Lora Poepping

Member Spotlight

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

In 2009, I was laid off from my job at Microsoft after 13 years. Today, I run an HR Consulting firm with 8 consultants in the Seattle region. We also coach job seekers and work with high profile clients like Deloitte and Google. My story is one of a woman-owned business starting from scratch and offering other women an opportunity to create work/life balance on their terms.

How would you define your professional mission?

Provide women an opportunity to work on their terms and receive compensation that aligns with their accomplishments.

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

Willingness to be like a "human bumper car." This means that you learn from your errors, back-up and move forward. Starting and running a business takes grit and just the right balance of ego.

What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?

Prior to starting my own firm, I worked for Microsoft for 13 years. During that time, I had an opportunity to support key leaders across the company. In one of my last roles, I created a leader on-boarding program that is still in use today - 8 years later.

What are some career challenges on your radar?

How do I balance controlling all aspects of my company (marketing, biz dev, management of consultants, etc.) with continuing to grow? When do I invest in taking on support/admin? Also... how big do I want to be?

What project have you worked on that you’re most proud of? Why?

Creating a job search methodology that truly works for our clients and seeing it leveraged over and over again is incredibly satisfying!

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

I began my career in higher education, including a stint at The Smithsonian Institution. From there, I went into recruiting, then was a Diversity Manager and now running my own firm. During this time, I received a Master's degree, married, had two daughters and have been in non-profit board leadership. I am so appreciative of of friends and family who truly step-up to support me.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Creating a business that moves organizations forward and allows clients to find the job of their dreams.

What legacy do you hope to leave through your work?

Demonstrate to my daughters that you can do anything you set your mind to - even if you don't have an MBA.

What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?

Clients are our best marketing and we do almost no formal marketing. That means our clients are truly satisfied by their experience and refer their friends and colleagues. I have tried to set a tone of "we're nice," even in a market that doesn't encourage this mindset.

Who are your role models?

My friends who have built their own businesses, despite the odds of failure. This also includes my sister, who runs a successful PR firm in San Francisco.

What is your morning ritual?

Walk my dog, rain or shine - and in Seattle that means lots of wet dog time. Check my phone for client contact. Call my sister on the way into the office. Sometimes meditation. Sometimes a Starbucks Skinny Vanilla Latte.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

LinkedIn - I teach Linked in classes and was featured by LinkedIn corporate in a marketing video. I am on it 24/7.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

Buoyancy, no matter the odds.

What does success look like to you?

Seeing my daughters do what they love and love what they do. Building a business that empowers our clients, customers and my coaches.

Is work-life balance a problem for you? What is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?

I am now an empty-nester, so working hours and hours is easier than ever. I try and fill my week with dinners with friends, dates with my husband and hobbies - so that even if I work too much, I have joyful fun as well.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Listen. Listen. Listen. Do not start your business as if you know everything. Be willing to be a pupil and take in what works but be open to other's opinions. Then go with your gut peppered with data. Your brand and reputation is the most critical aspect of your business.

What is the best career advice you ever received?

It takes 3 years to see your business get traction.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

Sometimes your dream job isn't going to happen in the next 2, 3, 5 or 10 years. Sometimes it happens organically and in ways you least expect it. Stay connected to others. I am successful because of my relationships.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

I became a member just recently and it was because I wanted to meet other entrepreneurial women with a strong sense of self. That has been the case here in the Seattle chapter.

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