After a short conversation with Canstar’s Group Executive, Digital & Marketing, Sara Tweedly, we’re left feeling inspired and energised. Here’s a woman whose personal and professional development over the last six years has been intrinsically connected to the accelerated growth of her employer. She’s progressed to the executive team, grown a team from two people to 34 and has become a mum. Canstar has backed her every step of the way.
Sara Tweedly joined the Canstar Group, which includes Australia's biggest financial comparison site, Canstar and Canstar Blue, the site known for helping consumers compare their energy, telco, whitegoods and much more, in 2013. She has over 15 years’ experience in the finance marketing, digital and communications industries working internationally and locally, and for six years at Canstar in a fast-paced leadership position. Today, she offers three pieces of advice to those pursuing leadership roles.
1) Connect with a company that thrives on change.
It’s easy to walk the beaten path of patterns, procedures and programs; familiarity is hypnotic. Yet, Sara asks us to challenge this temptation and to actively seek employers who aren’t afraid of fresh ideas or bold moves.
“Canstar has changed so much in the last six years. We’ve almost tripled in size - going from about 50 to 150 staff! We’ve expanded our focus from a pure B2B organisation to a dual sided marketplace servicing B2B and B2C. At the same time, we’ve been making the transition to digital and we’ve seen a significant growth in brand awareness, traffic to our websites and revenue as a result.”
2) Prepare to face challenges and back yourself
It’s with the wind of change, Sara argues, that personal and professional growth blossoms.
“Our growth as a business has translated directly to my personal development. It’s been incredible to build a team that delivers results while growing my leadership and management capabilities as well as rapidly building-on existing skills and learning new ones. Of course, scaling quickly comes with its own challenges. I’m growing with the company, and others are too. It’s particularly satisfying to hire someone and watch them develop and progress within the company. Change creates opportunities.”
3) Find a company whose purpose ignites your passion
“I believe that financial literacy is so important. At Canstar, we help consumers to have the confidence to make the right decision when it comes to all things money, whether it’s choosing a home loan, super fund, energy energy provider or purchasing a big ticket household item. This is the core of what we do. This alignment of values is key and it makes it easier for me to come to work and manage the daily juggle of my career with parenting a curious and ever-growing beautiful daughter.
What’s more, I’m proud to work for an inclusive firm like Canstar that was totally supportive of me as I embarked on my motherhood journey. Canstar recognises the importance of cultivating different perspectives, which helps build a transformational culture. People feel safe to be a challenger; this means our moves are not only bold, but smart with a vision for the long term.”
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