It’s hard not to smile while having a conversation with Albertha Turner—not only because of her sunny and curious personality, but also because she so obviously cares for others. To her, being a mentor is an integral part of her daily life. You know the concept of “paying it forward”? Well, that describes Albertha to the T.
Even though you could say that Albertha fell into the training and development field, it’s no accident that led her to her current role as VP, Operations Training at Alorica. She’s someone who truly enjoys teaching people and seeing them succeed. Read her full Q&A below:
Q: What was your strategy for reaching an executive level position in your career?
A: My strategy has been to always keep in touch with the company’s goals and initiatives. If we’re not aligned, we’re not anything. I learned years ago that the purpose of training is to achieve a business result, and you can only achieve that when you know the goals. I’ve done this throughout my career.
Q: Did you ever work with a mentor, and how did that process help you?
A: I like to say that I’ve had many mentors, even though they may not have known. If I see someone who has a talent, trait or skill that I admire, I’m going to get to know them. I will insert myself in their space and ask them to teach me. As you supervise people, you should be their teacher and guide. If I know something, I’m going to share it with you and my team. There’s no value in holding back information. The more we all know, the more we can be successful together.
Q: Can you think of an example when you faced pushback at work because you were female? How did you face that challenge?
A: As I look at challenges that I’ve had, I try to not look at it from the perspective of, “are you challenging me because I’m a female or a different race?” What I do is if someone is challenging me, or doesn’t want to work with me, I find out why. You’re going to work with all different types of people with different ideologies about a lot of different things. What are you going to do? You have to work through each issue.
Q: How has working at Alorica specifically led to your personal career growth?
A: At Alorica, this Women’s Initiative is very exciting. It’s wonderful that the company has taken this opportunity to say we need to do more, we need to help to educate and grow our female work force. In my area, I find the training field exciting. Even though I fell into this position, it was definitely a great fit for me. It fit my natural tendencies which is to want to see people succeed. In training, you get the satisfaction of seeing someone on the operations floor being successful. I love investing in each person.
Q: How important is it to have a career plan? How often do you outline your personal career goals?
A: I look at where I am, generally in December or January. I’m a linear person, and I do things in a timeline. I look back at the goals I made last year. Did I meet them, how close did I get, and should I realign them? I do checks along the way to make sure I’m on track throughout the year. There are times when life happens, personal life or changes in the company that can bump you off course. Then, you have to look at your original goal and ask if that’s the right one to have. A goal is just that—it’s a point of direction, but you have to be flexible enough to take detours.