Journeys, Each of Us Has a Story: written by Silvia Dalpicolo, JBS Communications Specialist
Recently, my employer JBS Carriers, interviewed me for the company newsletter. It is a wonderful feeling to know that you're employer supports and encourages your ambitious pursuits rather than stifle them. Enjoy!
MICHELLE GOMEZ OWNS HER BRILLIANCE: “I REFUSE THE WONDER WOMAN TITLE”
Life is full of choices.
When presented with a fork in the road, we often find ourselves agonizing over which path is right for us. But then everything comes into focus, and choosing our direction becomes crystal clear.
This narrative could apply to almost anyone at some point in life, but this is the actual story of Michelle Gomez, Western Regional Sales Executive for JBS Carriers.
Gomez’s life-changing decision came more than two years ago, when she decide to leave a job she had held for 13 years to join the JBS Carriers team. “This was the best decision I ever made. It changed my life for the better,” she said. The opportunity was presented to her by Kent Wickham. “He said he needed someone to take care of Sales on the West Coast.”
The opportunity meant not only changing companies, but also changing her career path. In her previous role, her 13 years were spent in Logistics and Transportation in the operational area. Transitioning to the sales team would be a big career challenge for her. “Rodrigo said he needed someone with a great deal of professional experience in Logistics and Transportation who also had business contacts in California, and I thought to myself: ‘This job is perfect for me,’ ” she said.
Gomez joined the team in January 2016 and she’s proud of all the accomplishments she’s had the opportunity to make thus far. She’s responsible for maintaining service sales of JBS Carriers' trucking assets and reaching the targets and goals set for West Coast regional sales, as well as expanding the company’s customer base in this region. “JBS is a very generous company that takes care of its team members,” Gomez said. “I’m happy to contribute to making the company even stronger if I can,” she said.
A few months before joining the JBS Carriers team, Gomez was feeling stuck professionally, and exhausted and frustrated personally. “I couldn’t make time for myself or my family. I spent 50 hours a week in the office. I felt like my creativity was drowning,” she said.
That’s when she discovered that she was suffering from Impostor Syndrome. This syndrome is, by definition, a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud." In Gomez’s case, it meant working too many hours a day, dealing with daily domestic duties by herself and staying busy all the time – essentially acting like a superwoman – but at the end of day, still feeling frustrated and exhausted.
“After accepting JBS’s job offer, I decided to slow down my routine to take care of myself,” she said. “I now had a job that allowed me to do just that.” Gomez works from home and has a full schedule of meetings with customers throughout the week, but now she has enough time to manage her professional duties, and still balance work time with family and personal time.
Gomez’s daily routine includes meditation in the morning, a workout and delegating some domestic chores to her family to allow more time to herself for relaxing or reading a book, for example.
“Being a working mom is very difficult for a lot of women,” she said. “We are taught, since we’re little, that we must handle everything: job, house, family, ourselves. But it’s OK to ask for help sometimes and admit that we can’t do everything by ourselves.”
To help other women suffering from Impostor Syndrome, Gomez decided to share her experience by writing her first book: “Own Your Brilliance: Overcome Impostor Syndrome for Career Success.”
“I’ve always wanted to be an author but didn’t actually get the idea to write the book until December 2017 after completing my MBA in Business Administration and Management. It was then that I found the time to set aside for creativity in writing the book,” she said. “I started it in January 2018 and finished the first draft of the manuscript in April 2018.” The book offers information on Impostor Syndrome, as well as how to identify it in yourself and a step-by-step guide to overcoming it and learning to thrive personally and professionally.
In her free time, Gomez mentors women who face problems managing their own lives or who suffer from Impostor Syndrome.
“I created a Facebook group and we have a weekly live chat to talk about whatever they need, from home issues to retirement plans or tips for job interviews. If I don’t have enough knowledge to help them, I invite a specialist to join us in the next chat,” she said. Gomez is also frequently invited to speak at conferences and on podcasts – even in other countries -- spreading the word far beyond California.
But Gomez doesn’t plan to stop there. She’s hopes to write other books -- also focused on career advice for women -- and to continue to mentor others.
“I would love to be part of some women’s committee, maybe at JBS, to help women who are embarking on a new role. This would be an excellent idea,” she said.
Meanwhile, Gomez also remains focused on doing good work for JBS Carriers, taking care of herself and working on her book.
“I hope to inspire women to live up to their fullest potential while cultivating a healthy work/life balance,” she said.
The advice she offers from learning this valuable life lesson? If you’re faced with a life-altering decision, always go with the choice that feels right to you, trust your gut and just do it.
*Interested in Michelle’s book? You can find it on Amazon.