As many of you know, I am currently profiling and interviewing my staff as a part of my “Up Close And Personal” blog series. Today, I am interviewing our Chief of Staff, Tamara Speid.
You left a successful position at a top department store to come and work as our receptionist, with lower pay, just to “get into” the business. Tell us about that jump and how you managed the consequences of going after your dream. Would you do it again?
To be honest, if working at Preston Bailey was about the money, I would not be here. Leaving a very, very, very high paying job to start over at Preston Bailey Design was one of those life decisions that you know will alter your life, for better or for worse. In my case, it was undoubtedly for the better. I never want to look back at my life and have any regrets. Yes, it was scary to leave a lucrative “job”, which afforded me a comfortable lifestyle but I’m also that girl who worked two jobs and put myself through college. Plus, it didn’t hurt that I had the support of my fiancé, family, and friends who promised to take me to fancy dinners for the next two years! I made the decision to step out in faith knowing that I believed in myself enough to make the most out of any opportunity, and even though it was entry level, I knew it wouldn’t be that way for long. I know this sounds cliché, but I’m one of those people who actually believe that if you love what you do and put in the work to learn from the best, then the money will come. Could I be paid more, hell yes, but for now, I’ll take the experience!
I am going to put you on the spot: Do you think you deserve a raise after putting in your dues?
I absolutely think for any position, there’s an industry standard, where everyone starts out. Once you get past the resumes, cover letters, etc., the employer has to honestly see a person’s work ethic. Are they dedicated to you being a success, not just themselves? Are they reliable? If the answer is yes, which I feel I demonstrate, there is no question that after my year of volunteering for free and taking an entry level position where I do more than my “job description” that, hell, yes, I deserve a raise. I have shown that I’m willing to work late. Just ask my new husband who puts up with my late hours coming to home because I hate the feeling of not finishing my task list for the day.
You manage the entire office. What do you feel about our company structure (or lack thereof at times)?
Structure? What structure? Laughs. On a more serious note, we work in an ever-changing industry and that means we need to roll with it. Besides, consistency in this business would be boring!
Now that you are here, what do you feel is the biggest misconception people have about working in this business/at this company?
That life at PB is fancy; it’s not! The most overwhelming lesson that I’ve learned thus far is to not let your ego get in the way of making sure the client knows that their satisfaction is our top priority at all times. That said, I really enjoy this company and the people in it and all of the chaos that comes with it.
We really enjoy having you as well, Tamara.
Do any of you have any questions for Tamara?
(Photo Courtesy of Sanaw Ledrod)