Change is the avenue of every good thing. Though it can be tempting to imagine that stagnation is a neutral state, most people feel discontent when their lives aren’t moving forward. They fear the discomfort of change but feel uncomfortable when not moving at all.
Sheena seems to understand the solution to this supposed paradox. Embrace change. Just as running from an incoming storm will only draw out the thunder, it may be best to follow suit of Sheena—run towards the rain. Take it head on. The storm will pass, and the sun will shine, if you’ll only embrace the changing seasons.
Sheena started with England Logistics in November of 2016 as a customer service representative. By embracing the many curves of her career path, Sheena navigated department changes, accelerated through billing management positions, and finally assumed her current role as an order audit AP manager.
Sheena: My name is Sheena. I am the full truckload order audit AP manager, and I’ve been with England for six years this November!
EL: Wow, huge anniversary coming up! Tell me a little bit about your current position and responsibilities.
Sheena: I manage a team of 13 people, comprised of 2 supervisors and 11 team members. I ensure that the day-to-day operations are meeting expectations. I also ensure my team is getting the support they need, including taking questions, handling escalations… really anything that they need.
I started out here as a customer service representative doing fuel cards for carriers. After about six months, I went to the billing department for three years. I was billing supervisor and then ended up becoming billing manager. Once the departments shifted, I took over order audit and accounts payable for the full truckload division. And now, here I am!
EL: Wow, what a journey! Can you tell me a little bit about maybe some awesome characteristics of yourself that have helped you grow to this point?
Sheena: It’s taken a lot of learning and development. You can’t just come to work every day to do your job, you’ve got to learn about different people, different positions, other department needs, and then be willing to help them out.
I’m also really big on teaching. If an account manager comes to me with a question, I won’t just immediately answer it. I let them know how they can learn about it for themselves.
I think a big part of what got me to where I am is learning problem-solving, and not just passing off my issues to someone else. I like to dig in, solve issues, and find long-term solutions.
EL: Nailed it. So when you’re not creating solutions at work, what are some personal passions of yours?
Sheena: I have my own business! I do t-shirts, tumblers mugs, and jewelry. I just actually launched my website, so that’s pretty much my hobby. Outside of work, you’ll find me crafting and making t-shirts for people. If any of my peers have big events coming, I try and make them one.
We’re also a really big football family. I have three boys and a girl and they’re all divided in the house with football teams. They’ve all done tackle, even our girl. They’re all doing flag football right now. I got two of my boys coaching, so we’re just really big on being involved. I mean, they’re only young once and my youngest is 14, so we only have a few years left.
EL: Given your family dynamic, does it ever get rowdy at your house?
Sheena: My house is always noisy. I also have two boxers. So yeah, most of the time the kids are screaming with football or something. When it’s silent, it feels like there’s a ghost. I just kind of have a hard time when things are too quiet. Controlled chaos is what we do best.
EL: Coming from a family of eight kids, I too feel that I was raised in controlled chaos. It seems like you have achieved so much. What are some of your proudest accomplishments?
Sheena: Probably just raising my kids. We had kids when I was young, so just watching them all graduate has been amazing. I’ve been married for 21 years too. It was sometimes hard, but it’s also my biggest accomplishment because we’ve all stuck together through it all.
EL: Huge respect for that answer. Now let’s flip it over to the professional element of your life. What has been a professionally defining experience for you?
Sheena: Switching from the billing department to the less-than-truckload order audit, to something totally different. I’ve been in every single position in the billing department now. That’s kind of what’s helped me learn new positions and learn different ways of doing things. Getting in there, diving in, fixing a lot of the issues, and running with it was a good experience for me.
We are still not perfect, but every day the team’s emphasis on learning has been amazing. We have to learn something new every single day.
We like to teach each other. I’m not a huge fan of change, but it was a defining moment to embrace it.
EL: I really appreciate this idea that a change in your career really comes from a change within yourself. That’s really what we stand by here at England Logistics. What’s given you the motivation to do that? What is your ‘why’?
