Three Questions With Nicolette Stewart, Associate Manager, Customer Success Management
Meet Nicolette Stewart, Associate Manager, Customer Success Management at SailPoint. Her career journey started back in 2001 where she worked as Provincial Secretary for the Director of the Fraud Unit in the South African Police Force. While that may sound like an unlikely beginning to where she is now, it fed her curiosity in online security safety and how easy it is to falsify an online identity. “That job helped me build my confidence as in Nov 2004 I moved to the UK with my two young children in search of a better future for the three of us,” Nicolette said.
Before making her way to the #SailPointCrew, she did some temping for Vodafone and then moved on to a data governance company. She stayed there for 10 years before finding her home (and happy place) at SailPoint in April 2018. We sat down with her to learn more about her career journey and leadership advice!
What was your first career win, and how did that help you get to where you are now?
My first career win and possibly the most symbolic event in my career was when I got the position working at the Police. I will never forget my father’s face when I told him I was offered the position. There had been 14,000 applicants for seven positions that were available, and I got one of them. “You see my girl, they see in you what I see you in you. Now you just have to believe in yourself.” Those words that he said to me have stayed with me forever and are the driving force for my success. Sadly, my father passed in Dec 2005, a year after I left South Africa, but every time I have a career win, I remind myself of how proud he was of me that day, and I give myself a small tap on the back, and I continue moving forward.
What habits or rituals do you have when you feel stuck?
Well, I look at this question as having two possible answers.
If I feel stuck trying to solve a work issue or query, I like to doodle and draw on my notepad while thinking of the issue, and sometimes the answer will hit me from nowhere. Occasionally I discuss it with my partner. Although he is in no way a CSM, he has listened to enough of my stories and daily recollections that sometimes he even surprises me with the suggestions and ideas he comes up with.
If I feel stuck in the sense of fight or flight, I face the situation head-on most of the time. Don’t get me wrong–I know when to pick my battles. But being the youngest of six daughters, you kind of learn to stand your ground and be assertive. My father used to say: stomach in, chest out, which in literal terms means “push your chest out and raise your shoulders to stand strong,” and those words resonate in how I take on every situation that comes my way.
What are you most proud of?
My biggest and proudest achievement in my life are my sons. To have had the opportunity to move to the UK when they were young so they could achieve their full potential with all the opportunities bestowed on them. To be able to share in our individual successes as adults and to appreciate being able to not only watch them grow into amazing young men but for them to be able to watch me continuously pushing and innovating to be the best version of myself. It is not easy immigrating and leaving family and friends at only 25 years old, but I am proud of myself and my boys for not wasting a single day and making sure that we embrace every opportunity that comes our way.