Workplace Wisdom: Caroline Withers

Gina Decicco

Editor’s Note:

Working from home during this new and unfamiliar time can be tough, but for ‘Keeters like Caroline Withers, it’s important to keep making connections and get outside as much as possible. We caught up with Caroline to learn more about her time at Terakeet, hear her advice for new and seasoned team members, and find out how she spends her time outside of work.

Q1: What is your role and how long have you worked at Terakeet?

I’m a Senior Digital Outreach Specialist / Team Lead in the Outreach Department and have been at Terakeet for just over two years.

Q2: What advice would you give someone who is new to Syracuse or to Terakeet?

Get outside! There are so many great spots to hike, ski, kayak, swim, snowshoe, etc., and so many ‘Keeters who would love to show you their favorites. Check out the local spots close to the city, like Onondaga Lake Park and Burnet Park, but don’t be afraid to venture out a bit. Spots like Green Lakes State Park, Tinker Falls, and Highland Forest are all close by and beautiful. 

Q3: List a quote that has helped you get through a tough time.

“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – A.A. Milne

Whether you’re a young or seasoned professional, it can be easy to doubt yourself and your experience. This quote helps remind me to trust my experience and challenge myself professionally, even in little ways, everyday.

Q4: How do you unwind after a case of the Mondays?

Gannon’s ice cream and wine on the porch with friends.

Q5: If you could invite any famous businessperson or workplace guru to dinner, who would it be and why?

Rose Marcario, the former CEO of Patagonia. She helped the company become more environmentally-focused, politically-outspoken, and supportive of working parents which are all causes close to my heart. I’d love to pick her brain about the best ways to balance financial success with a social mission and any tips she has for young professional women.

Q6: If you could only use 5 workplace tools or platforms, what would they be and why?

  • Slack: Cross- and inter-team communication is key at Terakeet, so having a singular platform to do so is super helpful. Slack makes it easy to stay connected to my coworkers for valuable professional conversations, but it also makes it easy to feel engaged socially while remote, through channels like Recipes or BachelorNation.
  • Google Drive: My team and I use Docs, Slides, and Sheets every day to write, edit, and track our progress. It’s such a time-saver to be able to work out of the same document as your teammates. 
  • Zoom Whiteboard: Anyone who’s worked closely with me knows I absolutely love our huge meeting room whiteboards in the office. I’m a very visual worker, so the Whiteboard tool in Zoom has been a great substitute for me while remote. Whether it’s a game of pictionary with coworkers, or a creative brainstorm session, being able to all throw some ideas down together has made collaboration much easier and more fun!
  • SEMRush: This tool is so versatile, it helps us complete keyword, content, and community research efficiently, while also making it simple to track and monitor our clients’ performance.
  • Grammarly: With the amount of content we produce, Grammarly is my best friend. Even for the most grammar sensitive, this tool helps act as a second set of eyes during self-edits.

Q7:  What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received from a coworker?

“Don’t be afraid to reach out to ____.”

All of my professional mentors have made it clear that nearly everyone is willing and excited to help others. When I was fresh out of college, approaching seasoned professionals seemed intimidating, but this advice gave me the confidence I needed to ask questions at the company-level and reach out to executives for a meeting. Those conversations have really made the difference in my personal and professional growth and development, and now this is the advice I always give those I mentor. Don’t be afraid to pick someone’s brain whom you respect– that’s often the best place to find inspiration for growth and build meaningful professional relationships.

Q8: How do you maintain your work-life balance after a long day of remote work?

Getting outside right after work, no matter if it’s on a run, hike, or just a walk around the block, has really helped me differentiate the time I spend working and relaxing. It can be all too easy to just close my laptop and turn on Netflix, but this little outdoor break helps me feel like I’m “leaving the office,” and positively reframes the rest of the evening.

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