What Are You Blowing Up?
Updated: May 12
In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we explore how to think more intentionally and expansively about our careers. My guest, Genesis Amaris Kemp, shares her journey from working in the male-dominated oil and gas industry, to taking a pay cut for an opportunity with a better lifestyle and benefits, to becoming an entrepreneur. She offers great insights and strategies to help us reflect on whether we’re in the right place and what we need to fulfill our dreams.
About Genesis Amaris Kemp
Genesis Amaris Kemp is a Visionary Life Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Author. A Firecracker and “Mindset Hacker” a force to be reckoned with.
Genesis is a woman that empowers others to speak up for themselves. Yes, it may be challenging; yes, it may hurt. But in the long run, she desires to encourage others to help those who may not have a voice. She is a trailblazer who wants others to live out their dreams, goals, and visions. We all have been given an excellent purpose in life. It is up to us to walk it out and live victoriously!
She is multifaceted and multidimensional that cannot be contained in a box or compartmentalized.
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Kim Meninger Welcome Genesis, I am so excited to talk with you today. I can’t wait to have this conversation. But before we do, I’d love to invite you to share a little bit more about yourself.
Genesis Amaris Kemp Well, first and foremost, I want to thank you so much for sharing and holding space with me, Kim, and to your audience, everyone. My name is Genesis Amaris Kemp, I am a wife first and foremost. I’m also a podcast founder and host of GEMS podcast where I focus on three main core pillars, which is educational, inspirational and motivation. While intersecting the dots for diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I also have two books out on the market that I wrote. So they’re entitled Chocolate Drop in Corporate America, From the Pit to the Palace, where I really wanted to just share my stories of what, what I went through working in a male-dominated field, such as oil and gas for 12 years and in Corporate America, for a total of 15 years. I wrote the book, not just for people who look like me, but anyone who has been slighted on the job in any way, just to let them know that you can take the power back when you have ownership of your own career. And just because they try to place you in a box does not mean you need to stay in the box. And I do visionary life coaching. So anyone that is interested, and just you know climbing the corporate ladder, or transitioning from that corporate to entrepreneurship bucket, or just overall making some changes in their life holistically that complement who they are and not what the world wants them to be. I’m your gal. And that’s a little bit about me.
Kim Meninger Oh, thank you. I love what you’re doing and what you’re talking about. And I can’t wait to dive in. So I want to start, if it’s okay with you, by asking you a little bit about your own personal journey. You mentioned working in a male-dominated space, working in corporate America, what was that like for you?
Genesis Amaris Kemp Ooh, so it definitely had its challenges. And when I say challenges, there were good challenges as well, well as bad challenges, highs and lows. So I’m working in a male-dominated field such as oil and gas, you don’t always see a lot of women. So women are a minority in that field. And then if you put the race factor into it, you don’t see a lot of people that look like you that may be at your level or higher, or there may be a few, especially whenever you get up to the board of directors. And sometimes that’s kind of hard in order to, you know, really plan out your career and really see the trajectory. If you don’t see anybody that looks like you in upper-level position, it makes you wonder like, do I have a chance to get to that level if I don’t see anyone at the seat that looks like me? And then depending on how you come into organization, like what some people may or may not know about me is I started over in my career twice in the oil and gas space. The first time I started as an imaging clerk. So when I was in high school, and then from imaging clerk, which was so boring, you’re scanning papers all day. And I’m just gonna be frank, I actually fell asleep at work one day, but luckily, my supervisor gave me grace, where she like, tapped me on my shoulder and woke me up. And then that’s, that was my aha moment where I was like, okay, I need to get out of this role, and I need to do something else that brings me more fulfillment and worth. So then I quickly began the art of networking internally and externally. And that led me into project management and from project management, I went into HSE. So that’s health, safety and environmental. Then after building the safety program from the ground up with my same supervisor who woke me up, when she left to go to a fortune 500 company, I was given her role because I was the only one who knew about the safety program, and everything that went involved with building it. So then I was like, okay, I’m in this management position, I don’t have an assistant, I have to run to two shops. So like a warehouse, and a fabrication shop plus, like, you know, make sure the project managers have what they need, make sure health and safety is covered, as well as environmentally. And then it was like, okay, when she was here, she had me — this is totally not fair. So it’s like I’m doing double the work and etc. So another aha went off. And that led me to start looking externally because I wanted to work for a bigger company. I knew I wanted international ties, meaning the ability to work internationally or to have opportunities to travel with the company. And then I really wanted more diversity because I come from a diverse background. My dad was South American and my mom is Caribbean and I’m first-generation American, meaning I was born in America, but my parents are not. Um, so that was just something I was super passionate about. So when I got the opportunity for a fortune 500 company, I had three job offers on the table. The one I selected was the lowest-paying position. And I know you’re probably like, that’s so crazy. And the reason why I did that was because I thought about brand by association, everyone knew this brand of the company. So I knew if I had that company on my resume, if I wanted to jump ship, it would make me more marketable to other Fortune 500 company. So I had to be strategic. Yes, I wanted to chase the money, believe me, y’all I did, because I was like, where the money resides, where the money resides. But then I was like, let me think about it realistically. And hindsight 2020. Looking back, I’m glad I made that choice, because the other two Fortune 500 companies went under, especially in the pandemic, and leading up to it. So when I got that job, I was a little shocked because they brought me in as an administrative assistant. Even though y’all I just said I was an HSE. Manager. So it was like, it felt like a slap in the face. But it did teach me to humble myself. And sometimes, you have to take steps back, backwards in your life, in order to analyze where you want to go and really see the big picture and not get so consumed on the title because the title does not make you the person. who you are is more than just a title.
