We recently profiled Dawn Fay as one of the two Robert Half executives who won a coveted spot on the New York Business Journal’s Women of Influence list. With her achievements in both the business world and the local community, Dawn is a true inspiration to many. Yet she’s also down-to-earth. So to highlight her great personal qualities, we’ve selected our favorite responses from Dawn’s recent interview with the New York Business Journal.
Tell us about your family (spouse, significant other, children, pets, etc.): I live in New York City with my husband of 18 years. We are fortunate to be surrounded with a very large extended family of siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.
Where were you born? Bergen County, NJ
The one word that best describes you: Energetic
What was your first job and what did you learn from it? My very first job was babysitting and I learned quite a few valuable lessons from those days. I learned to honor my commitments – if I told someone I would babysit for them regardless of what fun event popped up I missed out on the fun with friends and kept the commitment I made. My parents would not let me back out and explained that I made a commitment and others were counting on me – it was a great lesson. I also learned how powerful references and referrals can be – a powerful lesson that can help throughout one’s career. Before leaving your child with someone you want to make sure that the babysitter is someone you can trust. When I did a good job for one family they referred me to others, which helped grow my network and income. They also provided powerful references that helped me land other jobs as well as helped on academic applications.
What is your proudest career accomplishment? I am fortunate to work with a large team of very hard working talented individuals, many of whom have been together for a long time. I think it is much easier to manage through good times but it's the tough times that really test you. This past recession was a very difficult time for most people personally and professionally, and we at Robert Half were not immune to the difficulties. I am very proud to have helped lead the team through that difficult time and get all of us through to the other side.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career, and why? My father – he was the first in his family to have the opportunity to attend college and with hard work and determination became not only a very successful businessman but one that is truly admired by others. I am very fortunate to have him as a role model and mentor – he has had a tremendous impact on my success.
If you could be mentored by anyone, who would it be and why? Derek Jeter – he played at the top of his game his entire career, he was loyal to his organization, he always put his team first not himself and did it all with class. He retired as one of the most successful and admired players to ever play the game of baseball. There are many lessons to be learned from someone that can do all that Derek did while facing never-ending pressure under the microscope in NYC.