Having the courage, self-worth and grace to jump

I have worked in a corporate environment since I was 15 as a team member at a local movie theater. Job duties included scooping popcorn; selling movie tickets to Patch Adams or the Truman Show; and requesting donations for the Jimmy Fund. As an introverted teenager, the public display of asking for something was overwhelming. To all those that frequented GCC, thank you for your grace and patience vs. tossing your recent snack counter purchases at me.

After the theater closed, I began leading my way through the retail sector for 14 years followed by six in healthcare. I am proud that I had the opportunity to be on teams with what I would consider, game changers in the industry. People that taught me about grace and humility; about operational excellence and doing the right thing to achieve it; about humanity and investing in people will get it right, every dang time. I am grateful for the women who gave me the gift of their mentorship in some of my finest moments and in some moments where I too needed their grace.

Making the change from a corporate environment to a our start-up was the greatest leap of faith. As the youngest child in my family living with my mother, I always played it safe, I would not step off if I did not know I would land.

As a woman, I am actively working to break the narrative of, am I worthy, am I enough? It has become a part of who we are, unconsciously, and the string of thoughts runs through our heads every day, with every interaction.

Be polite; be quiet; listen;

you should not make more then your male colleagues;

follow their lead;

don’t say things that will hurt their ego;

you are too aggressive etc;

And I am white cishet; the data and personal stories show that for BIPOC and specifically Black, Latinx, Indigenous, LGBTIQA+, women it is more hostile, higher expectations, constant micro-aggression, etc.

In my heart, I have always known what I was capable of and my performance reviews have supported that, but why did or do I still question myself? I know that I have learned from some amazing humans and I know that I no longer want to sit on the sidelines. Taking the jump with courage, authenticity, and grace has been the most rewarding experience of my career.

In being a start-up, we are able to make swift decisions to meet our clients needs. We are able to own our own destiny as a team with no bureaucratic obstacles in our way. We are a lean and fierce group looking to establish trust with our clients and candidates alike. We will live our lives in service, one relationship and connection at a time.

– Casey Gilfillan

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