It’s Okay to Have Trial and Error in Your Career: Meet Scott Vejdani

 

BLOG Scott Vejdani.png

 

Ever since he joined The Forem for one of our Level Up bootcamps, Scott Vejdani has been an incredible asset to both the company and our community. We are so excited to have him on board as one of our newest Mentors.

“I was so impressed with what the The Forem team has put together, I wanted to give back to the community that has been so welcoming and generous towards me,” he told us recently. “I’m an informal mentor for other organizations, including my company, so this was a great way for me to give back and at the same time learn from others in this community.”

Mentoring, and helping others navigate their careers, is something that Scott loves.

“I love coaching and developing talent and watching them exceed their own perceived limitations. It’s helped me to be a better listener, to formulate my ideas and suggestions in an impactful way, and has also challenged my way of thinking to be open to different ideas and beliefs.”

This is particularly close to Scott’s heart because he hasn’t always known what his “passion” is in life. He doesn’t believe that everybody wakes up, gets a job, figures out what they love, and then has their career path laid out from there.

“I don’t think it’s fair to ask someone to identify their passion, especially at a young age, and expect them to follow through with it for the rest of their life,” he told us. “Passions can be fleeting and change often as you continue to be exposed to new experiences. For me, it took a lot of trial and error to find out what I was good at, and from there I was able to develop a passion.”

(If you are currently struggling to find your passion, Scott invites you to come to a mentoring session with him, or check out Cal Newport’s book So Good They Can’t Ignore You.)

The “trial and error” nature of Scott’s career has helped him become the strong and compassionate leader he is today. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

“There are a lot of fails that I could share! I would say one that I remember the most was how bad I was as a leader when I first started out as a people manager. I was way too cocky and full of myself. The turning point was receiving harsh but valid 360 feedback from my team. I’ve never forgotten that moment in my career and have promised myself to continually improve myself as a leader.”

(If you are a new people manager or are struggling with a new leadership role, we recommend heading to Scott to talk through your feedback.)

His number one piece of advice? Don’t limit yourself.

“I went to school for music and was a professional saxophone player for 15+ years and studied the great jazz musicians and composers, including Duke Ellington. He was once asked, “How would you categorize your music?” And his response was “Sir, I’m beyond category.” I’ve taken this to heart in my own career by refusing to be categorized. I’m careful not to be known for just one specialty or a specific project. To constantly challenge the labels that are put on me by expanding my skillset and expertise in different areas to make me beyond category.”


SCOTT’S RECS: 

I read roughly 100 books per year! So I’m going to offer a few book and podcast recommendations:

Books

  • Essentialism by Greg McKeown

  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You by Cal Newport

  • Hell Yeah or No by Derek Sivers

  • Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke

  • High Output Management by Andy Grove

  • Think Again by Adam Grant

Podcasts

  • The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

  • The Tim Ferriss Show

  • Work Life with Adam Grant


BIO: 

Scott Vejdani has more than 20 years of operations experience and 15 years of leadership experience in various roles within the digital marketing industry in both Europe and the US. Scott began his career working for several email marketing agencies that serviced high-end retailer clients such as Dell, CVS, NFL, UPS, Staples, and PayPal, focusing on optimizing their marketing production processes and leading several transformational change initiatives.

Since joining Catalina, Scott has worked closely with CPGs and retailers to execute marketing campaigns across multiple channels including mobile commerce, at-the-register, display, OOH, and CTV. A proven strategic leader, Scott has the ability to execute his creative ideas that have a lasting impact on his team and company. He also mentors MBA & EMBA students and employees across multiple industries on how to be an essentialist and a better leader. A father of two, Scott is a continuous learner who actively seeks new methods and ways to improve himself and those around him.