A passionate baker, a hodophile, and a PR practitioner; Stephanie Sicilia spends her morning filling us on her journey from sales to now the Head of Public Relations for a global tech company!
You have explored various areas of marketing, starting from sales to PR, what’s the one leadership trait that has stuck by you?
Walk the talk! As a leader, you can’t just tell your team you have to do this and that. Since my sales days, I have been trained to show example, prioritize and be extremely focused to reach my end goal. Nothing else matters if you are a team, but you don't walk the talk.
In the past year or so, remote work has become the new normal. What do you foresee the changes in the next five years?
I think it depends on the nature of the industry. In general, a lot of people will have changes in their working habits. First of all it was very hard to adjust to work from home arrangement where you have to ensure that you prioritize your work and you divide time between your family and your work. In the long run, you’ll be able to choose what to prioritize and excel in your work. In terms of the industries that I've seen; there was a lot of stereotype that you have to get work done by sitting in your desk. But now, that has changed and you can do your work anywhere, as long as you have the right mentality and the discipline. You also need to think about your teammates – if you slack off, you’ll be affecting your team members. These are some of the ways that companies will measure productivity and trust their employees more.
What’s the biggest career risk that you’ve taken?
I think for me was making the shift from sales to PR. In terms of pay, it’s a vast difference; where in sales it was commission based and your time and effort could be quantified – the sky is the limit. In agencies, it’s not comparable. I realised that my passion is in PR and I’m a very people person and I’m intrigued to come up with different communication for different companies. I took the plunge and made the change. It’s one of the biggest career risks that I’ve taken, because in terms of monetary compensation, this was only 10% of what I made in sales.
Do you get to mentor a lot of people in your industry?
Luckily, I’ve had a chance to work with a lot of young talents from different industries who want to try out different things. Since my agency days, I was quite lucky to help them grow from scratch. The company grew from 3 people when I joined, to 25 when I left. I was also given the opportunity to mentor the team from internship to junior level. This also helped me to see things from a different perspective and when I moved to my current company, we grew from 10 employees to about 200 employees.
How has Ibu Kartini left an impact on you?
Modern day women look up to Ibu Kartini for what she has done. Back in her days, she took up a very bold move; to be vocal for women empowerment when things were very different. As a modern woman, I feel very lucky to be able to chase my dreams and not having to live up to society’s expectation as a woman.