Interview with Paige Hanley, Director of Program Management on the People Team.
You have had a unique journey at PayScale, you have had over 7 different positions in different departments. Talk me through your journey thus far.
“I’ve had a buffet table style career. I started in wholesale plumbing and did that for 9 years, I managed a retail store and sold toilets and piping. I saw a posting from someone I knew at PayScale for a Compensation Professional. I knew I loved spreadsheets and people. That was what they were looking for at the time. It was right when PayScale was going through a lot of growth. They had totally restructured the CS org and I gained exposure to a lot of different areas of the business. I earned my CCP and moved into the operations side of things, getting data loaded correctly, benchmarking jobs. I started knowing long term that I didn’t want to be in CS forever. I love to connect with others and build relationships. Carl our VP of Sales at the time met with me and within a week the Compensation Solutions Engineer role was created. It’s always been a combination of timing and frankly luck, plus my own skill set and desire to have broad connections.”
What advice would you give to someone who might want to carve a different career path?
“It’s easy to look at my path and see the history but I think it’s important to know that none of the jobs I moved into existed before I started in them. My advice to people wanting to explore new paths, start to identify the things you are interested in, make connections, and keep your radar up for when that new role arises. There is a lot of growth and change happening and that creates opportunity. You just need to be keeping an eye out for it. Get to know other departments and be proactive about making connections. When that opportunity comes along, you’ll have others in your corner who know you and the types of things you might be interested in.”
You were working full time and also going to school for your MBA, how did you manage that also while managing a team at PayScale?
“To be honest there were some instances where I wasn’t really managing it that well. I started school, managing a team of 29 people, and at the same time bought a house and got a puppy. It was pretty rough for a while there. But I think it’s a natural part of human nature, you adapt. The first year was the hardest, it was nothing but work and school. It eventually got easier and I learned what I needed to care about and what I didn’t. The best part was that I was learning things that were immediately applicable in school and was able to apply them to my role at the time.
You moved into a new role in January on the People Team as a Director, Program Management. How did this one come about?
“Again, keeping up those relationships. This role feels like the perfect blend for me. I love the intersection of understanding how a business works and the behavioral science side of working with people.”
Something we might not know about you?
“I spent 14 years doing competitive ballroom dancing. I started when I was 10.”