Melinda McLaughlin is the Chief Marketing Officer of Tremor Video, a B2B digital video technology company. Prior to joining Tremor, Melinda held executive positions in sales, marketing and research at A&E Networks. Melinda started her career in media planning.
Step Up Women’s Network hosted a Power Breakfast featuring Melinda McLaughlin, who shared her career story and answered audience questions. Here are 3 key takeaways:
- Career (and life) unfolds in chapters
Melinda broke down her career journey into three chapters – 1) in advertising as a media planner; 2) in big corporate as an executive at A&E; and 3) in late-stage start-up at Tremor. She highlighted the diversity of what she learned from all roles – agency AND in-house points of view on media; navigating a big corporate matrix AND an entrepreneurial environment. She pointed out how her life stages – marriage, raising a family – weaved into the different career chapters. In fact, her decision to move from A&E to Tremor was in part due to her kids being older and therefore she being able to tackle a new, demanding role.
- Don’t be afraid to be afraid
Melinda indicated that one of her signs to move on is when her role doesn’t scare her anymore. She sees fear not as something to be avoided at all costs but as a healthy sign of growth and challenge. Melinda often moved into stretch roles, for example, heading Research & Insights at A&E Networks, even when she hadn’t worked specifically in that area prior to joining A&E.
- Pay attention to serendipity
Melinda initially intended to major in computer science, when her roommate’s major in media caught her interest. She met her husband, whom she credits as her biggest supporter and mentor, during her advertising career. She got her latest role at Tremor as a result of an informal networking conversation. In other words, her career and life was launched and nurtured not from an overarching plan but by paying attention and responding to opportunities along the way.
Melinda is one example of a flourishing, diverse career in media. How can you use the idea of career chapters to navigate towards your end goals? What would make you afraid and stretch out of your comfort zone? Can you take advantage of serendipity and unexpected opportunities?
PS. FBC Films was born out of a passion to bring more diversity into science fiction and horror, two genres that Bruce and I love. Step Up Women’s Network is also an organization with a mission of diversity – creating mentorship and professional opportunities for girls and young women. As a national organization, there are many opportunities to get involved and benefit yourself with great events (such as the Melinda McLaughlin Power Breakfast!) and benefit others.