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  • Writer's pictureAhyiana Angel

Career Transitions Without Spending Money ft Lauren Legette

On this episode of the SPQ Chat we chat with Lauren Legette, a senior business leader at Facebook who has navigated her career across tech, media + entertainment, and the gig economy. Through many professional pivots, Lauren has uncovered the formula for professional success making career transitions without spending thousands of dollars going back to school. From leveraging professional relationships to stakeholder management, she shares so much of what she’s learned with us this week!

We're talking about:

  • Creating a life plan

  • The importance of professional coaches

  • How to navigate going after a new career with little experience

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*Please note, the below transcript has been uploaded without the eye of a human editor so please expect some typos!

This is a Mayzie Media production.

During the Switch Pivot or Quit chats we talked to women who have successfully navigated through some of the plot twist years of life and are eager to share their stories and what they've learned in the hopes of inspiring, teaching or making even the slightest impact by candidly owning their truth. Hey girl, hey, and thanks for dropping into the Switch Pivot or Quit podcast, candid convo for the girl needing a lifestyle plot twist. When she's deciding if it's time to Switch, Pivot or Quit. I'm Ahyiana Angel a former sports entertainment publicist in New York City, turned traditionally published author with Simon and Schuster, who quit my old life to write a book, live in London for a bit, and explore my dreams to find my happiness and fulfillment. I'm here to help encourage and guide you through your plot twist years as your chief encourager and host of this podcast, Switch, Pivot, or Quit.

Our community is continuously growing. So welcome to all the new listeners and thank you all for those who are returning. If you love what you hear on the Switch, Pivot or Quit podcast, and wanna show your love, head over to iTunes and leave us a review. A review just helps more people know about the podcast and it helps to continue to amplify our voices as women in the space.

Now, if you just can't get enough, come hang out with us on Instagram by following me at Ahyiana dot Angel, and that's A H Y I A N A dot A N G E L, or drop by our website, Now let's get this conversation started. On today's show we're chatting with Lauren Legette. She's the business lead of business, product marketing at Facebook, Inc.

Lauren is a senior business leader who's navigated her career across tech, media entertainment and the gig economy through many professional pivots. Lauren has uncovered the formula for professional success, making career transitions without spending thousands of dollars. Going back to school over the last decade.

She shared her guidance with young professionals on how to reframe their experience and network in industries, where they have zero connections at Facebook. She leads strategy, business and management initiatives for the company's business product marketing, supporting 140 million-plus businesses.

Throughout the community, Lauren's philanthropic duties include serving as Girl Scout Troop Leader to a third-grade troop in Northern California. And she serves as a chair on the executive board for her chapter of Delta Sigma Theta sorority incorporated. She also leads a career coaching circle for young professional women looking to get ahead in their careers.

You're gonna enjoy this conversation. So let's just get into it. Lauren welcome to the show. How are you? I'm doing well. How are you? Thank you so much for having me. Yes. I'm so excited for this conversation. I wanna talk about your very first job. Let's dive in there. What was the job and what were you doing?

Yes, you know, I loved my very first job. I was living in New York City, working at the Food Network in Chelsea market, and specifically, I was focused on the ad sales marketing department. And so my team was focused on making the commercials that everyone saw that kind of got you really excited about a show.

One of my favorite shows on Food Network has always been chopped. And so an example of the type of work that I would do is working with, a food product company like Kellogg or the like who was interested in getting their products in front of viewers who watched the Food Network. They would reach out to us and we would work on what's called an interstitial, which would be a commercial that we would make that featured an advertiser that was sort of a mini version of a show that you might watch like chopped but featured the products from that advertiser. And so that was sort of my introduction into my professional career, but also into the world of monetization, which has sort of followed me throughout my journey.

Ooh, I love that.

It was a great first job. In addition to having, an opportunity to learn so much, I also had easy access to the Food Network kitchens, which was a special treat for your first job outta school. But yes, I learned a great deal in that first job and had, you know, fond memories of the opportunity to learn about, all the things that it takes to put on a network of shows and to work with so many different, key stakeholders, both within the company, but also production companies outside of the company. So I learned a great deal.

As you know, on this podcast, we talk all about the switch pivot, or quit experience. And so I would love to dive more into your story. So tell us a little bit more about your S P Q experience, how you got started with it and how all of that came about.

Absolutely. You know, I like to think about it in two ways. I would say the switch was sort of going from entertainment and kind of making that natural transition in a way that doesn't really make sense. But also I went from being a journalist to a marketer. And so, you know, starting with kind of the industry pivot or switch I, as I mentioned, was working in television as my sort of very first job and learned a lot was exposed to a lot and really just fell in love with the aspect of monetization and working with advertisers to get their products and services in front of their target audience. And wanted to really dive in and, and learn more. And so I actually transitioned from working at the Food Network to working in publishing at a company called Fast Company magazine.

And so, you know, in addition to kind of diving into the marketing world and really understanding how to work with advertisers and to help them reach their business goals. I also learned a great deal about tech and innovation and just the buzz of everything Silicon Valley at the time. I was a consumer of the products and services that come out of Silicon Valley, but I would definitely not say I was a techie at the time. And so to be immersed in that content every single day I was just so inspired. I learned so much about the industry and just how booming the tech industry was at that time. And so. I'll say, you know, super transparently, I just kind of created a passion for wanting to kind of dive into that industry.

