Paying Kindness Forward
Meet Claire Thomas, senior account executive
Over the years, Claire Thomas has had her share of lucky breaks. But even better, she’s never failed to make the most out of them. "I’ve gotten very lucky having people take chances on me. But with every chance I’m given, I know I still need to work my butt off,” she says. As a senior account executive at CloudBees, Claire is the "quarterback” of her team, devising winning strategies for her accounts.
Claire has experienced a few twists and turns in her career. One of the biggest was going from sports to tech. In college, Claire majored in sports sales (despite secretly having no interest in sports) and graduated at a time when the market was on a slump. "I got a job selling season tickets for an NBA team and it was miserable, but I knew if I could get my first job, it would lead me to meet new opportunities. And it turns out, that actually happened.”
It wasn’t long before Claire starting landing jobs in the software industry, which eventually led her to CloudBees. "I was eight months pregnant, soon to be a single mom with three kids at home. I needed a job that paid more and that I could work remotely,” she says. Even though she couldn’t start work for another five months, "CloudBees took a chance on me and held my spot the whole time. That’s unheard of. I’ll forever be grateful.”
After all she’s been through, pre- and post-Covid, Claire says she’s always felt supported by her management team and pod. "I was told to pick a job based on who my managers would be. Because if you do that, you’ll almost always be happy and successful,” she recalls. Sure enough, she couldn’t have picked a better team.
"If they were willing to go out on a limb for me and they didn’t even know me, it showed how awesome they were and how they give people the latitude to have their own lives. I want to work to live, not live to work. That’s why I chose to come here,” she explains.
Likewise, Claire goes out on a limb for her peers. "Some people are really passionate about the tech aspect of their work,” she says. "I’m really passionate about my customers and my people.” It’s all about paying kindness forward, she says. "I want to help people, even if they aren’t in my region because I know what that feels like. I remember the reps who would talk with me and just check in with me or help me answer questions. They were my superheroes, and I would still break through a brick wall for those guys.”
Ultimately, Claire believes being authentic and real with each other is what makes her team so successful. All the changes and all the challenges through the years have contributed to a true "one-team” mentality, she says. "That’s what allows us to be authentic with each other. We live life with each other and see us grow into new humans. I think that trust is given by us, but we’ve all earned and fought for it.”
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