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Shifting Career Directions to Take the Lead in a New Industry

A while back, we got introduced to Jamie Nash, who is currently taking the leadership skills she's gained in the corporate sector, and translating them into entrepreneurial pursuits within sustainable agriculture as she builds a potato farming business. We love sharing stories of professionals who undergo career transformations, daring to ask "why not?" in order to find their true purpose.

Jamie is one of those professionals, which is why we couldn't think of a better way to gear up for February, which are dedicating to Audacious Leadership here at OutGrowth. Over the course of the next month, we will share stories of brave leaders across industries who took their professional development into their own hands, and set out to change how we are tackling social and environmental issues through forging their own path.

Here's our rapid-fire Q+A with Jamie- happy reading!

What are your next steps toward growth in 2020?

I am doing a cannon ball into the deep end of my career. I am going back to my roots and starting a farm. I want to immerse myself within value-added agriculture, tapping into my creativity and business acumen to disrupt the farming industry. I plan to attend a variety of meetings and conferences to learn more, strategically grow my network and develop new relationships, and be a force of nature.

At OutGrowth, we are committed to giving access. Tell us about your approach to your team's leadership development and career competency-building, and what this concept of access has meant for you.

My leadership approach is to tailor my style to each team member by building genuine relationships, finding how to best motivate and encourage each person, and being humble and giving credit to my team. I believe in the power of authenticity, empathy, and servant leadership. I know that experiencing cultures through traveling and living oversees has helped expand my perspective and view around the concept of access. You don't need to fly halfway across the world to figure out that we have important work to do right here in Maryland.

Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment in your own development as a leader and professional.

I created and ran a success Internship Program at PSA Financial.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook?

Building a successful program from scratch boosted my confidence as a professional and helped steer my career to use my gifts and my passions together to help others.

Tell us your approach to remaining dedicated to your own professional development. What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals who are looking for ways to stay committed to their own growth?

Personally, I enjoy collaborating with nonprofits which often yields professional growth. Through serving on several nonprofit Boards, using skilled volunteering, and attending various programs and trainings in the community, I'm able to stay engaged, give back and grow.

My top three pieces of advice would be:

1. Invest at least 3% of your resources (time, income) to professional/self-development. This helps keep you engaged and sharp and gives you an edge. It's also exciting to learn new things, network in new places, and meet new people.

2. If you haven't failed at something recently, you're doing something wrong. Out of failure comes character, learning, growth, bravery, and future success.

3. Challenge yourself in new, interesting ways. Build your network of authentic, wonderful people who want to connect you, expand your perspective and can encourage and give you advice.

If you could go back in time and give one piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

Be bold, say yes more, and believe in yourself.

What is your favorite quote?

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead

Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe will be most important in 2020 and beyond?

Innovation, Empathy/Emotional Intelligence, Adaptive/Attitude Towards Change

Jamie Nash is a budding entrepreneur who received her Bachelor’s degree from McDaniel College, and is currently pursuing her MBA at the University of Baltimore. She previously worked for PSA Insurance & Financial Services and T. Rowe Price. She is active in the community through Board leadership and volunteering. In 2020 and beyond, Jamie will be starting her own potato farm, committing her career to value-added agriculture.


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