‘Believe in Your Awesomeness,’ Have a Laugh, and Do the Work — How to Grow Your Career

Sponsored by C.H. Robinson

Cody Griggs

Photo courtesy of C.H. Robinson.

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Curious what step one to growing your career is? Well, according to Cody Griggs, Senior Product Manager at C.H. Robinson, it goes beyond being good at what you do — it’s actually digging in and doing the work. Tackling messy details and tough problems, no matter your title, is one way that Griggs has been able to elevate her career. 

Beyond this, she’s also unafraid of being honest and straightforward with her advice and point of view. “I don't talk to fill the air in the room,” says Griggs. “I only speak up to say something I think is impactful. If you ask my opinion and I don’t have enough context, I won't offer one. I also seek knowledge; if I find an area that I don't know enough about, I make friends with the expert and ask for help. You don't learn by thinking you already know everything.” 

Finally, Griggs emphasizes the importance of caring when growing your career. “Care SO MUCH about where you work, the culture, and who you work for,” notes Griggs. “The person you work for should show that you are a member of a team and supported by them. You don't work ‘for’ them as much as ‘with’ them — there is a big difference.” 

Griggs recently took the time out of her schedule to share with us some of the top things she’s learned during her career — as well as actionable tips to take your own career to the next level. Read on to learn more! 

To start, can you tell us about your time at C.H. Robinson and your current job? 

I've had many roles at C.H. Robinson in my 18 years at the company. In 2004, I started in operations, booking freight and trucks. Then, in 2011, I moved to Minneapolis and took a role working to implement new customer deals for large strategic customers. From there, I held roles in process improvement and strategy management before recognizing an opportunity to impact the carrier technology space. 

This led me to my current role as the Senior Product Manager responsible for our carrier experience. C.H. Robinson operates a two-sided marketplace — buyers (customers) and sellers (carriers). Our team is responsible for ensuring that carriers want to work with us and have the digital tools (website, mobile app and direct connections) to do so. 

In this role, I bring my business knowledge and background, along with a strong desire to take us to the next level. To succeed, I rely on empathetic leadership that empowers people to do their best work, and then I get out of their way. I also bring a sense of levity because work can't just be all work, all the time. Have a laugh, then get back to it. 

That sounds like an amazing journey! Can you tell us more about what this role means to you? 

This role means that I get to lead a team of really talented people in fundamentally changing and upgrading how carriers work with us. We get to think about what would make their lives better and their businesses more profitable. I absolutely LOVE making things — in my personal and professional life — and this role gives me an entire toolbox to make something awesome

What are some strategies that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations like you did? 

Build a network of people who know and believe in your awesomeness because they have witnessed it first-hand. Ask those people to advocate for you, especially if they are trusted and in leadership. I will gladly advocate for women I see putting in the work whom I know need a little additional push to be seen

Also, do the work. I can look around and find plenty of examples where I had to put in twice the work that someone else did to get the same outcome. It doesn’t do me any good to wallow in that. Is there an unconscious (or conscious) bias against us sometimes? Yes. Do people who don't know me or my work still dismiss me at first? Yes. Do I take ALL of that to fuel my motivation to show up every day and kick ass? 100%. 

What is your favorite perk about working at C.H. Robinson? 

I'm not sure "perk" is the right word here. When I think of perks, things like free lunch or happy hours come to mind. No amount of perks can replace a crummy culture

When I think about why I choose to show up here every day, one primary reason comes to mind: the people. 

I have spent a ton of time inside a ton of companies and I very rarely (like twice ever) think, "I could work here." The people I work with are dedicated, humble, hard-working, empathetic, smart, collaborative, funny, helpful, and just all-around awesome. The work is fun, but it’s the people that make it that way

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