Around the Water Cooler With CVS Caremark's Helena Foulkes

Confused about the new health care law? A CVS EVP boils it down for employees and employers.

Helena Foulkes

Helena Foulkes

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[Read: Around the Water Cooler With Royal Caribbean's CEO.]

If you want to make a good impression on the first day, what should you do?

I think the most important thing you can do when you start a new job is to really define success. I like to start new roles asking a lot of questions of the people that I work with or the people I'm going to be working with across the company. I like to know how they would see success a year from now. So the question is often, "If we were really successful at this, what would it look like a year from now?" I think when you do that, people start answering in really interesting ways and you start to understand what's important to the people you're serving or working with.

Is there one health product you should always keep in your office drawer?

For me, the product I keep in my drawer and actually keep in my pocket book is the CVS brand pain reliever because I get headaches sometimes.

What's the best career advice you've ever gotten?

The best career advice I've ever gotten is to be focused, yet flexible. It's really important from a career perspective to have a plan, to know what you want, to understand what you're good at – and that's all the focus part. I think it's also equally important to be flexible because sometimes opportunities come along that are not planned for, or that make you nervous or that make you uncomfortable, and those can often be the most interesting decisions that a person makes. Someone really needs to be open to those kinds of opportunities as well, so I always talk about it in terms of being focused and flexible.

[Read: Around Water Cooler With Banana Republic's President.]

Editor's Note: Around the Water Cooler is an ongoing series, in which U.S. News talks with company executives to get their career advice for employees and managers.