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Photo courtesy of ON Semiconductor.
A few years into her career, Rachael Rodney made a bold move: She moved across the country to transition from a role in recruiting to a role in sales. One thing that didn’t change? The organization she worked for.
ON Semiconductor’s people and culture was something Rodney, who joined the company as an intern, didn’t want to leave behind. Thankfully, due to the company’s flexible, supportive environment, she didn’t have to leave to experience the career growth she craved.
So, how did Rodney make the case to get the job she wanted within her company? In a recent interview with Fairygodboss, she gave us a closer look at her career journey and what makes ON Semiconductor such an exciting place to work. She also clued us in to the career advice she loves to give — and the specific advice she has for career changers.
How long have you been in your current role as a Field Sales Engineer (FSE), and what were you doing previously?
I have been in my new role for seven weeks now, but have been at ON Semiconductor for three and a half years. I started as an intern in the University Relations (UR) department, which falls under Talent Acquisition in HR. I worked at ON Semiconductor throughout my senior year of college and received a full time offer to manage the intern program upon graduating. I loved my time as the University Relations Program Manager since it was a great way to get exposure into each department at the company. It was always a rewarding experience to watch interns' success stories unfold!
Pivoting career paths can feel overwhelming. Why did you want to make this change, and what ultimately helped you do it?
I actually didn’t know I wanted to change career paths. I enjoyed doing UR but after a while, I felt that I wasn’t being challenged as much anymore and was looking to do more. I was recruiting on the FSE positions and after working with the team, I was extremely drawn to sales. I was nervous since the change required a cross country move and was completely outside of my expertise, but it helped that my manager and team were supportive of my decision and made it an easy transition.
Tell me a bit about your current role. What are your priorities, and what about it excites you most?
My current role is focused on driving revenue with our customers on the east coast by solution selling and demand creation. The first year is a rotation program for us (five others were hired with me) to get an idea on what industry and customers we’re interested in supporting. I’m excited to transition from selling ON Semiconductor to prospective candidates to selling the company to customers. I think working with customers is unpredictable and provides a variety of different experiences that will help me grow professionally and personally.
What about the company stood out to you and made you want to join? What’s been your favorite aspect since joining?
My answer is always “the people.” I think culture can make or break a company, and I’ve continued to stay at ON Semiconductor because of how inclusive and hospitable everyone is here. Being so new in my career, I think that there is still a lot to learn, so it’s always nice that everyone here is willing to help you and point you in the right direction. I also appreciate how flat the organization is and how receptive upper management is to feedback.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
There are two things that I stand by and have received from my managers. The first is to not be afraid to make mistakes or fail. I think this has been a large realization for me because I can be a perfectionist, but it’s a part of the learning process and will be inevitable in any role.
The second is that you get what you put into your role, so take the initiative. Professional development is no one’s responsibility but your own. If you’re interested in making a career change or getting a promotion, let it be known and find out what you need to accomplish to get there.
What advice would you give to other women interested in making a major career change?
I think it’s said a lot that women are less likely to apply for a position if they don’t meet every single qualification listed. After working in recruiting and getting a role outside of the typical background, I can say that some qualifications are flexible and will be accommodated if you’re the right fit. My advice is don’t let a specific degree or an extra year of experience stop you from applying and showing the employer why you’re interested and would be the best fit for that role!
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