My Biggest Career Mistake Taught Me a Lesson That Changed My Career Forever — Here’s What I Learned

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Photo Courtesy of Enterprise Holdings.

Photo Courtesy of Enterprise Holdings.

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June 19, 2024 at 10:34AM UTC

As a Group Talent Acquisition Manager at Enterprise Holdings, Bethany Beaty spends much of her time telling talented candidates why her employer would be a great choice for their next career move. As someone who started out in the company’s Management Training Program, she knows first-hand what it was like to work her way up within the company, and she wants other candidates to have the same great opportunities she’s had.  

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 “I always tell candidates that Enterprise is truly more than a company and that we are a family,” Beaty told Fairygodboss in an interview. “I want them to know that no matter what challenges they face, the people in this company will always have their back.”

 The internal promotions at Enterprise are proof of this supportive environment, she says. For a high-profile example, look no further than Enterprise President & CEO, Chrissy Taylor, who was once a management trainee herself.  

There’s hardly a better candidate than Beaty to give advice on what it takes to get hired and promoted in today’s workplace, especially at a company as well regarded as Enterprise. On a personal level, Beaty just made a cross-country move to take on a more senior role – which she considers her greatest career challenge to date. Recently, she shared her best job search advice, including the biggest career mistake she’s made and hopes other women avoid.  

How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously? 

I’ve been in my current role for several weeks! I was just promoted to Group Talent Acquisition Manager over Utah, southern Idaho and Jackson, Wyoming. Before this, I was the Regional Talent Acquisition Manager over Nashville, Tennessee, for six and a half years. While I now work in HR, I started as a Management Trainee and learned the rental business from the ground up. The skills and experience I gained during this time are the foundation of my career. The great thing about Enterprise is that you can change careers without changing companies. 

What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day? 

I am working in-person at our administrative office, while taking the appropriate safety precautions, so the first thing I do is smile and say good morning to all my coworkers through my mask and make a cup of coffee! The last thing I do every day is to go through my inbox and make sure that I’ve responded to all my emails. I always make sure to respond even if it’s just to tell someone that I need to look into the topic further. 

As a recruiter, what are three things about Enterprise that you always make sure to highlight when talking to a candidate? 

  1. Our culture! I always tell candidates how our company is truly more than a company and that we are a family. I want them to know that no matter what challenges they face, the people in this company are incredibly supportive both professionally and personally.. 

  2. The never-ending promotional opportunities! I want them to see a long future with us and I make sure to always explain that this company will reward your hard work and your passion.

  3. The last thing I always make sure to explain to every candidate is that we promote from within for nearly all of our management and leadership roles. I explain why this creates a culture of support and camaraderie. I also make sure to explain that even our CEO, Chrissy Taylor, started as a Management Trainee and so has almost every other senior leader on the operations side of our business.   

What’s one thing Enterprise does — whether a formal policy or program, or more in terms of office culture — that you think is particularly unique or unexpected?  

Something I think our company is amazing at doing is encouraging mentorship! We even have a Formal Mentor Program that matches employees with members of senior management from different departments within the company. 

I have two mentors who helped guide me and push me into the business professional I am today. One of them, Jason Cowan, an Assistant Vice President of Rental, was paired with me through the Formal Mentorship Program seven years ago and we still talk today. My other mentor, Martia Brown, who was just promoted to an Assistant Vice President of Rental, as well, is someone I admired and always looked up to and she has been my mentor since day one of my career. Both Jason and Martia have been promoted several times since becoming my mentors, but both make it a priority to reach out and take the time to help with any challenges I  encounter. That is 100 percent the culture our company has created and encourages! 

What’s your favorite career mistake?  

This is a great question because my favorite career mistake is a mistake I think a lot of women make. A promotional opportunity opened a few years back and I was encouraged by my managers to apply for the promotion because they felt it was a great opportunity and that I was ready for the challenge. However, I second-guessed if I was good enough and if I would be ready for that role. My self-doubts caused me to not apply for the promotion and that is something I will always regret but certainly learned from. I learned to have confidence in my ability and to always put my name in the hat, because the worst thing that could happen is that I don’t get promoted. But even if that happens, I do get valuable feedback so I can better prepare for the next promotional opportunity!   

What’s the one career move you’ve made that you’re most proud of? 

My most recent move to Utah! I was scared to leave Nashville and my family and friends, but it was 100 percent the best thing I could have done! This move is pushing me out of my comfort zone and allowing me to grow both professionally and personally. Not only that, but the team I get to work with in Utah has welcomed me with open arms and is truly making me feel at home. 

What’s your No. 1 piece of advice for women who are looking for jobs right now?  

I would advise any women currently looking for a new role to step out of their comfort zone and be willing to ask for help! Sometimes, as women, we don’t want to burden others by asking for help and I think we miss out on some great opportunities by doing this. There are so many amazing women on LinkedIn that you can connect with and ask for advice on a position or company – you can even connect with female recruiters. As a female recruiter, I would love to help any other woman out there who needs advice or is looking for a new career opportunity. We need more women supporting women in the world! 

What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about Enterprise that you think they should? 

In orientation, we teach all our employees the history of our company because we believe it’s important to know and understand. However, I don’t think a lot of people outside the organization truly understand our rich history and how remarkable it is. 

Like the fact that our founder, Jack Taylor, started our company with only seven cars in the lower level of a car dealership and called it Executive Leasing. Or that we didn’t change our name until we went into the Atlanta market. And when Jack did change our name to Enterprise Rent-A-Car, it was a tribute to his time spent in the Navy serving on the USS Enterprise! 

Our company history is so fascinating, and I wish more people knew about what an amazing man our founder was and understood the legacy he left behind. Enterprise is a family-owned company that treats all employees like family. Our current CEO is Jack’s granddaughter, Chrissy, and she is making sure to carry on that same legacy of integrity, honest work, team spirit and simply doing the right thing.  


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