Spotlight Series: Meet Author, Career Coach and Founder of SOW EVOLVE Marissa Lee

1. Tell us a bit about yourself

안녕하세요, Bonjour, Hallo, Hola, Hello… I am Marissa Lee. My career journey has

been about helping individuals with their career story as well as organizations

achieving their story through people. I've been in the HR space for over 10 years

working in the healthcare, fashion, and chemical industries. Recently, I became the

founder of SOW EVOLVE, a career consulting company which specializes in

empowering career seekers to evaluate their potential, position their talent, and realize

their career aspirations. SOW EVOLVE truly combines all the things I really love

about HR...planting and nurturing seeds, watching them grow, and inspiring people and

organizations to sustain and champion development. I capture this sentiment as well in

my book called Why I Broke Up With My Company. Yes…I’m a published author.

Through my book and business, I’m on a mission to champion career empowerment

and transform organizations so career ownership can take root and truly grow.

In my free time, I am a songwriter and enjoy spending time with my family and

friends. I am also the proud parent to a German American Rottweiler named Domino Boss. In addition, I’m a polyglot in the making, hence my introduction. I have varying levels of fluency in multiple languages.

2. What was your first job and how did you get it?

Instead of graduating early, I returned for my senior year and attended a career and

technical center. Half of my day was spent learning about business, marketing,

professional skills, and competencies while the other half of my day was spent

applying those skills at my first job. I was a File Clerk at a Worker’s Compensation

Company. Besides the people, I really loved doing my job because of the interesting

claim investigations. Oh yes, I was reading the files. Let me tell you, some of those

cases were doozies. Other than being nosey, it definitely gave me a preview on future

employee investigations I’d encounter and some tips to addressing them.

3. How did you decide and get to your career today?

I always knew I wanted to be in business and HR was always my first love. I

developed an affinity for Logistics and Operations Management but HR was always

“it” for me. I never aspired to have a certain position but I always wanted to learn,

grow, and be able to make an impact. This led me down a path of doing high volume

recruiting, to being an HR Trainee, to eventually becoming a global HR Leader. During that time, I had an expat assignment in Germany, led a legal entity carve-out, and supported a

European expansion, among other things. As I thought about my career and my own

employee experience, my micro “why”, I was led to branch out into the coaching/

consultant space in my desire to fulfill my macro “why”. It all connected back to my

desire to learn, grow, and make an impact.

4. What advice would you have given your younger self? Or what is the best career advice you have ever received?

The advice I would have given to my younger self is to have patience and don’t put too

much pressure on yourself. Some things may take time but you will achieve it so don’t

get discouraged. Keep pushing and continue to do your best.

In regards to career advice, I have received a lot of useful guidance from a lot of people

I respect and hold dear so this is hard. Therefore I’m going to share the first career

advice I received which was from my Dad. His advice was to maintain my integrity.

This advice has guided me throughout my whole career. Sometimes it manifested itself

in advocating for a cause, speaking up on a matter, or in some cases taking a hard

stance. Maintaining my integrity wasn’t always the popular approach and definitely

didn’t always win me friends but I could look myself in the mirror and walk with my

head held high.

5. In 5 years, where do you hope to be professionally and personally?

In 5 years, I plan to help 1000s of career seekers realize their career aspirations and

continue to champion the career empowerment movement. I will be continuing to help

organizations achieve cultural transformation to ensure career seekers enter

environments that support their growth and further helps their companies to grow.

On a personal note, I plan to continue my journey with two new prestigious titles as a

wife and a mother. Ultimately, I plan to do a lot of things. However, I have learned that

if you want to make God laugh tell him your plans. My steps are ordered so as long as

I’m in the will of God wherever I am in 5 years I will be satisfied because I know He

has plans for me. Jeremiah 29:11

Stay connected with Marissa!

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