My career path at Predica is somewhat unusual. I managed to achieve success at an IT company, even though (so the stereotype would have us think!) I’m not an IT professional and I’m a woman. How? Here is my story.
I came to Predica in March of 2016. I have just left my previous job as Office Manager which I got after graduating Logistics. My first role here was that of a Board Assistant.
Like every new starter here, I had a Mentor who supported me day to day, and I found that very helpful.
It wasn’t supervision as such, as I was trusted to deliver on my assignments, but I felt more confident knowing that there was a person to turn to if I was struggling. It helped me to settle in which is so important at the beginning of a new job.
What surprised me was that everyone here really is on the same team. Even our CEO Greg, who was also my supervisor, never told me that he didn’t have the time to discuss or help with something.
It’s part of our company culture here – we are all working towards a common goal. We support each other and everyone’s opinion is equally valid.
Thrown in the deep end
To paraphrase the famous quote from Uncle Ben, “With great trust comes great responsibility”. We are confident in each other’s skills and knowledge – or the ability to just figure it out! That’s why everyone gets to handle important assignments early on.
After my first 3 months, I was promoted to Financial Administrative Specialist. My first task at that point was to do research on setting up a new office branch, so that we could open one in Qatar!
It was a major undertaking and something I have not done before. Even so, I took it on, found out all the necessary information and went on a great adventure.
My stay in Qatar was a big test for me, as I had to leave my fears behind, be self-reliant and learn a lot as I went along. But at the same time, it was an exciting experience.
I had meetings with the bank and legal authorities, found an office space and set it up.
It was a new environment for me, I was speaking a different language, getting to know new people, customs, and cultures – and most importantly, the branch setup was successful! Now I can handle 80% of its operations remotely.
I am very proud of this accomplishment and really happy that I had this opportunity. I don’t think I would have got this chance elsewhere, and definitely not this early on in my career.
What kept me going was the sense of ownership. When we get our tasks, we assume the responsibility and are fully in charge of them, even if we have to learn what to do along the way. It is up to us to “Make it happen”, as says one of our key values. So I do ?
Of course, not all projects always go as planned and sometimes things just don’t work out. But the important thing to remember is that no matter the result, I did my best – I know that I gave it my all.
Riding the waves
Following the Qatar office project I got a promotion to the position of Financial Controller. 6 months later I became Head of Administration which is my current position. You can progress really quickly at Predica, as you can see, but of course, you won’t get it for free!
Behind every promotion, there is a successful project. Sometimes I get to do things I’ve not had a chance to do before, but if they work out, it’s another feather in my cap!
Frequent changes mean that I always get new responsibilities and do something different. Consequently I don’t really have a comfort zone here, but I’m used to that now, and actually, I really enjoy it. This way I can learn more quickly.
What is key however, is that I really like what I do. Many people are stressed on Sunday afternoons, thinking ahead to Monday and worrying about what the working week will bring. Even though my job can be difficult at times, I don’t feel that way. Instead, I’m excited for the possibility to learn something new and gain additional skills.
An added bonus of stepping outside my comfort zone so much is gaining a lot of confidence. It’s not the same kind of confidence as the one that some are born with. Rather, it is one that is rooted in knowing what I’ve accomplished and that I can achieve even more. And there are plenty of ways for me to learn more still.
Keeping up the pace
Having had several different roles in such a short time I got an additional benefit of testing different areas within the finance/admin department and other parts of the business to find the one which I like the most. In my career I have done office management, logistics, even marketing!
With every new role I could select a focus area to learn more about, while at the same time trying out other things. I have changed my career focus drastically (if you still remember, I graduated Logistics!).
Having done all these different things I know that Finance is the direction I want to go in. Thanks to my job at Predica, I have found my calling. Now I can develop and gain expertise in my chosen field.
In the same boat
What makes my job special to me is the fact that even though I’m not an IT professional, I can still be successful at an IT company. And despite not being a consultant, I can work in an international environment. In addition to the Qatari office branch, I am also in direct contact with our clients.
I think the best part of my job at Predica is the people I work with. The atmosphere is friendly and supportive, and because everyone can progress individually, it’s not a rat-race.
What’s also great is that there are quite a few women working here – in fact, 15% of all employees are female. Some work in IT, some in other departments, and we get along very well and support each other without unhealthy competition. Predica’s women are very focused and down-to-earth, but we have fun, too!
What it shows is that Predica is made up of many individuals. We are all very different, but everyone gets a chance to shine and if they’re up for it, the opportunities are there.
Looking to the horizon
The excitement does not end yet! As of this month, I am Head of Administration. It is a brand new role and one that I can also take part in shaping. As every change, it’s a little scary, but at the same time I very much look forward to what the future has in store.
In the end, what is key for me, is doing something that matters. We spend a third of our time at work – and for me, it needs to be meaningful.
Having spent 18 months here, I know that what I do at Predica is important and makes a difference. The time I’ve spent here so far is valuable and there are a lot of exciting things still ahead of me. That’s why I arrive every morning with a smile on my face, and leave every afternoon with a sense of satisfaction.
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