By Hissen Sadan
How can an individual innovate in their career with one company over many years? Tanja Eise, Enterprise Account Director at Pearson, provides an interesting perspective on this as someone who has grown and developed in her career for over 20 years with one company.
Back in 1999, at the age of 29, Tanja took a job as Development Editor at Pearson, which provides high quality, digital content and learning experiences, as well as assessments and qualifications that help people build their skills and grow with the world around them.
“I taught English in high school,” she explained. “I knew that I wanted to get into publishing. I discovered an opportunity to do this when I moved to Boston and learned about Pearson’s presence there. It was helpful to take this role after I had been both a student and a teacher.”
This role as Development Editor was the first of seven different roles she has assumed with the same company. Currently, as the Enterprise Account Director, Tanja is the primary Pearson contact for institutional leaders at enterprise and private sector accounts.
It is difficult to know about the different opportunities that can arise from a particular role. Tanja notes: “You just take the opportunity that's right in front of you. You never know everything about the opportunity until you're actually in that job. Now you can research jobs on the internet. But until you're actually in that job, you don't know if that's going to be the right job for you. So there's always an element of risk. But you have to jump and do it if it seems like the right thing to do at the time.”
Taking an initial risk and pivoting away from teaching has certainly paid off for Tanja.
“The business evolved in the time that I have been with Pearson,” she said. “We moved from a predominantly print to a predominantly digital business in education. With that transformation came new opportunities and also the necessity to move into something new and to grow and to adapt.”
Good management tips
Good management can be challenging, especially when resources are lean and expectations are high.
“It's hard to be in management,” she explained. “I think people don't always start as being good managers. They learn along the way. They have to trust their people. It is important to build diverse teams. You need a variety of different voices and types of people. You don't want to have a team in which everyone acts and thinks the same.''
Tanja's advice for aspiring innovators and my takeaways
It was interesting to hear Tanja’s thoughts on how I and others can make a difference in the workforce one day. A key point she shared was around having perspective.
“We work to make money for that other part of our lives,” Tanja shared. “But it's more than that. It needs to feel integrated to make life meaningful. I think you have to also know your limits. And for me, it was important not to take on more than I thought that I could handle and by consequence add too much stress into my life.”
It can be difficult to know when we are taking on too much responsibility and when we need to push ourselves. Tanja advises that we work on self-awareness.
“Sometimes you need to look at the whole picture,” she said. “And sometimes just taking the next great big opportunity may not be the right thing.”'
My career goal is to become an expert in the field of business administration. I look forward to setting up a personal business. I am inspired by Tanja’s advice as I need to go into the direction of my dreams and know that the path to success won’t be a straight road. I need to take on challenges and obstacles that come along that path.
Learn more about Tanja Eise at her LinkedIn profile.
Hissen Sadan is a student at Southern New Hampshire University. He wrote this story after going through the Global Innovators Academy Interview an Innovator experience.