Deanna Mulligan, CEO of Guardian Life Insurance, believes that a two year break in her career is a major factor in the success she is experiencing today.

At 41, Deanna Mulligan was reflecting on whether her career had positively impacted others. One of her relative’s had recently died and at the funeral it became evident that this relative had impacted others as a nursery school teacher.

“I had a relative who, unfortunately, died fairly early. It was clear at her funeral that she had made a big impact on a lot of people as a nursery-school teacher and then a director of a preschool. I thought about my life at the time: How many people was I having an impact on? Was my life going to make as big of an impact as hers did,” Mulligan wrote.

She started her career has a McKinsey consultant for nearly nine years. Afterwards, she worked for a major insurance company called AXA. At this point in her career she decided to take a 6 month break, but others had told her she would need at least 2 years. After two years she started a small consulting office that took on Guardian Life Insurance as a client. Eventually she was employed and three year late became CEO.

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