Kim Meninger Yeah, that’s really powerful. And when you talked about taking the lower salary role, my first thought was, what was the, the benefit of doing that? Right? So what were the things that this position offered you that you felt were worth it? Like you talked about it being an opportunity to learn more about yourself. And it sounded like it got you out of a situation that wasn’t ideal for you. How did this help you move forward?
Genesis Amaris Kemp So one, it helped me really just balance between school work and work because I was going to school full time at night plus working a full-time job. Around the same time I was with my now-husband, we were dating but quickly approaching engagement and then you know, now we’re married. So I think that helped me balance because a lot, what a lot of people don’t realize is oil and gas can be very taxing and time-consuming. And when you’re on, you’re on. So just taking a lesser role really allowed me to just really focus on my schoolwork and not be so drained. If I would have came in at a higher position that really was demanding and where it wanted me to travel off the back, and etc. Because I knew that would affect me going to school. I also in that role like taking the step back, I realized that I did not want to be a psychology major anymore, even though I was already in the program for two years. And I did not realize that, with psychology, it would be hard to find a job unless you have, like, you know, that master’s or if you get your doctorate in psychology based on what you want to practice. And the reason why I was doing that is because I really did want to go to medical school. But I knew that my parents didn’t necessarily have the funds to pay for it since I had an older brother who’s an engineer, and they already, you know, foot the bill for him. So I didn’t want to be another burden, I’m sure they would have made sacrifices, but I just wanted to do it on my own. So when I transitioned to that company, I found out some of the benefits were tuition reimbursement, which was a great perk, I found out that there was different days where you had the ability to work from home. So working remotely, which is something I never done previously. So I thought that that was very beneficial. There was, health insurance was way better there. So that’s another perk because anyone knows if you have to pay for health insurance on your own outside of an employer, it can be very costly depending on where you’re living. And if you have a PPO versus HMO, there’s a lot of factors that go involved in that. And then just the ability that the company did pay you to, you know, give back to the community because I’m very big into community outreach and volunteerism. So they partnered with Junior Achievement and United Way and some of the other organizations that I was passionate about. So if I wanted to take a day off in a sense, but go lend it to the community, I could do that and get paid for it. So I thought that was incredible. So those are just some benefits there. But then the hardest part was just being like that one person that was seen but not necessarily heard because you’re an administrative assistant. And even though you’re the glue that keeps everyone together, sometimes you don’t always get invited to all the events, even though you’re the planner, and you do all the stuff, and I’m like, this is so different.
Kim Meninger Yeah, I mean, it sounds like what you’re sharing is a more expansive way to think about career opportunities. Because a lot of times we do get really laser-focused on the title or on the salary. But you really evaluated in context, a lot of those other perks as you said, and the lifestyle that it would offer you. But then it sounds like the role was, was limited, in some ways, because of your ability to have an influence or to make yourself seen and heard.
