The Transformation Series: Kimiko Harris

by Kimiko Harris, Sales Marketing Manager at VideoAmp

Prior to my start at VideoAmp, I had spent over 9 years working in various Human Resource roles spanning several industries including retail, insurance and adtech. After almost a decade dedicated to HR, I was ready for a change. As Virginia Rometty quotes, “Growth and comfort do not coexist” and in my case, comfort was beginning to overstay its welcome (like this pandemic). 

When I started to recognize this, all of the fears, insecurities and doubts rolled in: “You can’t just throw 9 years of your HR career away! What are you going to do instead? Are you going to be able to break into a new role? Are you capable of doing anything else?”…The idea of starting over was absolutely terrifying but after telling my amygdala to calm down, also became pretty exhilarating. 

As I started honing in on what I really enjoyed in my past roles and what I thought I wanted to do in my future career, I knew my common denominators were my love for working with people, making connections and bringing out the best in not only others, but my own work. As I set out on my journey for change, I started sharing my goals with my network. I even started a part-time job while maintaining my full-time job to explore new things and see if I really was ready to jump into a whole new field.

After a lot of conversations with my network, my network’s network, people I had randomly met and some time at my new side gig, I was faced with not one but TWO opportunities (both offered on the same day!). The opportunity I went with was a no brainer. It checked every box on my checklist: opportunity to take part in building out new processes, flexible, remote, room  for personal and professional growth, and a company that placed high value on great culture. That opportunity was VideoAmp. 

When I first joined VideoAmp, I started on a newer Product Marketing team as Sales Marketing Manager. My focus was primarily on sales enablement training, product marketing support and ad hoc tasks. Immediately, it was clear how my previous roles and experiences could be applied to these responsibilities, but I was also being challenged  to learn a ton of new skills, and quickly. I eagerly dove into a huge project of spearheading the management of a new sales enablement tool, but I have to admit, I definitely struggled with imposter syndrome. Coming into a brand new role I had never done before and looking at the advertising industry from a different lens was quite the challenge and put me way outside of my comfort zone. 

But confidence started building and as I started to flex my skills in my new role, I had the opportunity to work with several teams across the company including: Design, Business Development, Client Success, Sales Strategy, Account Sales, Enterprise Sales, Central Operations, Marketing Science and Product. As a newbie, I was overwhelmed with the amount of support, patience and kindness every team showed me in getting ramped up. This helped me feel like I truly had a seat at the table. This also reinforced how much of a People First organization VideoAmp is and how embedded it is in our culture. 

Over time, our Product Marketing team started to evolve and we restructured as Marketing with branches of Brand Marketing and Product Marketing underneath. With this change, I was given the opportunity to sit in a unique position between Product Marketing and Brand Marketing by taking lead in our Social Media management and Demand Generation. This was such an exciting opportunity. There was no playbook given and I had a blank canvas to create from. This led me to running my first ever marketing campaign and the opportunity to prove how our team is driving revenue and value for the entire company.

Out of our core values at VideoAmp, my first year has truly been the year of Growing Exponentially and Figuring It Out. Without an instruction manual for much of the tasks assigned to me, I was challenged to harness new skills, learn and most of all, grow. Starting “over” or taking the first step to leave your comfort zone can be really scary. But with great risk comes great reward. If I had never challenged myself to try something new, I would have never landed at a company like VideoAmp which continues to push me and help me realize my fullest potential every day. I’ve learned to take enjoyment in the journey of learning something completely new, while also trusting in my abilities and the value I bring.