Kim Williams is currently serving in the role of New Business Coordinator, Atlantic Region with NFP. In this role, Kim is responsible for leading new business clients through the onboarding process, ensuring a positive client experience as they assimilate into the NFP service matrix.
Here is what Kim had to say when we asked her about navigating your career as a lifelong learner with a growth mindset:
GenHERation®: What is a growth mindset?
Kim Williams: For me, a growth mindset is being able to continuously develop your talent and your level of knowledge and intelligence. A growth mindset is where you are pushing yourself outside of your comfort zones and embracing opportunities to learn, whether it’s from mistakes, other people, or learning to be a better you. You need to learn that growth can be positive. Without rain, nothing grows. You have to grow to be successful and feel good about yourself. You can’t do the same thing over and over again and expect to get the same results.
GenHERation®: How can you demonstrate that you have a growth mindset when you are a member of an organization?
Williams: Put in the work to demonstrate that you are a team player, be open-minded, accept constructive feedback, and incorporate ways to improve by learning from mistakes. I think it is very important to admit when you’ve made a mistake because failure is part of the process of learning. The only way you can learn from a mistake is by admitting that you made one and understanding what you can do differently for a better outcome next time. Demonstrate your commitment to continuous learning by setting goals and being motivated to reach them.
GenHERation®: What advice do you have for overcoming challenges?
Williams: Embracing challenges is the best advice I could offer. Why? There is always something positive to learn from the situation. Challenges will be harder to overcome if you are defeated by negativity. Stay positive. Also, ask for help. If you don’t know where to begin or what to do, just ask! I have learned that you must ask for help. Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time struggling when you could have reached out for help.
GenHERation®: What actions can you take to be a lifelong learner?
Williams: As you progress in your career, I would advise staying up to date with new technology. By continuing to learn and exposing yourself to new technology, you’ll find better ways of planning and organizing. My advice would also be to take courses to sharpen your soft skills; these are essential workplace necessities as you navigate conflict management and constructive feedback. Conflict management is something that you can’t avoid in the workplace. Accepting feedback gives you a mechanism to adapt in the workplace.
GenHERation®: What is one skill that you should possess to succeed in the workforce no matter what career path you pursue?
Williams: I can speak from my own experience and say being a good listener is extremely important. Everybody wants to be heard and everyone has their own opinions. We can never say that we know too much or know what will happen next. Take the pandemic, for example. Who could have predicted we would all be locked down working from home for two years? From that perspective, you must be able to actively listen and hear. Purposefully engage when individuals are speaking to you. When you become a good listener, you’re able to add to the conversation. Your voice is heard and you can make good contributions. Also, when you’re a good listener, you can accept feedback. When someone has a different opinion or offers constructive feedback, you need to be able to accept it, so you can make a positive contribution going forward—that is growth.
GenHERation®: What is one book that all professionals should read?
Williams: Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson, M.D. It’s a small book filled with great advice. A former manager of mine suggested that I read it for personal and professional development. As a result of reading the book, I can recognize when change is necessary in life, and career aspirations. For individuals who are moving from different stages of life, this book is great because it discusses how to deal with change, know when it’s time to make a change, and successfully navigate that change.
GenHERation®: What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Williams: Encourage yourself. Life is hard, and life comes at you fast. I have found that even in your lowest moments when nothing seems to be going right according to your plan, you have to tell yourself to keep going and that you are more than enough. When you don’t get that promotion or lead in the choir, get past that emotion. You are all that you have, so encourage yourself. No one else can want something for you more than you want it for yourself.
Kim Williams is currently serving in the role of New Business Coordinator, Atlantic Region with NFP. In this role, Kim is responsible for leading new business clients through the onboarding process, ensuring a positive client experience as they assimilate into the NFP service matrix. During her time at NFP, Kim has made contributions in the roles of Account Manager, as well as Underwriter. Prior to joining NFP, in July 2015, Kim worked in various industries where she has had a positive impact in the roles of Benefits Manager, Senior Benefits Analyst, and HR Generalist. With over 25 years of experience in the employee benefits industry, Kim continues to seek new ways of learning and growing, both professionally and personally, while encouraging and supporting others along the way. Kim holds a B.S. in Business Administration from North Carolina Central University and a M.S. in Organizational Change and Leadership from Pfeiffer University.