ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. — Contrary to popular belief, your career does not make you. You make your career.
Steffanie B. Easter, acting Assistant Secretary of Army (Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology), or ASA (ALT), spoke to the Aberdeen Proving Ground, or APG, workforce about her thoughts on how to propel your career during the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center’s, or ATC, seventh annual Women in Leadership session May 11.
Easter graduated from North Carolina State University in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and went on to complete her master’s degree in engineering management from the Catholic University of America.
Easter serves as the ASA (ALT) senior procurement executive and Army acquisition executive, while being responsible for leading and supervising acquisition, procurement, research and development, and logistics endeavors within the Army acquisition enterprise. She also oversees the development of policies, programs, and processes to streamline Army acquisition efforts.
Easter started her presentation by providing the audience with some advice.
“You should never be defined by your job,” Easter said. “Don’t be the type of person who thinks you’re only as good as the job that you hold… because you’re a lot more.”
With over 30 years of federal service, Easter believes that if you are interested in the progression of your career, it is your responsibility to take charge. “If you want it, you’re going to have to put yourself in the position to receive it.”
“Preparation, positioning and a positive attitude” are three characteristics that Easter believes can assist in propelling a career.
Easter explained preparation by working hard to be the best at what you do and paying attention to the details about yourself, both good and bad. “Recognize what the gaps are in your skill set and follow through by working to improve them.”
“Working to improve your overall skill set will better position yourself for different opportunities,” Easter said.
Easter expressed that during the preparation and positioning phases of your career, never lose a positive attitude. “There will be times, especially when things don’t go your way, but you have to keep your head up high, believe in yourself and have a positive attitude.”
“Do this because that sends a message that regardless of the situation, I am still me,” Easter said. “I am still a professional, I am still confident, and I am able to do anything that I put my mind to… and people notice that.”
Easter added two additional ways on how to propel your career: patience and pay it forward.
“Once you have propelled your career and you’ve gotten to where you have always dreamed of, you’ve got to pay it forward,” Easter said. “If someone helped and mentored you throughout your career, I believe that you owe it to help someone else.”
A question and answer session followed Easter’s presentation.
ATC’s Women in Leadership series began March 2014 with the goal to expose the APG workforce to senior female leaders and listen to how perseverance has guided their careers.