Anjali Sud became the CEO of IAC-owned Vimeo at 34.
But she never openly campaigned for the job. "I didn't explicitly raise my hand for the role, because I didn't really — it didn't occur to me that that would make sense," Sud told Business Insider for an episode of our podcast "Success! How I Did It!."
However, once she was chosen, she did not question her credentials or ability to lead. The appointment helped empower Sud, who said her promotion "definitely gave me an indication that I felt the strategy was right. Everything I believed about Vimeo, what's wrong with the industry, and what we could accomplish as a business — I was getting validation, and it definitely made me trust my gut around where we should grow."
The experience contributed to the advice she now gives young people looking to advance in business: Create your own opportunities.
One way to do that, Sud told Business Insider, is to "look where others aren't looking. One of the reasons I was given ownership of the creator side of the business is because it wasn't, at the time, the area that was getting all the focus and attention, so they could take more of a chance on me."
Before her stint as CEO, Sud spent three years at Vimeo leading the team that worked with filmmakers.
She continued: "That's not a bad strategy — it gives you an opportunity to own something yourself, especially if you're passionate about it. It gives you an opportunity to own that thing and maybe get an experience that you wouldn't normally get if you just went down the standard track."
Some of Sud's ability to create her own opportunities can be credited to what some would consider to be a negative personality trait: impatience.
"I've been accused of being too impatient in my career," she said. "Especially as a woman, I think there's always this 'Ah, I don't want people to think I'm being too ambitious.' But the truth is I am deeply impatient."
Sud recalled one instance where "I was being impatient, and I knew it. There was that question of 'Shouldn't I just play by the rules, and sit and wait, and just do what I'm supposed to do?' Then at some point, I just had to think back to my core, and I was like, 'No, I'm not going to do that.'"