say hello to Cara on LinkedIn.

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As Operations and Marketing Manager, Angie Klein is responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of  Be Leaderly.com. Angie manages all aspects of training program logistics, registrations, SEO, financials,  monthly newsletter, social media engagement and customer service.

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