Genesis Amaris Kemp Yes, absolutely. And I want to encourage anyone in their career that’s thinking about making that transition, is to really evaluate everything as a whole. And don’t always just go with the shiny objects, or the carrot dangling in front of you. Because that could also pigeonhole you like, yes, you may get the higher salary upfront, but what are the tradeoffs of that salary? Does it mean that you’re gonna have to spend more time in the office than you’re gonna get to spend time at home, whether you’re a wife or a husband, or you have children, and they’re very involved in various activities? Like there’s so many different tradeoffs that you need to be mindful of. And then also like, what, like, how are you adding value to that organization? But how is that organization adding value back to you? What are your core, core values? And what are the company’s core values and mission statement? Is it a way that it meshes where you can have synergies when you can really see yourself being at that place for a year, two or five years or more than that? Like, those are really things you need to think about because let’s be real, some people spend the majority of their day at work, and more time there than they spend time with their family. So at least if you’re spending time somewhere, you want to, you know, make sure it’s somewhere that you’re comfortable with, and you feel like you’re a part of a team. But that team also feels like family, in a sense, too.
Kim Meninger I love that. And I want to connect this to what you were talking about earlier about your focus on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, because I think this is such a big part of the overall experience in the workplace, especially for anybody who’s not part of the dominant culture, so to speak. And you mentioned being first-generation, you have racial, different mixed racial backgrounds, like what was your experience? Like from that perspective, you talked about not seeing anybody above you that looked like you, what was your day-to-day experience as a woman of color?
Genesis Amaris Kemp So some days it was, it was very hard like, and I will say, where I started, just to put context. So when I started, I was in drilling and drilling is the organization that makes the money because you’re drilling million-dollar wells a day, and you’re fracking, and you’re doing all of that. I feel from that aspect, since we interacted with a lot of people on a global scales. I did see Nigerians that came in as consultants or engineers. I did see people from India and I saw other people like that. But they weren’t primarily employees with the company. They were more like a VC, like a venture capital, or they were like a competitor that we partnered with because they have certain technology that we needed and vice versa, where we have like a tradeoff, and etc. And when I saw diversity there, it made me question the diversity with my own company. And then whenever I saw like, okay, I want to be more than administrative assistant. And they hit me with the slogan, once an admin, always an admin, and my rebuttal was, by whose definition? Like, I am not going to school to be an admin, I don’t plan on being an admin forever. But if you like it, and that’s your flavor of Kool-Aid, I’m all for it, go, go get it girl. Like if you want to be an admin and do that forever, I’m not going to knock it but that’s not what I see for myself. So I felt like that part was challenging, because whenever you don’t always agree with the masses, they look at you as a person that sticks out, or they’re like, oh, man, she thinks her poo doesn’t stink, or whatever the case may be. And I think that was challenging. Because whenever you do find women that are in your field, and you’re not doing everything that they want you to do, it becomes very catty, and they do little things to exclude you and then that exclusion can easily turn into hostility, where they want to make it harder for you. So you would just give up and leave. And I’m not gonna let anybody force me out of my rightful place that I’ve worked so hard for that I know that this is going to be a stepping stone for me. So I think just thinking about that, and being so young, because also age played a factor too because a lot of times I was always the youngest person on my team, or the only woman of color so it’s like you have to work twice as hard to make sure you know your stuff, you’re on top of your game, and make sure that at least you don’t have to get everyone to like you. But at least you need them to respect you.
Kim Meninger Yeah, absolutely. And I think you bring up a good point too, about the cattiness. And in the end, the fact that other people’s insecurities then drive their behaviors, and you can end up in an environment where, you know, where you don’t even have the support of other women, which is always devastating. I think it always feels that much more painful when women aren’t supportive of other women. And so I think a lot of that really does stem from culture and the way that women see themselves in relationship to opportunities internally, and if there feels, if it feels like there’s a lot of competition, or you know, very few opportunities, women will turn on each other. And that’s always so devastating.
Genesis Amaris Kemp It is because like, one thing I want to say, Kim is like, if you look at another woman, and you see that she’s doing something amazing, why not celebrate that, that woman and praise her for what she’s doing? because I feel like collaboration is the new way to create synergies. And it’s not the new competition. Because if we are better together, then we’re going to go further. And we’re going to look at process improvement. We’re going to look at efficiencies. And we’re definitely going to work smarter together versus harder alone. And why not capitalize on that beat? Versus being like, oh, my gosh, like, is she trying to take my job? Oh, my, oh, is she sleeping with the supervisor? Like, why is she moving up so fast, or like, oh, my gosh, I can’t believe she went to lunch with so and so like, who gives her the, the… because we’re not here for that. And I’m like, and I like I’m a very blunt and direct woman. Because I come from like male, like earlier, male-dominated, like we are out here doing the grunt work. And I feel like if you want to play games, well go play, play, go play those games on the playground with the children, like, let’s not do it here. Because like, we have other things that need to get done, or as people say, bigger fish to fry. And we just really need to be level-headed. And I feel like if you have a problem with another woman, pull that woman to the side and have a woman to a woman conversation with her versus stirring up gossip and hearsay, she say, he say in the office because that creates toxicity. And everyone is going to remember how toxic you are. And whether they tell you to your face or not, they’re definitely going to be talking about it in the break rooms or behind your back. So always like know who your, your opponents are. And my brother always told me like know how to play the game of chess. And at first, I didn’t realize it, because he’s like, you know, there’s politics everywhere. Everywhere you go. There’s politics.
