Career Story: Laurel Nelson

I was looking for a major cultural overhaul to work again with peers and be a part of a team that had a market savvy leadership. It was very important that I move to a company with a culture of respect – where it was expected that people treat each other with dignity and sincerity.

I was open to calls from recruiting firms, but only considering roles that were the right fit professional growth wise and with regard to work-life balance. I have a 9 year old son and my husband also works in the industry, and does quite a bit of travel. I was finding myself acting as a single mom many days during the week while still having a high pressure, high visibility role inside a company undergoing a major management and cultural shift. I had to do a lot of extra work to educate the new executives on our product portfolio decisions, challenges and launch goals. Because the new executive team was not familiar with our markets or customers, my work environment was becoming unbearably stressful as the organizational focus was shifting.

As I began to engage with Parnassus, additional internal factors played a role in my interest in pursuing other organizations and finding a new company was becoming a more attractive idea.

MY BIGGEST CONCERN WAS MAKING A CAREER CHANGE WHERE THERE WAS NO AN IMPROVEMENT IN CULTURE AND WORK/LIFE BALANCE.

I didn’t want to end up in the middle of a corporation having an identity crisis where there was no an improvement in culture and work/life balance. I was looking for a major cultural overhaul to work again with peers and be a part of a team market savvy leadership. It was very important that I move to a company with a culture of respect where it was expected that people treat each other with dignity and sincerity.

THE STRONG FIT WAS APPARENT TO ME AS SOON AS I INTERVIEWED AND FELT IMMEDIATELY LIKE I WANTED TO BE PART OF THE TEAM

The Parnassus Group took their time and did their due diligence to facilitate the right match. Parnassus answered all my questions and concerns, and did not waste my time trying to talk me into an opportunity that didn’t fit my key criteria. They also provided an extensive job description and information on the leadership team.

Still, I knew I would need to to get comfortable with the culture and strategic direction of the potential new company. I conducted research on my own and dug deep into how the organization viewed culture, treated team members, and handled conflict. I discussed these with the Parnassus team and with the Chief Administrative officer over the phone prior to interviewing. There were impressive actions being taken by the leadership team to address the company integration and manufacturing issues that I uncovered in my research.

It was very important for me to get a clear sense of inter-team collaboration due to recent challenges that I had experienced. The Parnassus group addressed my concerns, especially highlighting the recent change in executive management and their expectations regarding a collaborative culture.

THE ISSUES THAT MATTERED MOST TO ME IN A NEW CAREER:

  • Opportunity to grow market or managerial skills. The leadership position Parnassus presented me with, in particular allowed me to expand my experience out of molecular diagnostics to transplant diagnostics moving into a new sector of diagnostics, as well as manage employees at a slightly higher level than my current role. At the same time this expansion still resulted in a more reasonable workload.
  • Supportive and strategic executive leadership team. Even the strongest employee is challenged to be successfully if reporting to a team of execs that don’t know or care to know the market and customers, and therefore can’t adequately support the marketing strategies. Also the executive team needs to be strategic and focused on long term growth.
  • That the company is in a location that works for my family on a personal level (good schools, manageable commute, affordability, airport accessibility, no major snow storms).  Obviously adequate salary, but this was not my primary motive to change. I just wanted to make sure our family free cash flow was not reduced moving from a state without income tax.

I have worked with other recruiters, some who are very good as well, but I would say the main difference is I never felt rushed when speaking with anyone on the Parnassus team. They answered every single question without seeming like they were rushing off to speak with the next candidate or that I was just one on a long list of candidates. It also seemed like they had established a good rapport with this organizations because compared to previous experiences, once initiated, the interview and hiring processes went very smoothly. Parnassus was also able to help me negotiate my relocation package which became really critical in a successful move across the country.


laurel-nelson Laurel Nelson, Senior Franchise Director