How to find a great place to grow
November 15, 2018
One of the interesting things about working in IT and Change is the huge variety in roles that make up the sector. Many people move across different job types, including developers, testers, project managers, business analysts and data scientists. The market is becoming increasingly diverse, with various job titles that are popular now not having existed only a few years ago. When I joined the job market, anyone with “mobile” in their title had a role that involved driving a van or a car, and a data miner was most probably a mis-spelling.
One of the roles that many of us in IT, and plenty of other industries, find ourselves performing, often initially accidentally, is as an actor. I don’t mean that we spend our time standing on a stage giving our best rendition of Shakespeare’s finest soliloquies, but we do play a role every day in the office. When I had my first few interviews after university, I tried really hard to be the person that the hiring company wanted me to be. If they described the company culture, I explained how much that I fitted into that culture and how much I wanted to be part of it. If I was really honest with myself, in some of these interviews, I did not fit in the culture, and I didn’t really want to be part of it, but my first priority was to get a job.
I was lucky with my first few roles and worked in places that I really enjoyed, and after a couple of years I found myself at British Airways, where my career really took off – pardon the pun – and where I really did feel I fitted into the culture. I remember slowly moving from being the person who came for the interview to being the person doing the job, and the great thing was that both those people fitted in the organisation. I was throwing off the role that I was acting and starting to go to work as myself. I had a realisation in my second role there – I had five very different roles over seven years there – that it was ok to enjoy myself in the work environment and even more so, other people wanted to enjoy themselves too. Sometimes someone just needed to take the lead.
Since that, I have always been myself when I go for an interview. I want the company to hire me, not the person I am pretending to be. I don’t want to have a job that I don’t enjoy, or where I have to spend lots of energy being someone that I am not. I have, though, worked with plenty of people who have a work persona and a non-work persona, and they spend their time in the office acting the work persona that they have created.
One of the many things that I value about Doris IT is that the company encourages its employees to be themselves and to grow in confidence, including through training and self-development. If you can find a fulfilling role that gives you development, confidence and where you feel comfortable being yourself, then you are in a great place to grow.
By Mark Haggan
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