10 Questions with Michelle Skarbek
Embracing what comes next is the key to success
1. What was your very first interesting job? What was your big takeaway?
My first job was actually really great! I worked as a Trading Room Clerk for Eaton Vance, a financial services company in downtown Boston. My main responsibility in this role was data entry. I kept this job all through high school and into my first year of college.
My biggest takeaway was the overall exposure to working in an extremely professional environment at such a young age. The environment within a financial institution at that time was very serious, everyone dressed professionally– I was lucky that I attended a Highschool where uniforms were mandatory, I had to wear a skirt for school, so I could go directly from school to work without having to change.
2. What on the horizon are you most excited about?
I have twin boys who are juniors in high school. I’m really excited to watch them take the next step and start their college journeys! Though they are twins, they have two very different personalities and interests! One is more interested in big city experience and the other not so much, so it will be interesting to see where they choose to go. They are both strong in and enjoy math and science! The next few years will be fun!
3. What are you putting off at the moment?
I feel like I’ve been putting off a lot of house maintenance lately. Yard work, projects, those kinds of things. I feel a little guilty, but at the end of the day, you must prioritize and do what you can!
4. Favorite binge tv show, book or movie?
I read more than watch movies. I love murder mysteries and true crime mysteries.
I did just watch The Staircase, which was a factual murder mystery/documentary. It was good! It was told from the perspective of the person who was accused of the crime. They documented the whole process, which was amazing. It was a multi-part series spanning about a decade.
It was interesting to see the case from the perspective of the accused to see how he felt he was framed. It was eye-opening!
5. If not on the Cape, where would you live?
I would live right outside of Boston to be closer to family and friends.
6. What song is stuck in your head at the moment?
I heard Billie Jean by Michael Jackson on the way in this morning and now it is stuck in my head!
7. What life advice would you give people?
You can plan for certain things in life and when it doesn’t go the way you expected, embrace those challenges. Those are what help you to grow.
I didn’t start out in HR. After College I started my career in IT, where, at one point, I worked for the State at as a Network Administrator. The budget was cut and many of us were furloughed to 4 days a week. In looking for a new role I came across an 8-hour temp position in HR at CCH. I applied just to supplement my income.
The temp position resulted in a permanent role within HR. 15 years (and a few HR roles later) I’m happy to still be here!
Careers and paths can change, remaining engaged and interested in what you do is what is important.
8. What should everyone have in their kitchen?
A toaster oven. I use mine all the time. I use it for pretty much anything. It’s big enough you can put oven- sized items in there, which makes it super convenient!
I try to make home-cooked meals as much as I can. I try new recipes and cook random things for the boys, the toaster over makes it easy.
9. What do you keep an emergency supply of?
Since the start of the pandemic I think all our stock pile priorities have changed, I now keep an emergency supply of toilet paper and paper towels!
10. Name something you can’t do?
I can’t drive a standard. <laughs> I have no interest in learning how and I don’t have any need to. I’m going through the process of teaching the boys how to drive, but they will have to learn this from someone else!