As a continuation of our “Women of Chegg” mini-series, we chose to interview Lila Barton, marketing manager of Chegg. We interviewed her to learn about where she started her career, some of the personal struggles she’s encountered, and what tips and tricks she has for other women in business.
“Keep track of your accomplishments and what you’re learning. It not only helps with confidence, but also you won’t forget the times you made a difference.”
What does your current job involve? Is there such a thing as a typical day?
There’s really no typical day for me, but most of the time I’m making sure that all of our campaigns are organized and set to launch on time. This means talking with partners, working with our design, email, and product teams, as well as going over every detail with our legal team. I also spend a lot of my time planning for upcoming campaigns, which also means working with partners to discuss goals, timing, and overall planning for execution.
What was your first entry-level job in your field and how did you get it?
My first job was as an account manager at Levo League. I got the job by reaching out to them and asking for it! I heard the founders speak at a Stanford Women in Business conference, and I was so excited by their mission. I applied for their summer internships then sent a follow up note saying I was graduating and wanted to work over the summer in hopes that it would turn into a full time job. And it did ☺
What is one mistake you made along the way and what did you learn from it?
I think before I speak, sometimes too much, then someone ends up saying what I wanted to say. I’ve been given feedback multiple times that I need to speak up more, and I’m just starting to get comfortable doing it. But if there’s something on the tip of your tongue there’s a reason you’re thinking it. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it’s a perfect idea or solution – your “not fully developed” idea might trigger someone else to think of something different, leading to the brilliant idea.
The other mistake I made was not giving myself enough credit early in my career. This mistake resulted in not getting a promotion I thought I deserved – I held myself back and they hired someone else instead.
What’s one important piece of advice for young women entering the business force?
Keep track of your accomplishments and what you’re learning. Jot them down at the end of every week! I wish I had started this earlier. It not only helps with confidence (and negotiations!), but also you won’t forget the times you made a difference.
Have you ever had to deal with sexism as a woman in the business world? If so, how did you deal with it?
My first company was all about helping young women succeed, and at Chegg I’m surrounded by fantastic female leaders and mentors. I’ve been fortunate to not have to deal with it as much as others, but little things happen every now and then.
One thing that’s helped me is finding a partner who supports me – my fiancé is the best! He is so proud of my accomplishments at work, even if I think they’re small. I don’t let other little bumps bother me because the women and men close to me are so supportive. If you ever have a self-doubting moment, just quietly sing some Beyoncé – “Who runs the world? Girls.”
What’s something women can do to get ahead before their getting first job in a business environment?
Do your research! Know everything you can about a company before your interview. Internships also help. I wasn’t able to get many summer internships because I was a competitive athlete all through college. If the same is true for you, use an internship as a test for a full time job. Tell them you will work as an intern with the intention of it turning into a job offer. You never know! ☺
Ending Note from herNetwork:
It can be difficult to keep your confidence up when you feel like your work is not a major contribution to a company. But just because you don’t notice the difference you make, does not mean others don’t! A good self-esteem booster is to “keep track of your accomplishments and what you’re learning” (Lila). That way, you can remind yourself of the great work you have done and how much progress you have made since starting the job. And if you need a quick pick me up, “just quietly sing some Beyoncé” (Lila).