Putting It All Together
What impact do you think your pivot story had on your career destination?
Early on I learned that life is not linear and there is no typical path to follow. After spending 10 years with a company, I was laid off when the company was sold to a new owner. I had a two year old and a six week old baby. My husband and I lived in an area we loved and were surrounded by family. As I interviewed with other cable companies and weighed my options it came down to two. There was the sure thing – an established company, keeping me on the east coast near family and a solid offer with room for advancement. The second offer was 2000 miles away with a much smaller company, a cut in pay, and no family in sight. Most people thought I would be crazy to even consider the second offer. Needless to say, my husband and I and two babies moved to the desert for a job that by title was a step back and definitely was in pay. Some risks are worth taking. I had no idea at the time that within a year I would be promoted to VP and have so many more opportunities.
At the time, I did know that my family was most important. Having recently completed the Betsy Magness Leadership Institute and the Values Explorer cards, I knew what was most important to me and what values were important. In hindsight I wouldn’t have had the courage to take a step "back" without that insight. I made a conscious decision to take a step "back"; a step that really no one could understand.
What advice would you give someone considering a career shift?
Things don’t have to be what everyone expects. Understand yourself and your support system. Are you spending your time and money on what matters most to you? You have to decide for yourself what matters most. Deciding is the hardest part. Once you’ve decided, the doing is the easy part.
Fortunately, we usually get a mulligan to try again. Rely on people you can trust to give you authentic feedback and be willing to listen to that feedback. Remember, the journey is not linear.
Describe how your career stock trended over the course of your pivot to your career destination.
I never had a set career path or destination I was striving for. I always want to help people and when you help people, they want to help you. Your circle grows and along with it your support team.
I’m a continuous learner. Anytime I meet with anyone regardless of the topic I will ask three questions about the topic. Ask questions to learn and understand.
What did you do to improve your stock if it was trending up? And trending down?
I always take action to make things better. When you do this, sometimes people notice. My personal stock improved with my boss and went down with my colleagues. Unfortunately, not everyone is always happy when your stock goes up.
Having grown up near the Maryland shore, I’ll use a boating term – always watch your wake. What are you leaving behind you?
Never be afraid to reach out to someone – even if you don’t know them. No one is going to hand anything to you; you’ve got to be willing to ask and work for it.
Julie M. Laulis
President and Chief Executive Office
Julie Laulis is President and Chief Executive Officer of Cable ONE.
Laulis joined Cable ONE in 1999 as Director of Marketing-NW Division. In 2001, she was named Vice President of Operations for the SW Division. In 2004, she became responsible for starting Cable ONE’s Phoenix Customer Care Center. Laulis was named Chief Operations Officer in 2008, responsible for the company’s three operation divisions and two call centers. In 2012, Laulis was named Chief Operating Officer, adding sales, marketing, and technology to her responsibilities. In 2015, Laulis was promoted to President and Chief Operating Officer of Cable ONE. In 2017, she was named President and Chief Executive Officer.
Prior to joining Cable ONE, Laulis was with Jones Communications in the Washington, DC area and Denver, where she served in various marketing management positions. Laulis began her 30-plus-year career in the cable industry with Hauser Communications.
Laulis graduated from Indiana University in Bloomington with a bachelor’s degree in Telecommunications. She attended the Woman in Cable Television Betsy Magness Leadership Institute in 1998/1999, and graduated from the Program for Management Development at the Harvard Business School in 2002. Cable FAX Magazine has named Laulis one of the Most Powerful Women in Cable for the past seven years running.