Lessons from a Corporate Cliff-Jumper

Posted March 22, 2012 by Marcy Twete in On the Ladder

One of my favorite sayings is, “Jump and the net will appear.” Not only does this notion embody the idea of trusting yourself, it also implies a natural risk taking, something that can be difficult for women in general. Some of us are naturally risk averse, more apt to stay safely in a well-paying job or mediocre marriage than truly taking the risks that could, in fact, make us sublimely happy. Sue Hayden, Executive Vice President at Polycom, compared the decision making in her own career with cliff jumping. And what’s the most important step in cliff jumping? You have to jump. Jumping with confidence and trust in yourself is key in the process.

Sue Hayden was recently featured by Forbes writer Caroline Ceniza-Levine after she spoke at an event for Step Up Women’s Network New York. Sue gave this, and multiple other pieces of career advice after her time as what she calls a “corporate cliff-jumper.” She provides this, and more advice to women hoping to take risks, get ahead, and succeed in their careers.

Read Caroline’s profile of Sue Hayden now and tell me, what is a time in your career where you’ve taken her advice – Jump!

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."


    Amanda B.

    This is really great advice and something I experienced earlier this week. I was asked to Co-Chair a committee for the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section (IS). I’ve been an intern on the committee since July 2011 but jumping to a leadership position on the committee is a huge step. I am unfamiliar with the a lot of the processes for publishing and advertising but I decided to trust my instincts about the great things that would accompany this position. I know it will help with personal and professional development as well as present opportunities for networking and idea sharing.


      Amazing, Amanda! You wouldn’t have been asked to Co-Chair if they didn’t believe you were 100% capable of doing it! But sometimes it takes someone else to push you off the cliff – ha!

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