The Steps That Allowed Me to Move From Receptionist to VP at a Company I Love

Sponsored by Thryv

Photo Courtesy of  Thryv.

Photo Courtesy of Thryv.

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April 19, 2024 at 3:22PM UTC

Rosemary Foreman has worn many hats since launching her career journey at Thryv. From her short-term assignment as receptionist at the company’s Chicago location to her current role as Assistant Vice President in Dallas, Foreman’s been able to grow her skillset, expand her expertise and build a meaningful career over the last 27 years — without changing companies.

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Besides her willingness to learn, the company’s culture of support helps her grow “personally, academically and professionally.” According to Foreman, “the culture creates an environment where feedback is welcome in every direction which allows you to grow on a personal level.”

Leaders at the company play a pivotal role in that professional development, too.

“Every single one of my bosses has acted as a mentor and introduced me to other people in the organization who have mentored me and taught me what I need to navigate in a corporate environment. The support here is truly admirable,” she said.

We recently spoke to Foreman about what attracted her to the company and what about the company has enabled her to develop her career without job hopping. Check out her advice for finding the right company to build a long-standing career below.

What about it made you first want to join?  

I was placed at the company through a temp agency 27 years ago for a short-term assignment as the receptionist. During that time, I found the work environment friendly, high energy and I saw the potential for a long-term career with the possibility of advancement. I was also a single mom at the time and could see they had great benefits, stability and competitive compensation.That’s just what I needed at the time, so I was ready to sign on. 

Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one. 

Oh my goodness! I’ve played so many roles but here it goes: I began my career at Thryv as a receptionist in Chicago, then got hired to work in a team that handled complex order exceptions. The ability to learn about all the different processes excited me, so I applied for a position in Dallas for systems support and got it! 

Eventually, I became a supervisor on that same team. I became fascinated with the role of a project manager so I started putting my project management skills into practice during my off hours and got noticed for it. As a result, I was offered a position as project manager. The role evolved to be a process and project manager.

Two years into that role, I was offered a senior manager position to run a team of process auditors. In this role, my team led a number of initiatives that created significant cost savings. I got noticed and was offered an opportunity to become acting director for the training, systems support, systems testing and PMO office. 

A year later, I was offered the director position full-time and also inherited the Telco Relations office, contract management for our digital and print products, as well as quality control. In this role, I traveled all over the world looking for solutions to bring our organization efficiencies and round the clock support. I loved what I was doing, but I was ready to learn more and continue to be challenged.  

The Vice President at the time offered me an opportunity to run my own facility in Los Alamitos, California as an executive director. While I was in this role we had another merger, and I ended up overseeing three offices in the United States, three offices internationally and had virtual employees across the country. 

By this point, the company was ready to go through a transformation, which involved evolving our current digital products. I was all in and excited I got the offer to lead the team that would be fulfilling the product/service. 

About a year into building this new organization, I got a surprise at one of our All Hands meetings while my boss was presenting to my organization. He announced that there would be an Assistant Vice President over our organization — and it was ME! I’m not going to lie... I ugly cried. Then, I said a few words. And now, here I am! 

What about this role most excites you? 

There isn’t just one thing that excites me, so I’m going to cheat and share two. First, the talent of the team that surrounds me is absolutely out of this world. It’s part of what keeps me excited and more importantly what makes me stay. I love to hire people that are smarter than me and ready to make a difference because I’m a sponge around them and love to see everyone grow.   

Second, I’m also privileged to lead a team that is part of transforming our organization by transforming how local business owners run their business.hat’s energizing, to say the least.   

What’s something you’re especially good at work?

Taking calculated risks and grooming are my talents. I care about the future of my talented employees and want to help them improve their skills to help them achieve excellence and their career goals.

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

I start my work day at home way before I arrive at the office. I jump on the treadmill, review my calendar and determine what calls I need to make on the drive into work. Then, I make sure my to do list is on track and make a list of people that I need to talk to which I’ll call on my car ride home.

A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping?

If you find a company with a great culture, they will invest in you, expose you to new opportunities and reward your effort. Employees make the company — it’s not a separate entity, so the investment goes both ways. Find a place you love to work at and help each other succeed when you get there.

To develop and advance I had to know what the company needed and become that. This takes a willingness to listen to ideas, concerns and feedback before becoming the solution. I believe that if you have the courage to listen to feedback, self-evaluate and grow, you have all you need to develop yourself and help the company grow alongside you.

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

You can grow here personally, academically and professionally. The culture creates an environment where feedback is welcome in every direction which allows you to grow on a personal level. Thryv also provides tuition reimbursement and inhouse training that allows you to earn a degree and the additional knowledge needed to advance. When I decided to go back to college, the company supported it all the way.

All of my bosses have acted as mentors and introduced me to other people in the organization who have mentored me and taught me what I need to navigate in a corporate environment. The support here is truly admirable. 


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