Carolyn Everson

VP of Global Marketing Solutions

Location: New York, NY

"Instead of succumbing to limiting thoughts, I decided to fully lean in and embrace the opportunity."

I’ll never forget that Thursday night in October when my mobile phone rang as I walked up the steps to my best friend’s house. The call was from an industry acquaintance, wondering whether I would be interested in talking with Sheryl Sandberg about a role leading Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions team.

My initial response was, “You have to be kidding me. I’m just settling in to a great new job and now you’re calling me with the opportunity of a lifetime?” After a few deep breaths, I said I would take the meeting with Sheryl. But inside, I was torn. How could I leave my team after such a short time? Doesn’t Facebook already have marketing all figured out? How would I fit into Facebook’s culture?

That night I barely slept as I carefully considered the position. I knew the opportunity would not come again. This is what I had been preparing for my whole career—to lead a high growth global team around a brand I couldn’t be more passionate about.

I approached the interview with a mix of excitement and trepidation. Over the course of a single exhausting day, I met with nearly all of the company’s senior leaders. With each interview, I gained confidence that my experience leading teams, driving revenue and thinking like a marketer would be valuable to the company. There was no question in my mind that I would fit in culturally.

When I was offered the job, I was faced with the biggest career decision of my life: do I stay with my current team (who I had quickly grown to admire) or do I take the risk of joining something totally new and essentially start over? The role was also “smaller” on paper than the one I currently had. The team was also smaller; I wouldn't have as wide of a range of responsibility as I currently had. Of course, there would also be the doubters who might publicly question how I could leave a company after just nine months.

Instead of succumbing to limiting thoughts, I decided to fully lean in and embrace the opportunity. The role was not something I'd been seeking, yet it has turned out to be the best career decision I have ever made. After two years, I cannot imagine my career and my life had I not answered my phone on that October evening on the steps of my friend’s home. Life is not predictable—but it is magical.