Workplace Wisdom: Kara Johnson

Caroline Withers

Editor’s Note:

Our ‘Keeters have a lot of wisdom to share. Terakeet’s growing team is filled with incredible, talented individuals with years of personal and professional experience. These individuals have been kind enough to share their knowledge with us in a monthly series known as “Workplace Wisdom.” This week’s wise team member is Senior Digital Outreach Specialist Kara Johnson.

Read on to discover how Kara stays cool and collected, utilizes Terakeet’s tech suite, and connects with coworkers in her day-to-day.

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

I am a Senior Digital Outreach Specialist and have been working here since May 2019. So a total of just about 2 and a half years!

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

Your experience in Syracuse and/or at Terakeet is all about what you make of it, so don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things! Whether it’s attending an event downtown with friends or scheduling a coffee meetup with co-workers outside of your department, there is a window of opportunity out there that is yours to take, so long as you are willing to seize it! 

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

“Become the person your younger self would want to look up to” – Goitsemang Mvula

To me, nobody’s opinion about you is more important than the one you have of yourself. Rather than finding validation from the world around me, I like to think back to this quote and remind myself that validation starts from within. The way I see it: if the person I was six years ago, six months ago, or even six days ago would be proud of the person I am today, then that is all that matters. Self-reflection plays a key role in confidence, drive, and overall gratification with yourself and the world around you. So, even in the toughest of times, I’ve learned that by focusing on being a person that my younger self would admire, maintaining a positive mindset, and continuing to grow both personally and professionally will come much more naturally, no matter the circumstances. 

Kara smiles as she rocks another Terakeet employee’s T-shirt design (Outreach Manager Leah Deming designs and sells clothing from her Etsy shop Hey There Saturday)!

Q4: How do you unwind after a long workday/case of The Mondays?

For me, spending time with mother nature is the best way to relax and collect my thoughts after a long day. Whether that means enjoying a cold beer on my front porch with some friends or going for a quick walk around the block, engaging in some sort of outdoor activity has proven to help me keep calm and carry on.

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

I would invite Sara Blakey, the founder of Spanx. Her dedication and drive to building her own company are extremely inspiring to me, especially considering the many roadblocks she experienced along the way. Specifically, I’d love to sit down with her and discuss how she overcame rejection and defeat from the many representatives that first turned her away because she didn’t already have an established company upon meeting them, and how that ultimately helped lead her to the successful American businesswoman and entrepreneur she is today.

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

SEMrush: To perform keyword research, get a better understanding of the competitive landscape, and optimize my content!

Google Calendar: Time management would not be possible for me if I didn’t have my Google Calendar to rely on. Aside from using it to keep track of my meetings, I also use this tool to add reminders about specific tasks and create my own workflow as it relates to my schedule on any given day.

Slack: This tool is my favorite way to quickly and easily communicate with my coworkers, either individually or collectively as a group.

Chorus: I cannot even imagine what my job in Outreach would look like if I didn’t have Chorus. Between email content and inboxes, Chorus truly does it all.

Hive: To manage my team projects and organize the timeline of upcoming projects like articles.

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

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. A coworker once told me this when I first started working at Terakeet, and it’s resonated with me ever since. I couldn’t agree more! Part of proving how valuable you are to a company and a team means applying your knowledge in a way that demonstrates how passionate you are about the work that you’re doing and the people you’re doing it with. Just being knowledgeable about a certain subject in your career isn’t enough to cultivate success if you don’t take a personal interest in it to begin with.


This is a continuation of our “Workplace Wisdom” series. Read the previous posts here:

Workplace Wisdom: Melissa Stefanec

Workplace Wisdom: Bridget Doherty

Workplace Wisdom: Tristan Amond

Workplace Wisdom: Darian Carrow