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Going Corporate Doesn’t Mean Losing the Freedom to Carve Your Own Path — My Career Is Proof | Fairygodboss
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Going Corporate Doesn’t Mean Losing the Freedom to Carve Your Own Path — My Career Is Proof
Photo courtesy of Ashley Flynn
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Ashley Flynn is, decidedly, a people person. As a Manager of Field Onboarding Programs for KinderCare Education, she gets to flex this sensibility in new, exciting ways and says she feels incredibly in touch with the impact she’s able to make for her community of colleagues.

“My priority is to build something experiential and fun so that employees are engaged and excited from day one,” Flynn shared. “I’m really excited that my role is a complete investment in our field employees and that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their experience right from the beginning… I want to set (them) up for success and build a foundation for a long career with us.” 


KinderCare Is Hiring! Browse Opportunities.


Flynn is also excited to be back to building a long career for herself at KinderCare Education following a brief hiatus. Having originally joined the company in 2015 on its Talent Acquisition team, her “first corporate job,” she realized through a series of stretch assignments that her true passion was in “dreaming up new ways to make the recruiting experience better for everyone.” At the time, however, there wasn’t an open role at the company that would allow her to do this work full-time. So, she took an outside position. 

“When I got the call just over a year later to come back to KinderCare and work on its Talent Investment & Culture team, I knew I had to do it,” Flynn said. “The role is a perfect transition from what I was doing on the Talent Acquisition team and what I wanted to do, which is build programs focused on employee experience.” 

And, of course, she missed the community she’d found at KinderCare, too. 

“Even though we’re a 30k+ person company, it all feels like one big team when you’re all working towards the same goals,” she said.

Flynn recently walked us through how she’s finding more satisfaction in her job today than ever, as well as the career advice that’s helped her stretch and grow the most.

Tell me a bit about your current role. What are your priorities, and what about the role excites you most?

I’m responsible for creating and managing content for field onboarding programs, which includes introducing our center staff and field leadership to the company and developing trainings to quickly teach them how to be successful in their jobs. My priority is to build something experiential and fun so that employees are engaged and excited from day one. I want to set our field employees up for success and build a foundation for a long career with us. 

I still get excited about this role because the field is the heart of our business; I wouldn’t have a job without them. I’m really excited that my role is a complete investment in our field employees and that I have the opportunity to make a positive impact on their experience right from the beginning. 

What’s the first thing you do at work every day? 

I start my day by writing down a few tasks that I want to accomplish for the day. I’m goal-oriented, so I feel good if I have a list of things I can cross off throughout the day. I keep it realistic, though. If I have a big project I’m working on, I’ll break it down into chunks and only write down the parts I know I’ll be able to do today. 

Let’s talk about your career path. When did you first come to work for your company, and in what role?

I joined KinderCare Education as a Recruiting Coordinator. It was my first corporate job, and a great introduction because I learned so much about the business by reading all the job descriptions that came through. I also was able to make connections in every department. 

Why did you leave, and what ultimately made you come back?

The job was a very tactical support role. I took on several stretch assignments that allowed me to get creative and build new programs and processes for our team. I fell in love with dreaming up new ways to make the recruiting experience better for everyone, from managers and recruiters to candidates. Unfortunately, there was no role available at that time that would allow me to do that full-time. I felt like it was time for me to take that next step, so I took a position outside of the company. 

When I got a call just over a year later to come back to KinderCare and work on its Talent Investment & Culture team, I knew I had to do it. The role is a perfect transition from what I was doing on the Talent Acquisition team and what I wanted to do, which is build programs focused on employee experience. 

What’s your favorite aspect of your company’s culture?

I love how dedicated everyone is to the mission. We have a strong sense of purpose at KinderCare Education and we share the same workplace values. Even though we’re a 30k+ person company, it all feels like one big team when you’re all working towards the same goals. 

What’s something you’re especially good at work?

I’d like to think I’m good at being resourceful. I might not know the answer to everything, but I can find somebody who knows somebody who does. 

What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?

I can’t think of anything that anyone has specifically said to me, but I’ve definitely learned from others to appreciate where I am at in the journey. Every job I’ve had has taught me something and helped me get to where I am today. It’s important to take advantage of the opportunities in your current role and learn all that you can because it will help get you where you want to be.

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