Kim Meninger It’s so true. Unfortunately, I think that makes a, adds a lot of complexity to the workplace. But the better we understand that, the more prepared we are to navigate it, unfortunately. So are you a full-time entrepreneur now? Or are you still working for a company as well?
Genesis Amaris Kemp So right now, definitely full-time entrepreneur. I’m doing my podcast is what I’m doing full time. I’m currently taking a break because the way my body is set up right now. But once I give birth to my daughter, I’m not sure what it’s going to look like because then things are gonna change when you’re responsible for a little person.
Kim Meninger Absolutely. But what an inspirational mom you will be to your daughter when she joins you. What, how do you think about the experience? Now that we’ve been through so much change in the workplace over the last couple of years? Do you feel optimistic about how things are changing from a diversity, equity and inclusion standpoint? Do you see continued opportunities there? Like what’s your perspective on that as we look to a future of work scenario?
Genesis Amaris Kemp I definitely feel optimistic because things have changed, where more people are waking up to who they are and by really finding their voice and not allowing like a organization to define their voice or where they could go, hence the Great Resignation. So I think the pandemic has been a blessing to some and of course to others for various reasons that I may not get into right now. And then I also see the, after the two pivotal moments like the Black Lives Matter also known as BLM, and the Stop Asian Hate, more people woke up to like, okay, there’s definitely a problem in our society when it comes to racism. And I I feel like racism was already there. It’s, it wasn’t up in your face or it wasn’t broad on TV. So it didn’t make you like question like, oh, wow is something like that really happening? So I think those two movements were definitely great. And I think that is definitely helping turn the future of, you know, work cultures and environment because people are being more conscientious on what they’re doing and what they’re saying. Because they know if they do or say something that is not, not in the right frame of mind, that they could be liable for it. Because we saw so many different lawsuits that came up, we saw how different companies stopped endorsing others, and vice versa. And I think like, sometimes you have to hit people where it hurts. And it’s that pocketbook, like, you know, money talks, and people walk. So like, if you’re not doing something that is adding value, or if you’re doing something that segregating somebody or calling somebody out, you’re gonna pay for it, whether you pay for it now, or if you pay for it later, monetary wise, where you know, your business starts to plummet. And I don’t wish any ill will, for anyone, but I just think that people need to be mindful that we’re all different. But we all have something valuable to add, whether that’s diverse thoughts, diverse backgrounds, or etc. And we need to really look at an individual not just based on the outward, but what are they bringing to the table?
Kim Meninger I love that. And I, I agree. And I’m hopeful that the pressures will eventually push organizations to do the right thing for individuals as well as for their own businesses. And one thing that I know, just from my own personal experience, and having worked with so many women is that even in the midst of the Great Resignation, there’s still a lot of people who are feeling like they don’t have as much power. And you, what I love about what you’re saying is your story seems to come with a lot of self-empowerment. And so I wonder if you have advice for anybody who is listening to this right now and thinking, gosh, I’d really like to do something better or different, or I don’t feel as included in my organization, but I don’t know what my options are, or that they, you know, sort of feel this sense of self-doubt about what’s possible.
