Ericka on Life Path, Career, and Excellence
CREATE: In your own words what does your role as VP to the Chairman's office for Combs Enterprises entail?
Pittman: My role is to bridge the communication between our portfolio brands and the Chairman. We have nine companies -- Sean John, Sean John Fragrances, Revolt TV, AquaHydrate, Ciroc, DeLeon, Bad Boy Records, Bad Boy Films, and Blue Flame the Agency.
I also work in figuring out cross-synergistic strategies across companies for efficiencies. For example, we make sure that, if we are executing Revolt Music Conference, the other brands are aware of what the entire organization is doing and that we're maximizing our Chairmans' presence and exposure for all of the brands.
CREATE: What does it take to get to a place where your boss essentially hand picks you and creates a role just for you?
Pittman: Something that was communicated to me was that I was in a place, after six years, of checking the boxes of everything that was required of me, specifically from him.
Personally, for me, it was a function of being excellent in everything that I did for and throughout the organization. At that point, I already had the privilege and the honor of working on every single one of our businesses under the portfolio in some capacity.
Because of that, I have a bit of perspective on each of the business lines and each of their objectives, their consumer targets, and the strategies that we set forth over the years for each of them.
I can look at each of the businesses and see where we can cross wires and create efficiencies to create a bigger and more dynamic message for everyone involved.
CREATE: You have an upcoming book titled, "What Mommy Never Told You: A Young Woman's Guide to the Next Phases of Life ". What caused the desire to help young women in this way?
Pittman: Often times, we've had very rigid rules and parameters around how to be a young girl or woman. Advice like -- use your inside voice, cross your legs, head up, shoulders back, legs crossed, graduate from college, get a good job, find a husband.
Then life happens – you become an adult, you've checked most if not all of the standard boxes, and there's no guidebook or rule on what to do next.
I thought it was important to create an easy going, easy to read guide for young women, based on my experience on what has and hasn’t worked in my life.
It's everything from career to finances to relationships looking at, “what's next?”
I haven't gotten married at 26 or 30 years old, what does that mean for me? I've been a coordinator or a marketing manager at this job -- how do I transition into the next role in my career.
CREATE: I think we all can relate to wondering, what’s next? What type of nuggets or personal advice would you give young women in creating their own path?
Pittman: I think it's a couple of things.
Number one is to be a solutions-based employee. Identify the problems; it's fine to do that. More importantly, work to identify a solution. Finding solutions often times are the things that get you the gold medal.
If people revere you as a problem solver or a solutions-based contributor they will seek your input and guidance in certain matters that don't have anything to do with your core skill-set. This will introduce you to new opportunities.
Another thing I would say is to always close the circle if you're working on a project make sure that you're committed to the project -- see it through. Make sure you do your work with excellence, at the same time make sure you’re in tuned with other people that are involved with the project and figure out how you can help them to make sure that the entire project is a success.
The third thing I would say is, simply, be excellent. Do your best work, put your best foot forward, and the work will speak for itself.