Honor Role – Katie Kemple – Leading With A Positive Attitude

Leadership Principles

  1. A leader must have perseverance and a willingness to press on… no matter what.
  2. Attitude is everything!

Event
Katie was working in PR/Marketing during 2007 when she went on maternity leave after giving birth to her daughter. When she returned to work in January 2008, all was well. The future looked great… until, like many others in today’s economy, she was pulled into an office just three weeks after returning to work, and was told she was being let go. Katie was not to be deterred, and set about immediately looking for opportunities and landed another job as the Chief Operating Officer at a start-up. She was thrilled, more responsibility, more pay. What could be better? One year later, in March 2009, Katie found herself again a casualty of the economy, once more looking for work.

Background
I first noticed Katie Kemple on Twitter after she made a comment about a tweet. I went to check out her blog and was impressed with her style and her attitude. I thought to myself, “Katie gets it!” Although a casualty of the economy, it was obvious that Katie had the heart of a leader. Despite being on the job market for the second time in two years, she was upbeat, positive, and trying to help others at the same time.

I asked Katie for an interview, because she exemplifies the true heroes that surround us, that surround me. In the face of adversity, she is standing tall and movin on. Isn’t that what leaders do?

Katie’s Reflections

On Looking For Work

  1. If you have young children and can afford it, keep their daycare arrangements in place. Looking for employment is a full-time endeavor and you will be able to focus on getting things done if your children are being care for.
  2. If you keep a positive attitude, people will be more likely to offer to help you. I (Katie) received calls from many old work acquaintances, some who I barely knew, that offered to help me network.
  3. Be willing to try something different. Moving from PR to being a COO was a great move and I learned a lot of new things.

On Staying Positive

  1. Savor time and routine (Link to Katie’s Blog)
  2. Do something creative with any spare time you have. Use this time to do the things you couldn’t while working. You could write, paint, sing or do whatever hobby helps you to relax.
  3. Organize your week. Act like you’re at work, even though you’re at home. Some of the tasks might be different… like doing the laundry, but being organized will help you feel productive.
  4. Take care of your body, and your mental state will be much better. I always found myself feeling better after I exercised.
  5. Remember to appreciate the things in life that we sometimes take for granted.

On Giving Back – even though you’re out of a job

  1. If you have time on your hands, try volunteering. It is a good way to contribute to society, and you never know who you might meet.
  2. I started a blog to share my first layoff in February 2009. Little did I know that I was going to be unemployed again come March. The blog was meant to encourage others who are looking for work also. I found it refreshing to be able to share my experiences with others, hoping it would help them in some way.

After I finished interviewing Katie, I asked her if she needed anything. She paused, not able to readily answer my question. I smiled to myself as I realized I was right about Katie. Although looking for work, and in a position that none of us would enjoy being in, she hadn’t thought much about what she needed. She was just doing what needed to be done, and trying to help others. A true leader.

If you have any opportunities that might be helpful to Katie, feel free to contact her on Twitter (@kkemple) or check out her blog.

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