Thursday, June 21, 2012

Gals We Admire: Jean Blacklock

A lawyer who owns a cupcake business? Jean Blacklock certainly got our attention with her interesting career choices. In fact, you might just say she's got one sweet life. 
Name: Jean Blacklock
Profession: President, Prairie Girl Bakery Ltd.
Twitter handle: @prairiegirlbake

Describe your typical work day, from start to finish
I get into the bakery at about 7:30-8 am. After saying hello to the bakers working then, I catch up with the head baker and the manager, finance and operations. Usually one or both of them want to discuss something they are working on or an issue that has come up. From there, my day revolves around strategy (new locations, advertising, website revisions, opportunities the business has, such as being part of a TV show or charitable event) or operational matters such as customer concerns or questions, scheduling the customer service team, interviewing people or doing update meetings with someone on the team. 

When you were a kid, what did you want to grow up to be?
A lawyer, which I am. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like having the final say on all important decisions; I like motivating the team in a positive way to create excitement about the business; I like the creative aspects of building and evolving a business. 

What do you find to be the biggest challenge in your profession?
The biggest challengeand also the most rewarding aspectis finding, training, motivating, and rewarding really good people. 

Do you believe you had a "calling" for your profession?
Yes… I believe that all three of my careerslaw, business in a public corporation, and starting my own business–have "called" to me. Each of them requires the ability to make a path or a vision clear for others and to be creative. 

What are the three most important pieces of career advice you would give to other Canadian Career Gals?
Whatever you are doing right now, focus on doing it really well and learning as much as you can from the experience. It may not be where you want to end up but there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on the past or overthinking the next chapter. 

Have integrity – always be honest and forthright, answer calls, return emails, be on time, do what you say you will do, treat everyone the same and in the manner you would want to be treated. 

Be humble – care more about making others feel comfortable and helping them do well than looking good yourself. Everything that goes around comes around–good or bad. Don’t boast–better that people hear about your accomplishments from others and not you.

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