Meet Natalia Wodecki
Senior Director of Global Integrated Marketing Communications & PR
Aspiring writer & amateur comedian
Q: What about your work at Zscaler gets you excited to wake up every day?
A: Connecting with my team! A team of animals as cute - if not cuter - than the animals in #z-pets. This includes the extended team, like our agency partners. I’m an extrovert, so I get energy from people. Without them, I wither. Check out #z-pets for adorable pet pictures & #z-news for the morning headlines.
Q: What has been most impactful during your career journey?
A: <<Hot take alert>> Some of my most impactful moments were when I failed. Miserably … at two jobs in a row (Zscaler manager: if you’re reading this, that was in the past and I got it out of my system.) Readers: You’ll have to ask me about the dirty details, but the headline here is that, at the time, I was so scared and ashamed to have failed, but I was wrong. Falling flat on my face made me unbelievably stronger. I can do like 500 push-ups now. In addition, I have a really good story that I’m thinking of publishing someday. Hope you’ll read it!
Q: If you could go back in time, what would you tell your younger self?
A: Don’t be afraid. You will always be ok, so speak up and take risks. Don’t play it safe. What is the fun in “safe”, Natalia? Thrills reap rewards! If my younger self would say, “please elaborate, Natalia, you're so smart,” I’d go on and say: “Thanks. Ok, so there will be times that it doesn’t feel right, and it’s no fault of yours. When it does feel right, recognize and celebrate each moment you get. Communicate. With your heart. With your manager, your team, and anyone willing to listen.”
Q: What tips do you have for building a meaningful network?
A: Communicate! But most importantly, listen. Epictetus, a Greek philosopher, said: You were born with two ears and one mouth for a reason. Listen and learn. People around you know when you’re being authentic. In PR, it’s easy to read from talking points, but it doesn’t “work” unless you mean it. When you mean it and believe it, there is an unstoppable power that swells up and manifests in all aspects of your life - people want to be a part of the momentum. The network builds, you’re popular & happy, and it’s all very meaningful.
Q: What advice do you have for the next generation of leaders?
A: Be kind and scream your passions at the top of your lungs (metaphorically and literally, but only if you’re in a place that is soundproof and you’re not going to ruffle any feathers). The more you shine, the more those around you will, and the world will be better. Don’t stand for hate. Be flexible. Change is wonderful and constant. Oh look, everything is different now, even different than when you first started reading this (assuming you’re still reading this).
Q: If you could pick one person who has been influential in your life, who would it be? Why?
A: One person? Impossible. My family - mother, father, grandfather. Strong, Polish, and proud. They taught me the art of reinvention. Reinvention is the best part of life. We are so blessed to be able to change and grow.
Q: What is a quote you live by?
A: Everything will be ok