Katherine Manuel, Senior Vice President, Innovation at Thomson Reuters, loves that her job affords her some wiggle room to “try new things and see what works,” especially because she feels she gets to do that among some of the brightest minds. She recently spoke to Fairygodboss and shared with us her #1 piece of advice for job seekers, the career move she’s most proud of, the most memorable career tip she’s ever received.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
Three years. Before this, I was VP of Corporate Strategy.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
Look at my calendar.
What’s the most unique or interesting aspect of your job or company?
In this role I have the freedom to set a trajectory and goals for my team, but also think about how to connect innovation in new ways to our company’s strategy. There’s some wiggle room to try new things and see what works.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
Thomson Reuters is full of really smart people who are really curious about how they can make positive change. I consider myself lucky to work with people who are this smart, but also incredibly kind and collegial. It can be a rare combination yet it runs throughout the company.
What’s something you’re especially good at at work?
I get strategy, and I can line up tactical work to make a strategy come to life.
What about outside of work?
I’m a good mother and wife. I may make mistakes a lot, but my heart is so deeply rooted in my children and husband that I know I’m doing the best I can.
What are you trying to improve on?
I’d like to be better at compartmentalizing.
What’s your favorite mistake?
I left a message for someone at work with my maiden name – Katherine Gilbert. It made me laugh, as I guess who you were always remains who you are.
What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of?
I left a startup soon after I began working there, as the founder was clearly going to cap my growth and career trajectory because I am a woman.
What do you love most about your job or your company?
There is always time to laugh. We work intensely, but then often take a few moments to share something real and find humor in the moments.
What are you currently reading/watching/listening to?
I’m all about podcasts these days. I’m listening to The Axe Files and Katie Couric on most of my plane flights. I’m also starting to record a podcast called Sharpen Your Edge, which is pretty fun!
What’s your #1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?
Interview them as much as they interview you.
Who is/was the most influential person in your life and why?
I cannot pick just 1. My father influenced me dramatically with unconditional love and his feminist tendencies. 2. My mother is unwavering and rebuffs all external pressures to do what she thinks is right. 3. My grandmother, whom I never met, has set a standard for our family to live up to – moral, strong and loving, all things I aspire to possess. 4. My former boss and dearest friend who has shown me that paying it forward is the ultimate form of giving thanks.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
It’s okay to have emotions and share them. That passion matters and can differentiate what you deliver.
What was the best quality of the best boss you’ve ever had?
This is a quality that permeates more than just a single boss I’ve had, but rather all of the good ones. It is having the genuine belief that he or she is in my corner and wants me to be successful as much for me as for them.
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