Whitney M.: Virtual receptionist and actress
Whitney in her virtual receptionist role and playing Lucy in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

Virtual receptionist Whitney M. shares how using your strengths can help you find fulfillment in the workplace.

We’ve all been asked that worn-out question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Maybe it was a cowboy, or even a superhero! Do you remember? Mine was always a tossup: Doctor or Circus Performer. As life progresses, goals change. (And that’s ok.) I’m now Whitney: Virtual receptionist by day, actress by night — never a dull moment. But how? Because in my job, I have found what brings me joy.

As an actress, I love connecting with people and the spontaneity of each moment you create. At Ruby, I have found the ability to integrate that passion into my day job. In fact, I have so many opportunities to create that spark — one with every call. I’ve sung to clients, told countless stories and even humored callers with quick repartee or puns.

Once, not so long ago, I had a somewhat dejected-sounding man call in. When I asked him what the call was regarding, he merely replied, “Life.” A little surprised by the one-word answer, I couldn’t help but try and break the silence with a smile or laugh. I pressed on…

“…Life, liberty…and the pursuit of happiness?” I said in the most stoic tone I could muster.

The caller began laughing very hard, “Yup. Exactly. ‘Happyness’ with a ‘y.’”

I began laughing as well. “The Pursuit of Happyness — that’s a great film. Anything else you’d like me to include in the message?”

“Nope. You made me smile. You did a good job.”

I thanked him for the compliment and wished him well. And as I hung up the phone, I had a swelling sense of pride.

Identifying your strengths is a crucial skill in life, but utilizing them is even more important. At Ruby, our management team uses strength-spotting to help Rubys grow into new roles that they’re well-suited to. As leading positive psychologist Dr. Robert Biswas-Diener says, using your strengths “leads you to feel energized and engaged, and you perform at your best.” When you perform at your best, happiness is a happy side effect. And when you’re happy, you do better work – it’s a cycle of constant improvement.

So whether your superhero ability to fly never showed up, or you’ve just refocused your skills, it’s time to put the spotlight on what you do best. You’re all grown up. So I ask you, “How do you use your strengths and passions to find fulfillment in your job?”