Fintech Careers

Celebrating Women’s History Month — We Own Our Journey

By Carmen Jeffords, Senior Client Success Manager, DailyPay

Carmen Jeffords, Senior Client Success Manager at DailyPay

Carmen Jeffords, Senior Client Success Manager at DailyPay

When I think of Women’s History Month, I think of all the women who made significant contributions through their hard work by taking on different challenging roles. Those women fought and won the right to gender equality through tenacity. I am inspired by those women who became pioneers in their own right. 

I grew up with a hard-working mother whose sole focus was ensuring my sisters and I were cared for. I learned a lot from watching my mother never complain about going to work while taking care of family responsibilities. She spoke through actions more than words. Her family was her purpose and daily motivation. But she would always find time to help any friend or family member who was struggling. She showed me what acts of kindness were, and therefore I learned from a young age to always pay it forward I made sure to play my part by supporting her the best that I could, whether it was helping out with my younger sisters or making sure the house was in order. I took on more responsibility because it was the right thing to do. 

Witnessing my mom’s tenacity, I was determined to succeed. I was determined to get my bachelor’s degree – even while balancing a full-time job. I pushed myself against all odds I was determined to succeed in both roles – just as I saw my mom succeed. 

I saw the value of higher education early on, knowing it could open the door to many job opportunities – and it did. Early on in my career, my first boss pointed out that I had a strong work ethic. His comment stuck with me – it assured me that I was able to accomplish my goal. 

As I continued on my professional journey, I began to understand how important it is to make work connections. Lean on your co-workers; we aim for similar personal and work goals. There is much to be learned by listening to others’ experiences. I still remember my first mentor, Dorothy. She was a kind, patient, and humble person. She took me under her wing and took the time to share her deep knowledge of the job to help me be successful. When moments at work got tough, she was my rock. She always had a smile and a positive attitude about everything. It was because of her that I wanted to pay it forward by being a mentor to others. When I became a mentor I took that responsibility seriously. I made sure my mentees knew I was in their corner to help them succeed. My door was always open. 

Over the years, my co-workers taught me different lessons on what it means to succeed in the workplace –  about exercising patience and faith, our destined paths will fall into place. A former co-worker, Nancy, taught me that through perseverance it would be possible to find a company that aligns with your values and work-life balance. Daisy emphasized that for every closed door, a new one opened that unlocked her next career destination. Don’t move mountains, climb them. Be resilient in your quest. These lessons were proof that the grass can truly be greener on the other side.   

I was fortunate to have been surrounded by inspirational and motivational leaders throughout my career that I could lean on and vice versa. I appreciated the leaders who pushed me out of my comfort zone. They saw potential and took a chance on me. The tenacity that was instilled in me at an early age persevered. This led to my career growth and taking on more challenging roles. In those challenges, I thrived and blossomed as a performer.  

As I started my career in Client Success, one of my strongest advocates was James. He was a visionary who wanted to keep elevating the client experience, something we had in common. He was quick to add me to new projects and encouraged my out-of-the-box way of thinking. He valued my opinions and when I came up with ideas that were implemented, he would give me the credit. It was a true partnership. 

The transition to being a working mother was another balancing act for me. As many working mothers can relate, returning to the workplace after maternity leave can be daunting. I remember the nervous feeling. I asked myself, “Would my workplace support me?”  All my colleagues embraced me and were so happy to see me again. My company at the time had accommodations for new mothers and support groups. I took advantage of that, it’s so important to utilize the resources at hand. My job gave me a sense of fulfillment and purpose. On the roughest days, I was always thankful to my co-worker Dave, he would wish me good night and say I was now going home to do my most important job: being a mother. 

On the other front, I wanted to be as committed to being a mother as I am to being the best employee at my organization. It’s important to me, as a mother, that my son feels safe, understood, and supported by his parents. Finding the right coverage for my son as a working mother posed a challenge, what helped me was understanding my available resources. I leaned on my mom when my son was smaller and moved to daycare as he got older. Once he entered school I was able to take advantage of the afterschool programs. 

I wear empathy on my sleeve, I can always sense when a co-worker needs a helping hand. When I saw my co-worker Kat having a hard time as she was going through a serious illness, and having a particularly bad day at work, I took the time to check in on her and walked with her to the cafeteria. We sat down and had an open conversation about her health journey struggles. I wanted to support her as best as I could by listening. It was always thoughtful of her to ask how I was doing as a new mother. I admired her strength and for never making excuses about having to come to work. She told me that her teammates were her second family. She was right about that. She was the bright light in our group. Her passing left a void, I still miss her dearly. I learned from her to never take any moment for granted. 

I could name so many individuals who touched my life in one way or another throughout my career. I have many beautiful memories and learnings to draw from that lift me—tremendous gratitude for those who took the time to listen and gave me some of the best advice. Thank you is a word I use heavily. Even today I am fortunate to work with amazing co-workers who motivate and inspire me. I’m making new memories. I am driven by the DailyPay mission. It feels good knowing I’m making a difference by helping people achieve greater financial control in their lives. 

I’m constantly listening and learning. I like to smile and surround myself with laughter every chance I can. I always look for the good in people. No matter what roles I have taken along my journey, I had a silent strength that carried me through it all –all women possess this. We use our strength and give it to others who haven’t found theirs yet. Our paths are not defined by anyone but ourselves. We should not set limits, only possibilities. I’m surrounded by many amazing women, personally and professionally. I look ahead to the future with an open heart and mind. 

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