Q&A With Sophie Parisien On Her Career Success
As we celebrate this years International Women’s Day 2021, we are highlighting some of the women leaders that we have placed at exceptional organizations this year.
We are proud to have been involved in the appointment of Sophie Parisien as the Chief Operating Officer at Sicotte Guilbault Legal Services.
We asked Sophie a few questions relating to her successful career to date.
Q: What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
A: I am most proud of the team dynamics that I’ve had the honour to be part of and help create throughout my career. I enjoy connecting with people and seeing them achieve success – big and small. I love seeing people grow, and helping them reach their goals individually, or collectively as a team. There is nothing more gratifying to me than seeing people shine, watching them develop their own inner leadership drive, and helping them reconnect to their “why”.
Whether it’s leading the task of removing barriers to achieve a significant reduction in a department’s wait times, developing new service standards based on client feedback, or helping someone conquer work/life balance challenges by helping them develop a clear plan to meet important deadlines, it’s such a privilege to be able to be part of people’s “aha” moments and to observe the direct correlation these have on positive client experiences as a result of their engagement and individual sense of fulfillment.
Q: What leadership lessons have you learned during the pandemic?
A: Looking back on uncontrollable events often has a way of bringing perspective and clarity. The expression “never let a good crisis go to waste”, was certainly relevant last year.
A crisis forces you to analyze all aspects of your business, which is something that should be done more frequently than only during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic.
Lessons of resilience, compassion, vulnerability, adaptability, and creativity to capitalize on difficult times and adjust our business processes to be as efficient as possible, are probably the most prevalent ones I take away from last year.
I was also reminded that it’s OK not to have all the answers, and that everything is a learning experience, failures and successes alike. The “failures” are often the ones that allow us to grow the most, both professionally and personally. Taking lessons learned from hardship to heart and bouncing back quickly is the key to resilience, in my opinion.
Q: What’s the biggest focus for your organization in 2021?
A: If 2020 was about surviving, pivoting, and adapting, 2021 is about thriving, focusing on our brand, and growing our business to the best it’s ever been.
Our firm has identified a few priorities to focus on in 2021, including business development, space planning, staff engagement, and client experience. Each of these areas have been affected (both positively and negatively) by the impacts of the pandemic, and it’s exciting to see them evolve into what I hope will become an eventual new normal.
Q: What do you attribute your career growth to? Do you have any advice for aspiring leaders?
A: I’ve always had a strong thirst for knowledge, ongoing self-improvement, and a need to learn and grow, which I think have served me well in both my personal and professional life. I believe these are important for career growth in any field. I am convinced that we can learn something from every single person we meet, and that we can take their lessons and adapt them to our own circumstances.
I am a huge proponent of developing authentic, trusting, professional relationships with colleagues, and I think this is crucial for any leader. You’d be surprised what this foundation can do to help achieve amazing things with people!
Another piece of advice would include making career changes, when needed or appropriate. Simply put, you can’t grow when you become too comfortable. Although change may seem daunting, the best gift you can give yourself is the ability to learn how to not to be afraid of being afraid – because that’s where the magic of growth begins.
And lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously. Life is short – find a place where you can have fun at work!