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“Bring passion and curiosity,” Jill Cress from H&R Block

Aug 3, 2023

Welcome to the Pass the Mic and the Defining Moments series. We’re giving powerful women the opportunity to make the world their mentee. These rockstars are joining us to share their stories and sage advice with up-and-coming women.

Meet Jill Cress, Chief Marketing and Experience Officer at H&R Block. Jill leads all aspects of marketing and communication, driving the company’s transformation, delivering growth, and increasing brand relevance. She's honed her skills as a strategic and passionate consumer marketer over the course of her 30-year career.

In her Pass the Mic interview, Jill shares stories from her impressive professional journey, imparting some great advice along the way. Take a listen to the full interview below.

Pass the Mic with Jill Cress – Full Interview

Transformation, growth, and bravery—that’s the combination that helped Jill rise to the top. Here are some highlights to inspire you on your career journey.

Focus on what you know

Focus on what you know, Jill Cress – Pass the Mic

Highlight: “I thought, ‘Gosh, I don't know a lot about taxes, but I do know a lot about people's relationship with their finances and with their money, how intimidating that can be. And I care deeply about the customer. And there's a lot of adjacencies...’”

Raise your hand for new challenges

Raise your hand for new challenges, Jill Cress – Pass the Mic

Highlight: “I raised my hand and said, ‘I want to work for that person because that's what's going to transform this company. That's what's going to allow us to have direct relationships’… And a lot of people thought I was crazy because I made a conscious decision to no longer report directly to the Chief Marketing Officer.”

Put yourself in an uncomfortable place 

Put yourself in an uncomfortable place, Jill Cress – Pass the Mic

Highlight: “I talk often about taking turns in your career, and that it is definitely something where lateral moves can be very rewarding, or even taking a step to the side… putting myself into a place of being uncomfortable, bringing my passion and curiosity to that role, and learning a new discipline.”

Find your point of impact

Find your point of impact, Jill Cress – Pass the Mic

Highlight: “Think about three things. One: What are you really passionate about? Two: What are you really excellent at? And three: What really matters to the place that you are at? And when you can find the intersection of those, that's where I think you can have a huge impact.”

Keep learning and growing

Keep learning and growing, Jill Cress – Pass the Mic

Highlight: “It's okay to take on a new role and learn as you go and to bring your strengths while you’re learning the competencies… You don't have to have it 100% all figured out, but stay curious and keep learning and keep growing. I think movement is really important.”

Who knows where following your passion and curiosity might take you—maybe to the top—but it’s on you to find out. Need more inspiration? Check out more Pass the Mic wisdom from more seriously inspiring women.

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