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Human Resources

C-suite career advice: Elizabeth Eastaugh, Expedia, Inc.

Name:                  Elizabeth Eastaugh

Company:           Expedia, Inc.

Job Title:             Director of Technology for Global Checkout and Offer Services, Expedia

Location:             London, UK

 

What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you’ve received?

The best piece of advice I was given was to discover ways to become so effective at your job, it can be done in 4 hours a day. With the rest of the time you have the space to work on growing yourself and your organization.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received?

Not to aim high, but to aim for what’s achievable.  It’s frustrates me to no end when people say that software development is a closed environment, and one that’s only appropriate for a certain gender.  You also need to bring your own unique perspectives to a workplace that is all about personalising travel, and you also need to be creative in this job.

You also need to be ok with admitting when a development project isn’t working, and be able to pull the plug on something, which is not always the easiest task.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting their career in the tech industry?

Don’t discount yourself simply because you’ve taken a non-traditional route towards a technology or developer career.  Expedia, like many other global travel technology firms, aims to recruit based on transferable skill-set. Our company aims to recruit not only based on talent, but we want a good cross-section of diversity and talent of who we employ and work with.

I now manage a cross-section of teams who are based anywhere from Budapest to Gurgaon, so it’s important that you are respectful of other people’s time and are able to work well with others.  Be respectful and a good collaborator is what I would say.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position?

I would say you most definitely need to work hard, and be willing to put in the time to craft the career that you want.

I didn’t just luck into my career at Expedia – it was the result of a lot of hard work and recognition by my peers in the technology development group.  We have a great culture here, and it’s one that I aim to work hard to ensure is kept as I further my career at Expedia.

Are you particularly proud of any career advice that you’ve given or the career route/development of anyone you’ve mentored?

It’s funny you ask that. I think many of my most behaviour-shaping experiences when I started out my career as an engineer, and especially when I moved into my current role at Expedia, included that in order to be a good technologist you need to constantly put yourselves in the shoes of someone [else].

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