Case Study: Role Models and Supporters
After completing a degree in Management and Computer Science, I started out as a consultant with Oracle taking on numerous analysis and development roles for different clients, moving then into applications Project Management roles. After spending some time travelling and working abroad, I obtained a PRINCE2 qualification and delivered several infrastructure projects.
“My early challenges and fears were rooted in my cultural background and upbringing in terms of trying to fit into the UK corporate and social culture.”
Just prior to joining Atos, I worked on a major organisational transformation which really helped me reflect on my natural strengths and weaknesses and drove me seek further growth and challenge. I joined Atos as a Programme/Portfolio Manager leading other PMs on several accounts, ultimately becoming Programme Director after successfully leading delivery and recovery of a number of transitions and accounts.
Atos continually evolves, adapts and grows, it is leading on some great initiatives through the various networks for example and has some great and experienced people working for it resulting in plenty of opportunities to continually learn, develop and grow…and make a difference.
My early challenges and fears were rooted in my cultural background and upbringing in terms of trying to fit into the UK corporate and social culture, feeling confident and speaking up especially when more senior or assertive staff were involved. Being a vegetarian, non-beer drinker and not a football fanatic for example can still make me feel alienated in some situations. Such challenges re-surfaced as I faced each new account, project, customer or stakeholder, sometimes sacrificing being ‘me’ and adapting to be what I thought others wanted me to be to succeed. Through perseverance, feedback, increased self-awareness, continuous learning and ultimately understanding and responding differently to these challenges, over time I have found ways to overcome them, better respond to them or indeed in some cases accept my differences so that I can be more “me”, more of the time resulting in more meaningful work relationships.
First, challenge what success in life truly means and looks like to you and don’t just base it on titles, perceptions or other people’s expectations etc. Stick to your values and principles, understand your passions and strengths and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Don’t give up, be patient, be kind to yourself and find the right path for you.