Homepage Heroes: Lauren and Dayna
Lauren Hardin and Dayna Weir are part of our fantastic Talent Team here at Simplicity - as Talent Managers they're often the first faces that our applicants see after they apply for a role. They're passionate, smart, and truly committed to finding the best match possible - for both client and consultant. We had such a fun conversation - I highly recommend connecting with both of them on LinkedIn (I linked their names to their profiles above) so you can see all of the goodness they share!
Sara: Tell me a little bit about your career path – Dayna, you start!
Dayna: I worked in secondary education, as a college and career advisor at Everett High School, for 11 years – I followed my children. It was important to me to be a part of their community and I loved working outside of the school with local clubs, and to generally be involved in our city. I was passionate about connecting students, staff, parents, career professionals, and scholarship funders; creating those connections totally invigorated me – it was all about making the match. When my children were getting ready to graduate, it was time to move on from the public school system, and Simplicity came my way!
Sara: And how did that happen? What (or who) brought you to Simplicity?
Dayna: Well, Sheryne and I went to school together – both high school and college (Go Cougs!). We were roommates, and she's like an aunt to my kids. I knew she worked with Simplicity and had these wonderful things to say about it, so she encouraged me to apply!
The thing that I love – what was transferable from the work I did in education to what I’m doing now – is figuring out what makes somebody tick. It’s fun to do in my personal life, and now I get to do it as a career! I have the opportunity to ask questions and listen deeply – I go beyond the cover of the book, which brings me to another that I love: books. I'm a total book lover. I have more books than I could ever read in my lifetime. Each book is unique and different, and I find that it's the same with people.
Sara: You’re still matchmaking!
Dayna: Yes! The wonderful thing about our job here at Simplicity is – to continue the book metaphor – we're not about just what’s on paper, we're about people and relationships. We don't just pass along words and information. It's about getting to know the person face-to-face (or face-to-screen), because there are things that can't be shown on paper. It's those soft skills, those SMILE qualities, the intangibles. Doing this work with Simplicity feels special to me because it's like digging into a good book and finding a story. One of our core values is building relationships, and once someone comes into our community, that relationship keeps growing, and they often don't want to leave!
Sara: Lauren, why don't you tell me a little bit about your path and what you love about being here at Simplicity?
Lauren: I’ve been pretty much consistently in higher education. When I was at college at Western, I fell into a work study job in the financial aid office, and I continued along that path after I graduated. I worked at Seattle University for a long time as a financial aid counselor, left and then became a scholarship provider for students with the College Success Foundation. I was still working within the realm of student service, but I was able to provide monetary support for them to achieve their dreams of a college education. When I left that role, I went to Bellevue College to be the scholarship and grant program manager.
I have always felt an affinity with students, especially since college was not the easiest time for me – I didn't know what I wanted to do or what I wanted to be, and it was a shock to go from high school where everything, including bathroom breaks, was managed and scheduled for the most part. So, I really wanted to be able to help other students who might be a lot like me, where they were kind of questioning their path and feeling lost, and tell them that's okay. I loved helping people achieve their educational dreams. I even ended up getting my Master's in Public Administration at Seattle University; I wrote my thesis was on the affordability of higher ed, and how we can make it more accessible for everyone.
Sara: And how did you come to be here at Simplicity?
Lauren: I came to Simplicity through Reiko (one of our Client Success Managers)! She and I worked together are at the College Success Foundation, and when I was looking to make a career pivot and do something different, she gave me the whole rundown on Simplicity. I didn’t know much about consulting, but the more I learn, the more I love the support system that we provide to our consultants. I appreciate the fact that we provide benefits, that we pair each consultant with a client success manager that supports them throughout the project, that there are people who are working to help redeploy them to another project once a contract ends. Like Dayna, I love working with the consultants, and learning about people, their backgrounds, their history, their stories, where they want to go. I also adore working with the clients and hearing about all of the fascinating work that they're doing. I'm a lifelong learner, so I find all of this really appealing, especially the part where I get to play a part in finding people meaningful work. I feel a certain amount of success and pride when I’m able to show our clients how awesome our consultants are.
Sara: What advice do you two, as Talent Managers, have for someone preparing to apply to become a consultant – to help them put their best foot forward?
Lauren: Simplicity has some great resources on the website, including Lisa’s personal brand workshops and webinars, so it’s definitely beneficial to start listening and looking into those. And make sure that you have your LinkedIn profile updated to reflect who you are, what you excel at, and where you thrive. We want to connect consultants with work that they love to do; it's what makes them feel accomplished and satisfied at the end of the day. And that's probably the most important thing we can do for our clients and our consultants, is make sure that we're placing them in on a project that they're excited to do.
Dayna: I would add that candidates should come prepared to share a story of success. We want to know what makes you shine, because when you talk about what you love, you just light up the room. Let's talk about a time when you felt really successful, because that will help us find you something that you really want to do, where you can keep shining bright.
Want to have a conversation with our delightful Talent Team?