And so had a very ambitious goal of becoming a techie for lack of a better description. And so, you know, I have this background in publishing and in entertainment and so the transition just at the time didn't seem like it would make sense. So I started by just sort of networking and meeting a lot of people who were in that industry and trying to understand all that I could.

In addition to the content that we were talking about at Fast Company magazine, I wanted to really focus on relationship building. And that's actually one of the things that I, have learned over the years is this idea of there's power in partnership, there's power in relationships. I subscribe to this idea of having a personal board.

And so what that means for me is, you know, I have coaches and mentors and advisors that all play a vital role in my growth and development, and they were instrumental into me making this unusual pivot into technology.

You know, you just said this word coaches, I would love to hear your perspective. From my perspective, a lot of people who are in the coaching space and refer heavily to coaches, they're solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and let's just put it out here, you have a nine to five. You work for Facebook, we'll get into that in a little bit, but. I would think that it would be slightly different from your approach in terms of your relationship to coaches. So tell us more about that.

Yeah, it's a great question. I think there's a couple of things. People that I consider coaches are, are not necessarily, someone who's an expert at being a business coach or a life coach or, or anything of the sort, but they're people that I admire the way that they think the way they make decisions the way they've climbed their professional ladder and really just am inspired by the way that they make moves.

And so there's a lot of people. That I have consulted over the years when I think about, you know, taking various job opportunities, I've relocated countless times. And to relocate professionally, especially at a certain point in your life is a difficult decision to make. And so I lean on the expertise of others to get their advice.

I've leaned on. What I consider coaches, which in many cases are just what I would say more seasoned friends to kind of just get their, their take on how to think about an opportunity that's placed before me. I think one thing that's really key and, and sort of the relationship that I have with my coaches would just be, you know, I have multiple, right.

And the reason for that is because I want to balance their feedback. I look at a coach as someone who provides a data input, but they certainly aren't the deciding factor in, in any decision that I make. And so, you know, for me, I look at them as, as people that I consult with, but I, leverage a ton of different places and, and people to get information in order to make a decision.

So your coaches that you look to and work with, are they paid coaches or are they more relationship-based coaches?

Yeah, they're absolutely relationship-built coaches. I've worked with, professional coaches in the past. I think for me, the style that I resonate with and react to best are people who have been in situations that I've been in and, they're not necessarily, you know professional coaches, but they are people who've been in my shoes. And they can help me think through or evaluate opportunities. And so you know coaches could potentially be a, a, a formal terminology. So perhaps that is something that maybe I could further clarify, but, you know, I, I really think about them as friends in the business. Also, people who aren't in the same industry that I'm in, but people that I can consult when I'm faced with a challenge or a decision that needs to be made, and I want to get third-party advice.

So when you made your Switch Pivot or Quit, what was at stake? How did you go about figuring out sort of how to navigate those two industries like that?

I think what was at stake was, I was hungry to learn. I was hungry to have impact and you know, for me the pace of the industry that I was in at the beginning of my career, just wasn't kind of keeping up with that desire and that hunger to move fast and to react to the needs of consumers and to react to the needs of, of, you know, the global customer base.

And so I was hungry to be a part of a company or an industry that was moving fast and was innovating constantly. And so I think that that was sort of what was at stake. I think how I made that change and how I made that move again, going back to the relationship piece. I think beyond that I recognized really early on that I had the transferable skills that would be necessary to be successful in those roles and it was about highlighting and identifying those aspects of my experience and creating opportunities for an interviewer to be able to see that as well.

I think a lot of times, people think that if you're going to pivot, at a certain point in your career, you need to go back to school to do that. And that is absolutely something that works for some people. But I think, that's not the only option that you have.

Everybody has, transferable skills, you have the ability to teach yourself. You have the ability to put yourself in situations where you can learn be it at conference or taking a class or any number of things. There's so many available resources out there. And I think for me, it was about figuring out what those opportunities were that could give me the tools to be successful in that pivot.

Tell us a little bit more about what your role is now and what type of work you're doing specifically.

So I am in product marketing now. And so, you'll recall that sort of early on in our conversation, I mentioned this idea of monetization and really understanding what that was at a at early stage.

Certainly, you know, in my first job, we weren't referring to it as, as monetization, but that's frankly, really what it was and so I realized that that was sort of the central through line throughout my journey and my professional career. But in product marketing I work with the internal teams that are focused on, our product and engineering side to bring products to market.

And so, you know, a lot of that same aspect of what I was doing very early on has followed me throughout my career. I think some of the transferable skills it's central around a couple of things. Number one, Stakeholder management. I think, you know, that's really central to every job that I've had and, and working with others, both internal and external is just critical to the work that I do.

And so being able to have effective stakeholder management skills would, would be one of the transferable skills that I identified pretty early on. I'd say the next is sort of being able to help think through and to strategize ambiguous circumstances. A lot of times the roles that I find really energizing are opportunities to solve a problem that really doesn't have a blueprint.

Right. We haven't figured out how we're going to tackle this. This problem may not have shown itself before in any other circumstances. And so how do we navigate those opportunities and see around corners to be able to predict what's coming up next? I noticed that in a lot of roles that I've had, that's been something that has been the core of what I do on a day to day. And so being able to identify that and package that as , a