Melissa Means
Melissa Means Managing Director Pearl Meyer & Partners

"I love consulting; I get to work with a broad spectrum of clients and industries, so I’m exposed to all kinds of challenges. That’s what keeps me totally interested and energized."

Grew up: I was born and raised in Canton, OH and went to college at Miami University in Ohio, where I majored in Finance and Organizational Behavior.  After that, I landed my first job in Cleveland.

Now live in: Medford, MA

Current profession/title/company: I am a Managing Director at Pearl Meyer & Partners where we specialize in executive and board compensation. I was recruited right out of college into consulting, initially with Towers Perrin, and I’ve never looked back. I love consulting; I get to work with a broad spectrum of clients and industries, so I’m exposed to all kinds of challenges. That’s what keeps me totally interested and energized.

When I was 21, I thought my profession/job would be: Probably banking or something in finance because those were the kind of companies that recruited at Miami University.

My dream job would be: If you had asked me a few years ago, I would have said Pearl Meyer & Partners, but now I think there’s something else out there calling me. I think it’s in helping women and families dealing with medical diagnoses and having to make difficult decisions about medical care, particularly from a distance. I think there’s something to being an unattached listener when tough decisions are being made because everyone hears news differently. I’m not sure what my calling really is, and I’m not in a rush to figure it all out.  When it comes to me, I’ll know.

My nightmare job would be: Working for a company or a boss where I’d have no flexibility about when I work, how I work, or where I work.

Role models: I haven’t really had one in a formal sense.  In my career to date, I’ve had one really great boss who, forgive the baseball analogy, always stood behind me, whether or not I hit a home run or struck out.

Mentors: I haven’t really had one throughout my career, but I have had the pleasure of working with many different people.  From those experiences, I have been able to adopt what I like most and leave what I liked least. Doing this has allowed me to craft who I have become as a leader today.

Best piece of professional advice: 
Learn to be able to let things go and get out of your head. As I look back on my career, I wish I would have gotten what that really means a lot sooner! Because I’m in my head all the time, I’ve suffered from bouts of insomnia and migraines. I’m now successfully working with a life coach and I’m getting so much better at letting things go. I’m insomnia-free and successfully managing my migraines.

Best book(s) read in the last year: I’m a total leisure reader. I was laughing hysterically reading Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants--she really nails it from a female perspective.  And you can usually find me reading tons of magazines ranging from Newsweek to Martha Stewart Living to People.

Favorite Sound: Right now it’s quiet--no sound at all. I love it when I get in my car and it’s totally silent.

Least favorite Sound: Loud noises. I’m a migraine sufferer and loud noise isn’t good.

One thing that most people don’t know about me: I am learning how to play the violin.

My Boston Club moment: Attending my first Corporate Salute. I remember walking in and being awed by so much female power in one room. It was awesome. I was seeing The Boston Club in action in such a big forum for the first time and it was powerful. My firm also sponsored a table at the event and I remember seeing the expressions on the faces of my female colleagues whom I invited to attend, and it was the coolest thing to know that they were affected by all of it as much as I was.