Genesis Amaris Kemp So one advice I would encourage anyone listening is first connect with who you are internally. And once you connect with who you are internally, and you’re so rooted in that, things externally will begin to come into focus and clarity. And I like to say the eyeglasses analogy because I wear glasses. So if I take my glasses off, yeah, I see that’s Kim, but I can’t make out her facial features. I just see that oh, yeah, that’s Kim and kind of looks a little bit blurry. But then when I put on my glasses, everything comes back into focal, or kind of like when you’re going to the optometrist, and they’re like, is one better or is two better, is three better or is four better? And when you gain that focus, it allows you to really solidify and solidify yourself mind, body and soul, because then you become more intentional with the actions that you’re taking. Because you know, the actions that you’re taking is curating for a better future. So one is knowing who you are and not lose your number, two, I always ask people, how much are they paying you to sleep on your dreams? And people are like, what, they’re not paying me that much. And I’m like, okay, your dreams is something that you know, that’s inside of you, that you always wanted to do. And you have that intuition, you have that gut instinct, you have that discernment that you want something more. And if you’re longing for more, it means that you’re not fulfilled where you are currently. So what do you need to do to be, be fulfilled? And if you’re not going to be fulfilled here, then it’s time for you to start making an exit plan and strategize on where you want to go, where it’s going to give you that total fulfillment in that. And you’re going to have that holistic approach where you think everything fits together, you know, congruently. So that’s number two. Number three is a hard exercise for some, and I call it the obituary exercise. If you were to write your obituary today, what would your obituary read like? What, what do you want to accomplish? What type of impact do you want to make? And what type of imprint do you want to leave on the world? And if you can write all of that stuff down and reverse engineer it to where you are currently, then you’re going to have the tools that you need to take actions in order to make it through the finish line without sacrificing your morals, without sacrificing your core values and without sacrificing a part of who you are because you’re trying to do things to fit in. And then the last tip I’ll leave is, are you seeking validation from people who were never meant to appease you, or solidify you, because so many times, we’re struggling with impostor syndrome, we have those limiting beliefs. We have those second, second guess. But if you’re allowing your mind to be a battlefield, where you’re constantly battling good versus bad, evil versus good highs versus low, then you need to get in a place where you steel your mind. And you practice some mindfulness into meditation to ask yourself, why am I thinking the way that I’m thinking? Is there something rooted inside of me that I need to really dig deep? And, you know, work on whether I’m working on it with a coach, whether I’m working on it with a therapist, or whether I’m working on it with somebody who knows me, but they’re not afraid to call me out on my, my shit, you know, what is because sometimes it’s hard to look ourselves in the mirror. And if you can’t look yourself in the mirror, and answer some of those things truthfully, then you’re not ready to make that transition. And by making that transformation, transition, that’s how you’re going to have the transformation. So I like to tell people, what’s your explosives? What are you blowing up? My TNT is transition and transformation. So let’s blow some stuff up together in a holistic way, not in a, you know, evil way.
Kim Meninger I love that so much. There’s so much power to what you’re saying Genesis, and I know that this is part of the work you do. So where can people find you if they want to learn more and connect with you?
Genesis Amaris Kemp Yeah, so you can head on over to my website, which is genesisamariskemp.net. And I’m going to also spell it. So it’s G E, N, E, S, I S, A, M, A, R, I, S, K, E, M, P. So Genesis Amaris Kemp dot net. I am going to give three freebies to y’all. The first one is the first chapter of my book for free, which is Chocolate Drop in Corporate America, From the Pit to the Palace, and Kim could actually see that my cover does represent diversity, equity and inclusion. And then the subtitle is From the Pit to the Palace. Then I have two health and wellness products that I’m giving because I do have a health and wellness business. So the first one is a health assessment that’s free. And the reason why I focus on health is what good is having that, that wealth, that’s what I’m gonna say, that wealth or that financial freedom, if you don’t have optimal health to enjoy the wealth that you acquired? You’re, it’s not going to be good if you’re sitting up in a doctor’s office or laying up in a hospital room, but you have all this money in the bank, but you can’t enjoy it because you didn’t do what you were supposed to health-wise. And then the second one is a Kyani Sunrise, which is a super fruit, super fruit, super nutrients like pack, it’s like a grab and go. You just rip off the pack and you take it and it has your fruits and veggies in it. And all the vitamins that you need to really give you that energy but it doesn’t have you come crashing down like a rocket, on like a Five Hour Energy. And I think it’s so important that we’re mindful of what we put inside of our body because that’s what’s gonna keep us going like the Energizer bunny.
Kim Meninger I love it. So we will link to all of that into in the show notes, to your website so everyone can access those generous gifts that you’re willing to offer and can find more, you know, learn more from you and connect with you. So thank you so much for sharing your inspirational story, Genesis. I really appreciate it.
Genesis Amaris Kemp Thank you so much, Kim and yeah, oh, I also want to mention, all of my social media stuff is also on my website. So it’s a one-stop-shop.
Kim Meninger Perfect. All right. So thanks again.