Emerging Leader Spotlight: Stephanie Hidalgo

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Every month we ask an emerging leader we admire to share what she is doing to take the lead in her career. We invite her to share how she achieved her current position, what obstacles she encountered on her climb, as well as tips for how to be a rising woman of influence.

This month we shine the Emerging Leader Spotlight on Stephanie Hidalgo, Senior Manager, Product and Test Engineering, Western Digital.

Stephanie Hidalgo 177x177Favorite Quote:

“Do the difficult things while they are easy and do the great things while they are small. A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” — Lao Tzu

Why did you choose your current career path?

I’ve always felt that my career path chose me.  I thought I was going to be a mechanical engineer but ended up choosing Electrical Engineering as a major.  I thought I would be in the technical track forever but ended up climbing the leadership ladder instead.  In the end, I found that my plans and my interests are not always aligned.  But following what I continually enjoy doing, however nerve-wracking it may be, puts me on a path where I am enjoying the journey.

What is the most important thing you have learned that has been critical to your career success?

Respect Murphy’s Law which states “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”  My profession is not kind to those who cannot anticipate issues or plan for contingencies.  This also opens you up to learning how to prioritize.  When you end up with a lot of small fires, knowing what can cause the longest pain or the most damage can enable you to carve quality personal time.

What key steps did you take to get to the role you are in today?

Listening and making time for side projects.

It is always important to listen to what others say because you never know what you are going to learn.  It can help solve your current issue, save you from a potential pitfall or it could be the opportunity you are waiting for.

Now, when you do hear opportunity knocking, you need to make sure you have time for it.  It is never good to split your time with regular work and side projects which end up yielding less than stellar results in both areas.

What are some top tips you can recommend to other women who want to be recognized as high-potential emerging leaders?

Follow your heart.
Find what you enjoy doing because this is where you tend to excel, where you tend to show your best self.  With that, it makes it easier for everyone else to notice you and give you opportunities for growth.

Listen.
Sometimes the most difficult conversation or the harshest comment is what propels you from feeling sorry for yourself to seeing a challenge as it should be seen.

Connect with Stephanie Hidalgo on LinkedIn.

Angie Klein

As Operations and Marketing Manager, Angie Klein is responsible for maintaining the day to day operations of Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. and Be Leaderly.com. Angie manages all aspects of training program logistics, registrations, SEO, social media engagement and customer service.

Follow @kleina2012 on Twitter.

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