Skip to Main Content

Career Evolutions—Achieving Your True North

Hornback, NancysmRubino, BethsmAt some point in our lives we’ve all asked ourselves if we have found, or will ever find, a job with meaning. If you are searching for a fulfilling career, or wish to add more meaning to your current position, you may be surprised to discover that it is within reach! QVC’s Executive Vice President of HR and Workplace Services Beth Rubino and QVC Host Nancy Hornback share their tips and personal stories of how they found their true norths.

If you had asked Beth Rubino what job she would one day hold, she never would have predicted that she would become the chief steward of approximately 17,000 employees at QVC, the world’s leading video and ecommerce retailer with programming distributed to approximately 250 million homes worldwide. In fact, Beth never anticipated that she would work in the business space. Instead, she pictured herself as a teacher or music therapist. She credits her father for encouraging her to take business classes in college, a field she pursued after graduation. But it wasn’t until her third position that she discovered that HR was the perfect fit, ideally combining her business and people skills. She joined QVC in 1995 as Director of Human Resources Training and Development and steadily moved up the ranks.

“Careers rarely follow a straight path,” says Beth. “It’s important to stay curious about different aspects of your field, as well as remain open-minded about other industries. It’s important to consider your passions and love what you do. That energy can propel you to the next level.”

  • Be curious, open-minded and flexible.
  • Learn about your position, other roles in your field and other industries.
  • Stretch out of your comfort zone.
  • Live and leverage your passion.

“Don’t hesitate to take on projects that may be out of your comfort zone so you can gain a broader understanding of where you fit in the overall picture. Being flexible will serve you well, especially when the unexpected arises,” says Beth.

QVC Host Nancy Hornback agrees. After years of careful planning, her career and personal plans veered sharply off path.

The Defining Moment – Overcoming Setbacks

Born to perform, Nancy was an Opryland singer at age 19 and studied to be an opera singer. Just weeks after she auditioned for the Metropolitan Opera, doctors discovered a significant polyp on her vocal chords that would ultimately end her singing career. “It was as if someone blew a candle out, and I was plunged into darkness,” she says. “From that moment on, that situation shaped my entire life. I knew I had to stop dwelling on what I couldn’t do, so I could discover what I could do. I was a talented, kind, smart person, and I had to believe that my future was worth investing in.”

Over the next years, Nancy worked to heal and transform herself as she evaluated her capabilities and her love for people and performance. “I was excited to receive a call to audition as a host for QVC in February 2009. At the same time, my husband and I had been trying to adopt, and we were thrilled when our pastor informed us of a potential adoption in April. We were soon blessed with our daughter Isabella. Just one week later, QVC called to offer me the job! I was attracted to QVC because I respected their values. Their passion, kindness, work ethic and love for what they do spoke volumes to me.”

A new mother, Nancy made the cross-country move for her dream job, and just three days before starting, her doctor called to deliver the startling news that she had breast cancer. “I called QVC to learn if they still wanted me under the circumstances of my illness, and they welcomed me with open arms, assuring me that now I was part of the QVC family.

“Throughout it all, I was able to live my life in joy because I had the strength of my amazing husband, hugs from my sweet baby, the love and wisdom of my family and the incredible care of my doctor. I’ll be forever grateful for the support of my QVC colleagues. The journey also helped me realize how important it is to work with a company whose values are aligned with my own. From the moment I came to QVC, there was a sense of camaraderie with people who are genuine and down-to-earth and will do anything they can for each other and for our customers.”

  • Identify your priorities and goals.
  • Tap into your interests and talents to discover the path that is right for you.
  • Resiliency and faith are the keys to navigating opportunities and challenges.
  • Choose a company with a culture and values that align with your own.
  • Sharpen your skills.
  • Build meaningful relationships.

“Whether you are seeking to enhance your position, change jobs or wage a full-scale reinvention, it really comes down to values,” says Beth. “Our corporate values are woven into our culture, and our senior leadership lives those values so we set an example. It’s important to be crystal clear about your values and align yourself with co-workers who have respect and concern for each other, and work where ethics, integrity, openness and trust are priorities.

“As you reinvent yourself, prepare for what is next on the horizon. Sharpen your skills and consider learning new ones that may be critical in the upcoming years. Build real relationships that are meaningful and nurture them. Find a community where your voice is heard and you can make a difference. When your passion and talents converge, you will discover your true north.”

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation. – Aristotle

Don’t miss Beth Rubino and Nancy Hornback live during breakout sessions at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, Friday November 1st.