Liquid Web’s Vice President of Marketing for Nexcess on her career journey, self-reliance, and carving your own path.
A born and bred Brooklynite, Rachel Martin loves a challenge. As a teenager, she spent a lot of time in Greenwich Village, watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Friday nights, and followed fashion trends. “Growing up in Brooklyn made sure I was going to be ready for just about anything,” she says.
No longer in New York, Martin has spent the past 16 years working in technology. She now serves as Vice President of Marketing for Nexcess, one of several brands within the Liquid Web family, where she is focused on branding, messaging, content development, Nexcess’ web and digital presence, and events. It’s a role Martin loves. “Technology is a really exciting place to be. It’s always evolving,” she says. “It’s fascinating to watch how both tech companies and consumers adapt to what’s new.” In her work, she values the opportunity to learn about different kinds of technology. And she’s happily surprised that, at the center of all that technology, it’s still our humanity that takes precedence. “Even though technology benefits us in so many ways, it has yet to override the importance of people and how we engage with each other,” she says.
In her career journey, Martin says that she feels fortunate to have had senior leaders provide her with mentorship. “A few amazing people have taken me under their wing,” she says. “They’ve helped me learn how to navigate what can sometimes be tricky waters.” Her husband has also been a source of support in her career in technology. “He’s a great sounding board. It’s not always easy to hear feedback, but I work hard on being open and accepting of how I can continue to grow and evolve as a business leader.”
Her work style is collaborative and engaging, followed by placing trust in her team. “I enjoy planning and strategizing with everyone, ensuring we’re all on the same page. I’m in the weeds when I’m needed, but I spend a lot of time cultivating people and giving them the freedom to run. I describe myself as being a net. I’m there when you need me, but I want to see you fly. You’ve got this. There’s not just one right way to do Marketing – I learn from my team as much as they learn from me,” she says.
This emphasis on self-reliance and compassion have been cornerstones for Martin in her life and her work after becoming independent from her family as a teenager. “While it wasn’t always easy, I am grateful for the lessons I learned—perseverance, a solid sense of self, figuring out how to get back up after a fall, and always being willing to learn something new,” she says. Her greatest motivation now comes in the form of her two teenage daughters. “I feel most proud when I put my best work forward,” says Martin. “And I’ve always wanted to show my daughters that having a strong work ethic and trusting in yourself are key attributes that lead to success.”
While the field of technology has made great strides, Martin notes that there are still inequities for women in tech. “I’ve been fortunate enough to see women in leadership positions, but they are usually just one out of many men with a seat at the table,” she says. Thankfully, she notes, companies continue to create initiatives that give women the opportunity and interest to enter tech. “Large companies often have programs to help young professionals explore cross-functional opportunities and receive mentorship. But we still face the challenge of breaking down stereotypes during our journeys, and figuring out how to speak up for ourselves.”
An important thing for women considering a career in technology is balancing passion and practicality, to set yourself up for a career that’s long-lasting. “When you think about what you want from your job, and you connect that with what you love to do and what you’re good at doing, it’s a recipe for success. Don’t get stymied by all the uncertainty. And accept that you don’t have all the answers. Technology will only continue to grow and expand in our personal and professional lives.” Making yourself invaluable, she says, is a great way to pave a long career path.