From Imposter Syndrome to Empowered Career

Hear from our Regional Director of Sales, Cecilia

I may be young, but I still consider myself a #hospitalitylifer. I’ve enjoyed working in service and sales in the hotel industry for 8+ years now. Every day is a new challenge. I meet people from all walks of life. Some days are better than others, but I wouldn’t change a thing. And since I joined Jacaruso Enterprises as a Regional Director of Sales, the last year has brought me a newfound sense of confidence I never experienced in my years in the industry before. Let me tell you about it.

The Rise and Fall of Youthful Confidence

I am a proud millennial, Latina, college educated, and highly motivated. I began my career in hospitality with a go-getter attitude and loads of confidence. I worked hard and was promoted to a regional position overseeing multiple hotels. I was responsible for leading a team of four even though I was the youngest person in the room. I can recall times being overlooked to make decisions that were my responsibility to make for the sake of my hotel portfolio and my team. Decisions build confidence, so the microaggressions I experienced, intentional or not, made me question my skills and abilities. Despite long-term clientele, positive reviews, stellar STAR reports, and affirming feedback from industry colleagues, a small part of me held on to the belief that somehow, I didn’t really deserve a seat at the table. I felt like an imposter.

Stumbling on a Different Company Culture

I joined JE by happenstance. I first heard about the company via LinkedIn and was drawn to the fact the owner is one of the strongest, most talented women in the industry. I was fascinated by Toni Jacaruso’s kind and commanding presence, and soon found myself clicking through the company’s team page to learn more about the people that worked there and the vacant positions. Not only did I see that 80% of the employees were women, but I also saw many women in leadership roles including Vice Presidents, Directors, and other Regional Directors of Sales. As I read more about Toni’s story and the culture of JE, I knew I wanted to be a part of it. Despite my feelings of imposter syndrome in my current leadership role, I mustered up the courage to apply.

Reclaiming Confidence through JE Interviews

The interview process at JE was rigorous. We’re known for hiring the best salespeople in the industry, and it can be slightly intimidating interviewing with an expert. However, I quickly noticed during my interviews that I was able to have genuine conversations. I felt comfortable and confident. Talking about my experiences and how they applied to the role of a Regional Director of Sales gave me a sense of validation that I hadn’t felt in a long time. In the past, I often felt I had to prove my value to the company, my worth as an employee, and the validity of my decisions. Because why would anyone trust the capabilities of a crop-top sporting, tattoo-covered, twenty-something-year-old? In contrast, the JE

interviewers (who are now my co-workers) encouraged me, celebrated my experience, and even stroked my ego. Needless to say, one of the highlights of my career was receiving the job offer to join JE.

 Being Empowered as a Regional Director of Sales

When I joined JE, I became one of 80+ Regional Directors of Sales. On average, RDOS’ have 12+ years of hospitality experience and they know the ins and outs of over 68+ brands, countless systems, and various markets segments, some of which I knew nothing about. I was hired for my expertise, but I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of imposter syndrome again, as I was surrounded by people who knew more than I did. Only this time, the feeling didn’t last.

 Through JE leadership, there’s a level of empowerment and trust that gives me the confidence make decisions for myself and my portfolio of hotels without judgement or question. I don’t have to justify my decisions. I’m seen as an expert, not an imposter.

And, as an added bonus, gone are the days of asking permission to go to a doctor’s appointment or out to lunch with a friend. I can manage my own time based on what works for me and my hotels. I like being able to work early or as late as necessary with breaks in between. As long as you deliver results, there’s no pressure.

 Stop Faking It

Overcoming imposter syndrome is a process, but I’ve learned to stop faking it. I’m surrounded by colleagues and leadership that reassure me every day. I am constantly learning new things, and I LOVE what I do. If you’re a hotel sales expert ready to stop faking it, consider joining our team. I am happy to tell you more about my experience and give you a confidence boost to apply. To learn more about working for Jacaruso, send me a message, or head to List my name on your application as the referrer and you’ll receive a preliminary interview. The rest is in your hands!

#jacaruso #hotelsales #remotehotelsales #yourbestlifeiscalling #myjelife #hospitality

Cecilia is a Regional Director of Sales for Jacaruso Enterprises. In her role, Cecilia oversees the sales efforts for a portfolio of hotels. Cecilia has worked for JE since 2022.

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