Candi Smith, Litigation Support Project Manager
Q: What did you want to do when you were 10 years old?
Q: What was your favorite class in high school? Why?
A: Woodshop. There was something about the smell of fresh cut wood and the crazy objects that come from a square block.
Q: What was your first paid job?
A: I worked the counter at Winchell’s Donut. For the record, I really don’t like donuts anymore.
Q: What was your first big career break and how did it change your career path?
A: In my early twenties, I worked at a bank as an Insurance Collateral specialist for construction and movies in Beverly Hills. The Real Estate department was audited and written up for lack of follow-up. To assist my manager, I created a database that served as a tickler system for all loans. I was later offered a position in the IT department, but had not been in the Real Estate department long enough to transfer without my manager’s consent. She signed off on the transfer, telling me she could never stand in the way of progress.
Q: What do you like most about your current role?
A: I am never bored!
Q: What is currently your biggest career challenge?
A: Being a woman, a mom, a wife - and trying to balance it all.
Q: What is driving your success and what keeps you going?
A: My husband and my kids. I was a victim of domestic violence for years and no one knew it. I hide it well and kept smiling at work. I found my husband, remarried and we have been together for 17 years now. He is supportive of every crazy idea or challenge I give myself and my kids keep me laughing! I work hard to support everyone - but especially women - with encouragement and without jealousy. You want my job, come and get it!
Q: What’s your 5-year career plan, i.e. where would you like to be in 2020?
A: I would like to be anywhere where I feel useful, appreciated and not too stressed.
Q: What do you see as the biggest roadblock to your career advancement?
A: My field is pretty new in the legal industry, so I constantly wonder how I should advance and where I can grow. I am constantly reinvesting and reinventing myself to stay relevant because the future of this position is uncharted.
Q: What is the best career advice you’ve received?
A: Shut up and listen.
Q: What career advice would you give to women beginning their careers?
A: Shut up and listen
Q: What mistakes do you see women making in their careers?
A: Not supporting one another. Burning bridges along the way by not treated people with the respect they deserve.
Q: What do you wish someone had told you about your career?
A: You may feel that you can do it all, but someone will think differently or have a different agenda. Don’t take it personal and keep moving forward with a positive attitude.
Q: What book changed your career or life?
A: Stop Smoking, by Allan Carr. I myself stopped eight years ago and this has changed my life.
Q: What is your favorite quote?
a: Aerodynamically, a bumble bee is not supposed to fly, but it doesn’t know it.