How She Did It: Heather VanCura
Updated: Jan 13
You can make a bold new career move without changing your company, industry, or role!
Heather VanCura is a brilliant example.
Each month, EvolveMe features inspirational women who've made it to the other side of career reinvention. Learn how they did it and take away usable tips from their professional journeys!
We're thrilled to introduce Heather VanCura. Heather is a Senior Director, Standards, Strategy & Architecture at Oracle; Director & Chairperson, Java Community Process (JCP) Program, an International Keynote Speaker, and nonprofit board member.
Heather's most recent venture? She’s the host of the BragTalks Podcast! (We had a fantastic conversation with Heather as guests on her show! Listen here)
AND she's currently writing a book - add Author to her growing list of titles!
Heather is committed to paying it forward to others through her many roles as a mentor, leader, instructor, and board member for a wide range of nonprofits.
The twists and turns in her impressive career have led Heather to where she is today - read on to learn how she did it!
What is your personal mission?
Dream and achieve big things and brag about it
What inspired you to launch your podcast?
Working with so many unique and talented people around the world who do not feel comfortable sharing their stories and accomplishments.
What is unique about returning/pivoting in midlife? Challenges & opportunities?
You have wisdom and experience in midlife. It is a challenge to find the time but there are many opportunities out there. If you can't find an opportunity that suits you, make your own opportunity.
What’s one intention you have for your work this year?
Continue to perform to my absolute best ability and potential in everything I do.
What are you most passionate about right now?
People living their dreams and achieving success in life, whatever that looks like for them.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different for me. I sometimes work from home and other times, I work in my office. I sometimes travel for work or attend events. I typically have video meetings either way, sometimes in-person meetings, plus lots of email and Slack. I also dedicate time for content creation (presentations, writing, or other materials) and some social media.
I am working on a book right now and in 2022, I started a podcast, so I dedicate some time in my week for these activities. Some days I work on one of the nonprofit boards I serve. I also make sure to save time for family, friends, networking, and exercise.
What’s the one thing that has advanced your career in the last year?
I have expanded my possibilities in terms of how I can move forward. I used to find opportunities in my many travel experiences, but now I find them in more places. Either at my employer or through my volunteer activities.
Who’s your “tribe” when it comes to professional inspiration or support?
I enjoy my membership in Oracle Women's Leadership, Chief, and also the Java developer community around the world.
Favorite book, app, or podcast?
BragTalks, the podcast I launched in 2022, is consuming my media time - planning, recording, and promoting it!
You’re granted an extra hour in the day, how do you spend it?
Spending time with someone special to me.
The advice I wish I had given to my 20-year-old self is…
Do not worry about fitting in, be yourself and focus on your strengths.
The advice that I want to give to my 75-year-old self is...
Forgive your mistakes and be grateful for your success.
Your theme song that played every time you walked in a room would be?
Signed, sealed, delivered
Best career advice for other women?
Continue to be exceptional in your work life, but take time to expand your network, increase your visibility and expand your influence. Don't be afraid to negotiate (anything!) and promote yourself and your work.
When did you feel you got “you” back?
Once I stopped trying to fit in with the people around me and accept my unique advantages and traits.
What’s up next?
Continue to grow in my career, publish my book, expand my podcast and positively impact the life of everyone around me.