SF Recap: Changemaker Chat with Whitney Mortimer

Changemaker Chat with Whitney MortimerJourneys to Self Discovery: A Changemaker Chat with Whitney Mortimer

In September, Changemaker Chats across the country delved into the theme of JOURNEY. We sat down with Whitney Mortimer, Partner and Chief Marketing Officer at IDEO, for the San Francisco chat to discuss her journey of connecting her passion and values to her work.

From traveling the world for two years while living out of a van to attending Harvard Business School, Whitney’s desire to experience, discover, and learn ultimately led her to a company she loves: IDEO. But it wasn’t always easy for Whitney. She shared the most powerful lessons she learned along her journey during the chat. Here are just a few of the takeaways.

Stay, or cut and run?: How do you know when to stay at a job, or when it’s time to move on. For Whitney, this decision became easy when she realized her work was out of step with her values. She wasn’t using her intuition to make decisions, and she knew that to be successful and fulfilled, she needed to work in an environment where there was room for instinct and emotion.

On overcoming doubt: Early on in her career, Whitney was faced with confronting feelings of confusion and frustration at work. She shared that she at times felt invisible, angry and stressed, which she often covered up. Knowing that things were ‘off’ on a deeper level, Whitney recognized that this led to feelings of not knowing herself, and not feeling safe and smart enough. It wasn’t until  joining IDEO where started understanding the value of reconnecting her heart with her brain.

Dear younger self: Whitney suggested that we get into the habit of inquiry. Ask for advice from all kinds of people, build your network (Changemaker Chats is a good start!) so you position yourself for good, serendipitous things to happen. And stay in dialogue with yourself, to ensure that you’re reflecting and evaluating your options.

Unplugging: Whitney spoke about the importance of going of unplugging so that she can truly recharge. She suggests getting out of reach so that you can come back recharged and inspired. For Whitney, this could be a solo walk in the woods, to an off the grid vacation.

Paying it forward: Next up for Whitney is a big focus on helping others with their journey. She’s looking forward to going beyond mentoring to sponsor people in their professional growth, and understand what she can offer them, and how those experiences might enrich her own journey.

Whitney already has a head start on that!


Photo credit: Sarah Gerber, Twenty Twenty Studios

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