Meet Carla, wine aficionado and tasting room manager for a boutique winery. A forty-something married mom of two shares with you her journey from a stay-at-home mom to finding a career she loves. Advice passed on from her father, she now passes on to you, helping you break down barriers holding you back from the job you want. Carla sets the stage for you to become a wine tasting room manager!
“It is about taking the leap! Any industry or career path can lead you places you never thought you would go. Go on the adventure!” – Carla
Why/How did choose your career? My career previous to this position was in Human Resources, with an emphasis in recruiting. I left that position when two things happened simultaneously; the company was contracting and my oldest daughter was diagnosed with an illness that had a stress trigger – and one of her stresses was me being across the bridge in Seattle. I stayed home for a few years and we were Wine Club members at this winery. Through getting to know the owners and employees I started working there very part time and my position just grew from there.
So…this career chose me!
Tell me about a typical work day for you? What do you love about your job? I tell people all the time the best part of my job is I often leave work happier than I got there because I simply love talking with our wine club members and customers! I am in a service industry so most of my job is just that but there is a lot that happens behind the scenes too, hiring, scheduling, training and policy updates, planning events, inventory control, prepping for wine releases and staff education.
What education or training requirements are there for your job? The state requires that all employees have a Class 12 Permit (to pour wine) and a Food Handlers Permit, wine industry experience/education is definitely a sought after skill set but hard to find in our growing industry.
How did you re-enter the workforce after staying home? It is always difficult to re-enter the job force after taking a few years off. There were times when I doubted I had much to offer this small winery but by being willing to take on more tasks and by being willing to try I realized this job and my background were actually a great fit. Hard to write it out on paper and trace the lines from my previous career to this one but the skill set was a fit.
“When things get scary I head straight into the swells and cut the speed. It i a handy lesson to have learned as a young person!”
How did you overcome those fears/barriers? This may sound trivial but I ‘stayed the course’. There was a lesson I vividly remember learning as a child that has come up a few times. My dad telling me to steer into the swells and cut the speed of the boat I was driving. Now when things get scary I head straight into the swells and cut the speed. It is a handy lesson to have learned as a young person!
If you could go back and change anything on your path to your career/job what would it be? Time is better spent learning from the past and applying what you learned to the future than thinking about what I would change.
What tips do you recommend for work/family balance with your job? Sacrifices and comprises you have had to make? I work some nights and weekends and miss a lot of family time. At first this was incredibly difficult!! Then I realized my family was surviving and thriving without my constant presence. My two daughters are more independent young ladies because my working gave them the opportunity to have to figure things (laundry, dinner, transportation…) out on there own. I did not learn this lesson quickly, it look time, but now as we face the college years I am happy that my oldest child is as independent as she is!
Advice to a woman who may want to try this career? It is about taking the leap! Any industry or career path can lead you places you never thought you would go. Go on the adventure! If it does not work out you can always work on adjusting your job description or switch companies but the skills you pick up along the way are never a bad thing!
If you are interested in becoming involved in the wine industry as either a wine tasting room manager or another job, please visit Wine America which lists out wineries across the U.S. Remember, yes you can become whatever you want to be!
Woman to Woman – Rapid Fire questions:
What’s your favorite movie? I don’t really watch movies but I am a bit of a sucker for Christmas Movies
What’s your secret mom/woman behavior? Just listen, really listen, because your children are telling you so much more than they realize! Then keep your response brief and use open ended questions to let your children tell you what they are thinking should come next.
Hat or ponytail on a bad hair day? PONYTAIL!
What would you tell your 20 year old self if you could go back? Pay attention and save more money because time goes really fast.
What is your favorite food indulgence? Dark chocolate
Person you admire most? My mom – without a doubt! I loved watching her with her friends and thinking I want friends like she has. Good women who are good to each other and give back to the community.
If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would that be and what would you ask them? Michelle Obama. I think I would keep the conversation fairly light and about how she raised her daughters in the spot light, but I would love to hear her laugh in person.
What quality of a woman do you most admire? I love a person who can find the lesson in a situation and face it head on in a witty way, someone who talks about the positive and moves on.
What is a book you would recommend to any woman to read once in her life? Anything by Brene Brown. Her books are life-changing. The book, The Gifts of Imperfection, is a favorite.