Stay Curious to Grow in Your Career

Josee Michaud
About the author : Josee Michaud

Chief Operating Officer, Sodexo Health & Care Canada

Published on : 8/15/22
  • A conversation with Josee Michaud, COO Sodexo Canada, Healthcare and Senior Living Segment.

    What has guided my career most is an open mind and the desire to constantly try new things. Routine is not for me. I enjoy a challenge. I strongly believe that you can only challenge people to better themselves if you yourself are constantly growing.

    I got into the health care and senior living fields and remain here today to help people lead healthy lives. Whether working on the front lines as a dietitian or in a management role, being a caregiver is what I was meant to do. I truly enjoy passing knowledge forward so patients, residents, team members and colleagues can benefit from my experience and lessons learned.

    Tell us about your career journey with Sodexo

    My first role with Sodexo was as a Clinical Dietitian in London, Ontario, Canada 20 years ago. I was so curious about learning how everything in the operation worked, I asked questions and got involved in areas outside of my “job description.” Someone must have noticed my interest, because after six months, I was asked to move to another long-term care home within Sodexo as Director of Support Services, where I was the lead dietitian and also oversaw housekeeping, food services, laundry and environmental services. 

    It was a big shift for me. I had the opportunity to marry my passion for health and nutrition with my growing curiosity to understand how the facility was operated and managed.  

    I learned so much in this new role because the long-term care home was being rebuilt. I had a chance to work with the Ministry of Health on regulations, and with contractors and suppliers to bring the client’s vision to life. After the project was complete, it really showed me what I was capable of as a leader. I just had to keep asking the right questions.

    Our clients know what they want, and Sodexo has experts within the organization who can deliver. However, if we don’t ask questions both to our teams and to our clients, then we won’t have the answers.

    This started me on a new path. My curiosity kept me wanting to know more. With an inquisitive mindset, I have expanded my responsibilities every couple of years.  Today, as Chief Operating Officer of the Healthcare & Senior Living segments, everything that happens with operations in Canada is like my baby. I have watched it grow. It encompasses over 4,000 people and hundreds of healthcare and senior living communities.

    What advice would you give to someone looking to grow their career?

    If you don’t have a plan, it’s just a dream.

    You have to take charge of your own career. I’m a lifelong learner and a big advocate for personal development planning. 

    Consider your strengths and where you excel most and let that guide the next steps in your career. That being said, I didn’t know what my end game was when I started out 20 years ago. However, I was open to new opportunities. I had great bosses, and I thought, “I want to be like them!”

    My management team gave me stretch assignments. One was a very important bid for a large province with 42 accounts. That experience and exposure helped me get to where I am today.

    I got out of my comfort zone and interacted with different leaders. At one point, I had to present to a 60-person group, and they were actually interested in what I was saying! It was the confidence boost I needed.

    What has contributed to your career growth?

    I believe in surrounding yourself with successful people; people who are not afraid of taking risks, being role models, and change agents. I believe in supporting and nurturing our employees so they can reach their career goals and objectives. 

    Throughout my career, I have used all the tools available to me to further my growth and experience. The result is that I have achieved one of my long-term objectives which is to be the best leader I can be; a leader who embraces change, makes people feel heard, encourages questions, and promotes curiosity. Most importantly, I want to be someone my colleagues can come to for advice and support.


    • Always stay curious
    • Create a learning agenda
    • Do not be afraid to ask for feedback
    • Actively listen

    Find out more about a career with Sodexo Healthcare

    This article was created by Josee Michaud, Chief Operating Officer, Sodexo Healthcare Canada