Sheena: I feel like you need to change your way of thinking before you can change anything else. I’ve never been a huge fan of self-help books, but leadership and my mentors have helped that change to come about in me. Now, my main focus is helping others to fix things and how they can help themselves fix things. I like to ask questions to help others work through their issues, so they can help themselves too… but that change has to come from within you first. It’s not gonna come though until you embrace it.
EL: Beautiful answer. There’s so much emphasis you’ve placed on change, in yourself, in others, in your environment—that’s a lot of transformation. So when are you happiest?
Sheena: When I can wake up on a Saturday morning and nobody’s awake in the house and I can have that cup of coffee. It’s best when I know that my whole work week, professional and person-wise has been accomplished and I did what I was set out to do. That’s probably the most time when I’m just the most content.
EL: That’s beautiful. Do you feel it’s important to celebrate yourself?
Sheena: It’s motivational. If you don’t celebrate even the little things, you don’t get the rewards. You can’t be everything for everybody else if you’re not celebrating yourself.
EL: That is so wise. There is so much valuable insight you’ve provided. Is there something most people simply do not know about you or that might surprise somebody?
Sheena: I’d say that I create t-shirts and stuff. Everybody thinks that all I do is football, but I try to give little things to lots of people. Even if they don’t ask for something, if I hear overhear somebody saying they have a big event coming up, I’ll just show up the next day with a coffee mug for them, or a t-shirt for them, or a pair of earrings for them. I don’t advertise it. I just want people to feel important.
EL: I personally appreciate you being the kind of person to do that. Do you have a mantra or motto that embodies that desire you have to help others?
Sheena: Well, my business is called ‘Positive Expressions’ so I think that’s kind of my daily affirmation. Just stay positive. I always tell my kids whenever they’re having a bad day, “For every negative thing you say about yourself, say three things that are positive.” You’ll find your thinking changes completely.
EL: That’s awesome. With so much good going for you, where do you want to end up, personally and professionally?
Sheena: You know, a few years ago I wanted to be a children’s counselor. I never really pursued it though because I had kids so young. I was one of those kids when I was younger that was always ready with a listening ear. If somebody’s having a bad day, most people just need someone to listen to them. They don’t want you to tell ’em your opinion or tell ’em what they should do or what they shouldn’t do, they just need someone to hear them. I want to keep doing that for other people.
EL: What a profound end goal. And what is something in your work that brings you that kind of joy?
Sheena: One thing that brings me joy in this job is just getting to talk to other departments.
I think talking to get to know people is powerful.
A lot of people like to just hide behind their teams or their emails. I like to pick up the phone and call or go walk up to someone’s desk up here if I don’t know who they are and they’re emailing me.
EL: You speak of your experience here with such enthusiasm. Was there ever a time that you felt like your back was up against the wall?
Sheena: When I was in billing, we lost a few members of our team, so I had to step up and move into a new role. I had to own it, and we just kind of teamed up together and appointed what we’d be doing. We had to own our positions, own our jobs, and rely on each other to get it done.
EL: In addition to such incredible experience, you also bring so much practical instruction. Do you have any advice for those just starting their careers?
Sheena: Communicate. Get yourself out there. If it’s a career shift and you’re not sure about it, embrace it still. You’re not gonna nail a job in the first week or two. You need to be okay with learning. It takes at least six months to a year to learn fully what your job is. Communicating and getting to know the people that you’re working with every day is so important. I mean, you’re gonna have a lot of help and a lot of people that are depending on you or you depending on them. That’s important to embrace.
I love EL. I didn’t think it would be for me at first. It kind of felt a little weird, honestly, with everyone saying hi all the time. I wasn’t used to that at all, used to just sticking to my own little corner everywhere else I worked at.. It actually took me outta my shell a little bit. I’m still pretty shy, but now I know that I can go talk to people and they’re gonna be kind. Everybody embraces each other here. And I love that.
We’re on the search for more senior account managers. If this interview resonated with you, apply at this link: https://www.englandlogistics.com/search-all-available-jobs/