Words of Wisdom with Rachel Minnick

Rachel Minnick
Executive Director, Reading Partners Sacramento


What are three things you wish you’d known as you embarked on your career?RMinnick

1. Nobody has this whole life thing all figured out, no matter how hard they try to look like they do!

2. A healthy body supports a healthy mind. Exercise, eat good food and sleep. Your mental health and your professional life will benefit.

3. What feels like a career setback might lead to positive changes that take you in a new and better direction, a direction you never dreamed was possible.

Did you have a mentor? If so, what was the most important piece of advice they gave you?

I can’t say I have had a formal mentor, but I have had many professionals I have looked up to and believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They showed me rather than told me that success in life happens when you trust your instincts, follow your passion and make connections with like-minded people.

Since we’ve got you thinking about it and if time allows, please share your experience with the following:

How did/do you handle work/life balance?

If you try to think of it as an even balance all the time, it never works. There are just days when things have to get done and that’s that; however, at some point, I decide I am done working for the day and I turn my work email off on my phone. I don’t sleep in the same room with my phone. I make plans to do things with my friends and family and I put it on my work calendar. I also wake up super early and workout at least three times per week. That time is all mine -- it just so happens the only real option is at 6:00 am!

Do you have any suggestions of books, articles, websites, etc. that might help a young professional?

“Now Discover Your Strengths” and the StrengthsFinder tool are my favorite. Too often leadership development focuses on what is wrong and how you can fix it. People are born with natural gifts and they thrive when you identify and work from their strengths. I also like www.beleaderly.com for practical tips that are fast and easy to read.

How important is it to be involved in organizations outside of work (church, networking, philanthropy, alumni, athletics, etc.)? Why?

I can’t emphasize how important this is. BUT… be careful! Choose activities and groups you really enjoy and you can really participate in fully. If you are just a “show up and be seen” person, that become obvious really quickly. Dig in where you care and where you can make an impact. These types of activities help you connect and build a stronger network in your community. If you care about change, a better world, safe communities, your alma mater, or stray animals, you can’t just talk, you have to DO.

What do you love about Sacramento?

It gave me this wonderful life. Sacramento is a friendly and fun town. The warm nights and flat roads are perfect for summer bike rides.I love the transformation happening downtown. I am a die-hard Kings fan. I love that people have this view of Sacramento as a cow town, yet anything that happens that is related to politics is a hundred times more sophisticated than any place in the state. I love that when I go almost anywhere I see people I know. I love all of our 5K’s, half-marathons, 10K’s, and mud runs. Our non-profits are changing lives every day. We have some amazing mid-century architecture. My son goes to one of the best high schools in town, The Met Sacramento. I love our parks. We have some of the best local elected officials. We have great local bands. Craft beer is blowing up. I love it all.

Is there anything else you’d like to tell the 40 and under business professionals in our region?

Keep it fun and funky. And don’t fret if you haven’t got it all figured out yet. The older crowd doesn’t either (we just have a bit more grey hair)!