Advice on Career Mobility From a Senior Manager at The Home Depot

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Photo courtesy of The Home Depot

Fairygodboss
Fairygodboss
April 23, 2024 at 5:7AM UTC
Within just six years, Akanksha Luther, senior manager of online product management at The Home Depot, has a storied career with the company, navigating various positions that paved the way to where she is today. Since she began, she has held five roles, which has given her the opportunity to innovate across teams at the company and grow her career. Along the way, she learned new skills and was able to tie back her very first role at the company to her current role via an unconventional path.
We met with Akanksha to learn more about her successful career journey and gather advice for readers about how to best develop their careers.
Tell us about your career path at The Home Depot from when you started to where you are today.
I’ve moved across several teams and roles and worked on very different, ambiguous and challenging projects in a span of six years. Several of those roles were brand-new, giving me the opportunity to define and shape the role. Interestingly enough, I am now leading the team I started on, and all my roles have given different perspectives that led to this newest position in my career.
Within my first role in product management, I managed the search experience on homedepot.com. For the next few years, I moved into new teams that were formed to work on the overall online strategy, and then the overall enterprise strategic prioritization. I drove annual priorities and roadmaps for our online experience, and then for our enterprise initiatives. About a year ago, I went back to the online team — and this time, I am leading Product Management for our search capabilities on homedepot.com. The ability to search for the right and navigate to products on our website is fundamental to our experience on homedepot.com. I am confident that I am bringing new perspectives and skills to this role through the career mobility the company offered me.
What about your current role or team excites you the most? 
I love the e-commerce space; the ability to innovate and deliver a great experience to our customers and solve problems that no one has solved in our domain. I work with a fantastic team of product managers, and an amazing cross-functional team of cutting-edge data scientists, engineers, UX designers and analysts that obsess about these problems daily!
Tell us about the overall culture at The Home Depot and what you enjoy most as an associate?
For me, the culture at The Home Depot is fundamentally collaborative and not competitive, so it’s easy to enjoy working with your colleagues. You get to solve high-impact and interesting problems but also have a work-life balance, and you can move and grow your career internally. The Home Depot is a company that cares about its associates, and that is invaluable.
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at The Home Depot?
It’s a combination of the culture and the ability to have a variety of interesting and challenging roles. I would likely get a little bored if I was in the same space for too long and didn’t have new problems to think about
What was the best quality of the best boss you've ever had?
Trust. It’s extremely motivating to work for someone that trusts you and truly values your point of view.
What's the most memorable piece of career advice you've ever received?
Approach a role based on your strengths and make it your own. You don’t have to do what someone did in the past to be successful at a role. 
What advice would you give to someone looking to take their career to the next level?
Find problems that you are excited about solving and people you like working with who will support you and give you space to grow.
Is there anything else you'd like to share about career mobility or tips/tricks for women in the workplace?
Don’t try to find the perfect job and don’t worry about matching the job description a hundred percent. In more cases than not, I have not had the "conventional" background for a role or matched the job description perfectly.
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