Jordan Connelly, senior vice president at the Atlanta office of Worldwide Facilities spoke exclusively to Insurance Business about her passion for mentoring.
“Because some did that for me, I feel like I owe it to someone else,” she told Insurance Business.
For Connelly, who established the company’s East Coast office in 2014, life’s busy. “We’re always chasing business. I tell the person I’m mentoring, ‘Sometimes you’ll just have to come sit in my office. You’re not interrupting. The door’s always open. I’m here to help you learn,’ ” said Connelly.
Connelly’s is a success story made particularly sweet given her relative youth. Entering the industry as a business studies graduate and intern at Cooper Gay Swett & Crawford when she was 23 years old, Connelly was building her own book of business within six months, and made vice president seven years later.
“I had incredible mentors,” said Connelly, who credits her success in particular to the example of female colleagues, who had made their way in a more challenging, traditionally male environment than she ever had to face. Connelly said she never experienced sexism, and family-owned company Worldwide Facilities accommodates flexible schedules, enabling her to balance career with motherhood.
But her move to Worldwide Facilities after 11 years at Cooper Gary Swett & Crawford was not an easy decision. “I had to take a leap of faith and be willing to start something new,” she said. The role required her to grow a whole new business, to run an office, “to build something from the ground up”.
“It meant leaving everything I had ever known. But I knew that if I stayed at Swett, I would always be viewed as the intern that just stuck around,” said Connelly. But she has no regrets. "For me, my career took off when I made that move,” she said.
Her advice for women starting out, is: “Surround yourself with a solid team of good people … of various strengths. And get a mentor. I think a lot of people lose sight of what they want to be because they don’t have that mentor who they can go to and pick advice from,” she said.
Her motto? She has two: “Be intentional … it changes the outcomes of your day”; and “Leave this world better today than you found it this morning.”